How to create a surprising portrait photo?
The ultimate black and white portraitWhen you think about it, we find the black and white portrait most often in this theme, surely. In the black and white portrait, emotion makes all the difference. We can accentuate the facial features by playing with shadows and also remove the balance of colors which can sometimes distract the eye from the subject. Here is, some tips for a successful black and white portrait :
- Avoid overloaded funds. Note that bright colors in black and white photography can either look very flat or too chaotic.
- Use flash to bring out the emotion in cliché paparazzi faces. To achieve this effect, you will have to get closer to your subject, which could dazzle them, so remember to warn them!
- Use artificial lighting and create interesting contrasts.
- Change framing. For a surreal photo or with a distorted perspective, bet on a low angle shot or the reverse. Also note that a landscape format will leave more room, either for contextual details or for a close-up.
Aged portraits right on trend
Today, everyone has already taken photos one day, especially with family or friends. Keep this intimate atmosphere and add a touch of nostalgia with custom settings. Surely you have already heard of the "sepia" tint, which gives the illusion that the photos were taken in the past. With this setting, a portrait photo with very contemporary details (clothes, accessories, etc.) will look very old. The contrast between the subject and the technique chosen for the photo creates a fun dissonance. Most current digital cameras and processing software offer this option.
A portrait photo in full artistic blurThe result of defects or handling errors, Artistic blur is now highly sought after in portrait photography. There are different methods to achieve this effect. Here are the different methods:
- To capture motion with a blurred background, you can use the panoramic technique which will help "freeze" the person. Be careful, you will have to move at the same speed as your subject while following it. For example, to photograph a skateboarding subject, you will have to ride a skateboard yourself or follow it at an equivalent speed to take the portrait photo with a blurred background.
- For a portrait photo where the face is blurred, mount the camera on a tripod and set it to a longer shutter release time. Ask your subject to turn their head or speak, without moving the rest of their body.
- Buy lens with diffusion filter, also called soft or "Hollywood", to have a more diffused light.
- Position your subject near a strong light source, such as a computer screen and use macro mode to blur parts of the face.
- For a soft DIY lens, take a conventional UV filter and cover it with petroleum jelly to grease the glass and obtain a semi-opaque effect.
A surreal photo portrait in double exposureAlso called double exposure, this effect consists of combining two images that were taken at different times. For film enthusiasts, it's a matter of taking a first photo and not unwinding the film before taking a second photo.
In the darkroom, it is possible to superimpose two or more negatives on the support. Today, some digital cameras offer double exposure mode. In reality, the easiest way to achieve this effect is to overlay two images of your subject on post-processing software and to rework the transparency of the images.
Post-processing to give interesting effects
Current technology has expanded the possibilities of creative portrait photography. We can thank software like Photoshop, Lightroom or even smartphone applications.
For instance, you can switch part of the portrait to black and white. The remaining colors can highlight certain aspects of the model, such as their eyes, skin tone or hair, and give them character. The exercise is close to surreal photography.
The advantage of portrait photography is that it offers freedom of expression while it focuses only on a specific category of photography. You understand, there are different ways to shoot a portrait, black and white or colored. Not to be overlooked, the preparation or treatment after the session can help you achieve the desired result.
That said, we cannot deny the importance of the complicity between the photographer and the person to be photographed. How will you manage to make the person laugh or provoke the desired emotion? Focus on setting up an atmosphere conducive to a surprising portrait photo!