15 Tricks composition to achieve stunning portraits

Who does not love the portrait and who, with a camera in hand, has done hundreds or thousands of them, Am I wrong? And those hundreds or thousands how you have convinced, how many have you thought, “We have here a large portrait-tiny photo-this is mine” Let’s be honest, if we remove those where we moved the model (that is your daughter or your son, as objectively perfect), those that are exotic for us we went to Botswana travel, or a few daring attempts Street-photography which at first seemed like “the most” but anyway, ahem …

PhotographyThere are many ingredients that can make your portrait fails: image blur, blurred, over- or underexposed, are the classic mistakes, but we have another variable, without error, you can make your image something great or something bland. You know what I’m talking about, right? Want to know how to move from 10% to 20%.

1. Rule of Thirds

Maybe because you’re sick of hearing about it, but portraits can be of particular use, not only because it will help to place your portrayed within the general framework, but because it can be very useful when put whatever you want to stand out from his face, for example the eyes, which are usually the main reason or the highlight of a portrait.

Remember the rule of thirds divides the frame into three parallel vertical and three horizontal lines. The points where these imaginary lines converge are known as strengths, and that is where our eye stops more naturally, so that is where it is recommended to place our focus.

2. Frames vertically and horizontally

Horizontally I not insist because I bet 95% of your pictures and your photos are generally horizontal. The explanation is logical and simple, if we see the display horizontally and is horizontal easiest thing for us is to align horizontally. However, you would be amazed how many images you have that would work better vertically. Try it, the vertical format has many advantages, including, lets you more easily fill the frame with your character, and remove the background as long as it will not be interesting. This does not mean you leave the horizontal, but give him a chance occasionally to vertical format.

3. Negative space

One way to tuck your character without it loses prominence, is put it into a frame with negative space. A wall, a door, a texture, they can help you compose your image, to give more weight and interest, but at the same time, without diminishing role at the center of interest. Remember it is important where you place your portrayed and in what proportion, depending on what you want to convey.

4. The law look

Another classic portrait composition good for you to know. Look law says you must leave more space in the frame to which the protagonist’s gaze is directed. Thus, the image “breathe” more naturally and perceive more balanced.

5. Take care background

Often the most overlooked of photography in general, but also often ruin many pictures that could have been great. A post, a tree or an unknown man appeared out of nowhere, they can completely ruin your makeup, so before you shoot, take a look at your surroundings.

6. Accurate lines

The lines are a common element in photography, which help us to compose and look towards the landmark. Lines you have them all around us, can be physical or that create the elements of the picture, but properly used, can help you draw your character or make the viewer stroll through the image the way you want.

7. Vanishing points

Related lines, leaks are the place to converge those same lines, literal or imaginary form. They act as guide eyes focused visual interest where the lines cross; in the vanishing points.

8. Let nothing detract from your main subject

We have already spoken of the fund, but not the only way to “monitor” your center of interest. Remember that a large aperture diaphragm will be useful to isolate your protagonist blurring the background or his surroundings whenever you need.

9. Fill the frame

It is usual that at the beginning we tend to move away or stay away from the subject, either because of shame, lack of trust or it can resultants easier framing. Anyway, forget your fear or shame in a drawer and approach as possible, fill the frame with his face or the details of their eyes, you know that that if a picture is not good enough is not you close enough.

10. The look inside or outside the frame?

Both are equally valid, but convey different sensations. A look inside the frame can be used as part of the narrative of the scene (a mother watching her baby) and a look out of the frame is more mysterious because we do not see what the protagonist is watching. This last,

11. The color as a compositional element

Unless you decide that yours is only black and white, color, will play a very important role in your portraits. You can use it to add contrast from the rest of the image, to complement, to isolate the protagonist, and so on.

12. Natural frames

Do not forget to take advantage of the environment to increase the interest and / or originality of your portraits. Door frames, bridges, caves, the branches of a tree or a window frame can resultant useful to add weight to your portraits and make them different. Besides natural frames will serve to any type of photography.

13. Do not forget your eyes are your main focus

Unless you’ve decided to focus on another point in the face of your protagonist to highlight, in portraits should focus the eyes of the most careful way possible. If you work with large aperture openings (greater focus area in the image), seeks to focus the eye closest to the target is located.

14. Group Portraits

Do not forget that beyond “small people first”, the group portraits can be much more exciting and with better results if you work the most original compositions. Recalls the importance of keeping them all within the area in focus (closing the aperture) and all are in a homogeneous area light (or some you will dark or burnt).

15. Be Original

You know many tricks and rules, but that does not mean you can not create your own, that you work better or with whom you feel most comfortable. Vary the perspective and point of view, the reasons, the frames, backgrounds, play with colors, contrast and so will help to investigate and delve into the different techniques that exist or invent their own yours. So grab your camera, remove the cover and get ready to create your new and improved version of “portraiture” thank your images

About the author


The writer of this article currently manages his own blog and is managing to do well by mixing online marketing and traditional marketing practices into one.

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