Ep 224: How to take flattering portraits of anyone

How can you take flattering portraits of anyone? There are a few golden rules to follow to ensure that you’re nailing the shot – every time.

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Show Notes

1. Energy
It’s not them it’s YOU. A great portrait photographer must work their guts out to gain a person’s trust so they can relax.

2. Pose
I’ve noticed that approximately 1/20 people are comfortable in their bodies. They just get it. These people are a dream to direct.

If you’ve done the work in step 1. Correctly then directing and possing becomes much easier

Can you describe how to build a v8 engine from the ground up?
Learn 3 go to poses that you can do confidently and show them to your model

  1. Leaning against a wall
  2. Leaning over something
  3. Walking towards the camera

These are 3 basic poses that work for all body shapes and every personality

3. Light

  • Flat light
  • Overexpose skin by 1 stop
  • Shallow depth of field are great ways for beginners to get a decent and flattering portrait
  • Next level is to use lighting to sculpt a face

4. Confidence
Give direction with confidence
Tell people what you are doing
Have you ever had a procedure by a dentist, doctor, chiropractor? They tell you everything they are about to do to you. Try this medical approach next time you take someone’s photo and include them in the process

“I’m going to take about 15 frames.”
“I want you to push your face forward and chin down because it makes you look more confident and squares up your jaw.”

5. Visual Cues
Use them!
NO: Turn right
YES: Turn to the window

6. Toilet training philosophy
Praise the good and ignore the bad

7. Shoot low and long for full-length shots

8. Give your model something to do

9. Mirror your subject
Develop a directing style that matches the personality of your model.

10. Connect
Learn the art of simple chit chat

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About Gina

Gina Milicia is one of the most widely known and respected photographers in Australia. She is the master of capturing that ‘magical moment’... READ MORE