Taking the Time for Portrait Digital Photography

It is easy to take portrait digital photography and most people can take decent portrait images with their digital camera with some simple tips. The tips here focus on lighting and posing your subject. You can take the best digital portraits when you and your subject are comfortable with each other. Portrait digital photography is a skill you can learn to master with practice.

Soft Lighting is Flattering

Having adequate lighting is essential to taking good portraits with your digital camera. When you diffuse a light, you create a softer look that is more flattering than a harsh light because strong lights throw shadows on the face of your subject. You can soften your light with fabric or umbrellas. You can better control your lighting in an indoor controlled setting. Soften natural light from the sun by placing your subject near a curtained window for diffused lighting.

If you want to take an outside portrait, take the pictures at mid-morning or late in the afternoon. This way you will avoid the strong glare from the sun that could make your subject squint. You can get good natural lighting at sunrise or sunset that does not have to be manipulated. Keep direct light off your subject because it creates too much contrast on a person's face. It is okay to use a flash outdoors and you may have to redirect light onto your subject with a mirror or other reflector so that the lighting is even on their face.

Posing Your Subject

Your subject will move more naturally if you are relaxed with each other. What mood do you want to capture in your subject? Talk to the person and try to get them in that mood. Give your subject a clear idea of what mood you are trying to create with their image. Understand your subject so you can draw out their best expression and bring their personality to life for portrait digital photography.

For interest in the image, turn the head and body in different directions and do not be afraid to try different positions from different angles. Traditional portrait poses for men include closed hands with the head tilted towards their far shoulder. For women, the hands are open and the head is tilted towards the closer shoulder.

Remove the Distraction

Take away any distractions so you and your subject can concentrate on the photo session. Take your pictures from the subject's eye level; do not take their portrait while looking down or up at the subject unless you are trying to create more complex moods with the image. Have a simple background that will not distract from your subject. If your background is too dark, it can interfere with your lighting setup and your camera settings.

Camera Considerations

Use the red eye reduction button on your digital camera when you are taking portrait shots. Use a zoom lens if you are taking their portrait on a bike or horse. Use a tripod if you are worried about shaking hands.

When you want a portrait, digital photography can do an excellent job of producing stunning images of your subject. With a little practice, you can excel at portrait digital photography.