You’ve all seen it: someone takes a photo of you, and it looks nothing like them. Their pose is wrong, their expression is off, and they instantly exclaim, “delete that one!”. This is when the retakes begin. Even the most beautiful person can look boring in photos if they are not properly directed.

The flip side of the camera is that it can be extremely vulnerable when you’re getting your portrait taken. When I’m getting ready to photograph someone, they often tell me they don’t know how to use their body. I quickly respond that it is my job as a photographer to guide them. Then we had a conversation about how it was their first time being directed by a photographer.

Photographers have to get to know the body and angles of their subjects and position them in a way that makes them feel comfortable. This is called directing. Being a photographer is not just about taking photos and pressing a button.

These tips will help you take better photos. Learn how to capture the personality of your subject and create dynamic portraits.

Five Tips to Capture Personality in Your Portraits

Natural movement, laughter, and genuine facial expressions are essential to capture the personality of your subject and create dynamic portraits. The best way to make your subject feel at ease is to direct the photoshoot properly and use your camera lens to reveal their best features. Your photos will look posed and boring if you tell your subject where they should stand or sit.

These are our top picks for breaking the ice, creating compelling portraits, and, above all, capturing your subject’s personality.

1. Create Movement

Start small but encourage your subject to move. You can give them a prompt, such as moving their arms up and down above their heads or walking around the frame, taking photos of every step. You’ll be able to capture candid movements in the in-between shots. This will allow you to capture natural-looking photos. Plus, your subject will feel more at ease as they move around the frame.

Ask your model if they would like to listen to music. Make a playlist with songs that match the mood you want before you go to your photo shoot. It can be a great way to relax by listening to some music on your phone.

2. Invoke genuine laughter

You should have a tool to capture natural laughter. There is nothing worse than telling your subjects, “Okay, we’re laughing.” As if I were funny, Ha-Haha-Ha.” This was how professional photographers “direct” me in my early years. It was just as painful as it sounds.

Ask your subject to do something funny, like whispering the name of a vegetable with their sexiest voice. Tell them about a humorous situation you were in on a previous shoot. You can also tell them about something funny that happened to you recently. This is a great way to break down the barriers that cameras often place between the subject and the photographer.

Most subjects will laugh at the poses that you ask them to take. One of my favorite directions for photographing men is “Look down at your hands and pretend you’re washing them.” Although it might seem awkward, I assure you that it won’t feel like you’re washing your hands. You didn’t know these photos were going to be an advertisement for antibacterial soap. The candid laughter they produce is exactly what I want, so keep taking photos.

3. Learn more about Body Language.

It’s important to get to know a bit more about the person you are taking headshots of. You don’t want someone looking slouched or unkempt if they are very preppy and well-mannered. You should make sure they are comfortable with the pose you choose.

You can research different poses and keep a list of them on your phone in case you need to remind yourself. If you want to make someone appear more powerful, cross your arms in front of your face with your chin up. Or, loosely cross your arms with both your hands visible. These little details can make your portraits more real.

4. Find the Best Angles for Your Subject

There are good and bad angles to everyone. Your job is to find them. You can make someone look slimmer or curvier depending on how they position their body in relation to you. To make someone appear curvier, you can ask them to extend their hips or place their legs against a chair. You can make them look slimmer by having them split their legs or standing on their toes and bending one knee.

Both men and women need to define their chins when taking headshots. Defined angles create shadow and definition. It may seem strange to your model to tell them to put their neck forward or out, but it can make a big difference in their posture. You don’t have to tell your model to raise or lower their chin a few times per week. Communicate what’s working and be honest. Trust develops when you are open with your subject. They end up feeling more relaxed and at ease. People don’t always know what their strengths and weaknesses are, so it is important to tell them. It’s as simple as, “Hm, this pose isn’t working. Let’s try this.”

Tip: When shooting, be aware of your angles! When I was a photographer, I used to worry about looking silly. But good photographers don’t look like fools. If you have to be on the ground, don’t hesitate to climb up on something, cross the street, or do a squat. If your subject is shorter, you can get lower and take a picture of them. Good photographers will move around the subject and get right into the shot.

5. Set the Scene

By describing a scene to your subject, you can tell them what emotion you want them to portray. Instead of saying, “Look happy,” tell your subject to picture themselves in a summer amusement park. The scene can be painted for them. After you have created the scene, you will be able to direct their body language.

After your session is over, it’s time to edit! Be Funky’s photo editor makes it easy for you to edit and fix your photos. Many people will admit that they have a large blemish on their forehead or that they look tired. Make sure they feel comfortable during the shoot. You can edit the photos to correct any imperfections or other issues. Have fun with the session!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *