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Photography tips

Top tips on creating portraits at home

Posted: 18 Feb 2021

Top tips on creating portraits at home

Portrait photography can be extremely beneficial to any photographer. Whilst we’re currently in the midst of a pandemic, it's important to refresh and practice your skills (where allowed). This will therefore allow you to discover new home photography skills and ideas. As a result of being at home, the practice of portrait photography is much harder. However, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure you’re capturing some great portrait shots. Here are our top tips.

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How do you set up a home photography studio?

Although not everybody may have the option to set up a home photography studio, if you do can be very beneficial. By having a home photography studio setup, you will not only get the experience of working in a professional setting, but you will also have the opportunity to set up exactly how you want to. 

Firstly, find a dimly lit room within your homestead. Ideally somewhere with plenty of space to set up the equipment. This way you can use your photography lights to the best of their ability, and can set the scene and shadows on your subjects face. 

Secondly, set up exactly how you want the scene to look. Two things you should consider. Are you aiming for professional headshots? And are you planning to incorporate a theme to the shoot? Remember, however you’re working the layout, you want the subject to be at the forefront of your image. 

Lastly, be sure your subject is briefed on what it is you want from them. You’ll likely be working with family or roommates who have perhaps never been on the end of a lens before. Make sure they’re fully versed in your vision, and know exactly what you want from them. 

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Find the perfect setting

Can’t set up a home studio? Not a problem. Not all portrait photos are set up in studios. Infact, many use what’s around them. This type of creativity is key whilst we’re in lockdown. Recap on what you want to achieve from this, and see if there is any suitable setting around your house that could work for your shoot. 

Firstly, consider how you want the shot to look. Have you considered clothing or style of hair on your model? How does this work against your setting?

Secondly, think about lighting. Is there anywhere that offers natural light? Natural light can make a shot look more authentic. If not, is there anywhere you could set up a light to focus on the subject?

Lastly, consider going outside to find that perfect setting. If you have a garden, there could be some great areas to take portrait photos. If not, following COVID-19 guidelines you could explore your local area for inspiration. 

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No subject? No problem.

If you can’t find someone to be a test subject for you, then it's not a problem. You can still take the tips from above and use yourself as a subject. After all, even photographers need to be in front of the lens from time to time. 

Consider your personality, and what you want your portrait to say about you. Should it be a professional headshot for promotion, or should it be a shot of you doing what you do best? You should find props, lights and scenery that best describe you. 

There are multiple ways of taking self-portraits. You can either use a mirror to point the camera at and capture yourself. On the other hand you can also use a remote shutter release to capture the perfect shot. These are great as they mean you do not have to hold your camera.

The best way to do this is to set a timer and place burst mode on. By doing this, you can capture shots without having to hold anything. Therefore making full body shots much easier. You can also capture multiple shots, which means you can change poses and capture multiple images in quick bursts.

Remember, photography is all about showcasing your creativity, so think outside the box and let your imagination go.

For more tips on portrait photography, check out our blog here

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