Outdoor portraits can be challenging, but they can also provide great new opportunities. Being aware of the sun and shadows can improve the quality of any photograph. Here are some tips for improving outdoor portraits.
1. Focus on the eyes
Eyes are the most important part of a good portrait because they are what identify a person. Therefore, they must be the sharpest element on the face.
2. Avoid direct sunlight
Direct sunlight is harsh, makes your subject squint and creates hard directional shadows. Instead, try shooting in the shade. It will help bring out your subject’s natural features.
3. Shoot on an overcast day
Clouds are considered nature’s softbox because they can help enrich colors and make smooth shadows.
4. Control the sun
If you must use that hard, bright light of the sun, try to control it through the placement of your subject. For example, by putting your subject directly in front of the sun you can make a silhouette.
5. Watch your background
Power lines, signs, garbage cans and trees can be serious distractions from the focus of the photograph. Make sure items in the background do not merge with your subject. For example, make sure a tree isn’t coming out of your subject’s head.
Practicing will always lead to improvement. Remember to always have fun, and if you love what you’re doing it will show in your work!
Pickett , James. “13 Tips for Improving Outdoor Portraits.” Digital Photography School. Web. 8 Apr 2014. <http://digital-photography-school.com/13-tips-for-improving-outdoor-portraits/>.