Portraiture on Location
♡ Natural Lighting ♡
- Avoid direct sunlight as this causes harsh shadows.
- Shooting in the morning or early evening is the most effective for portraiture, this will be the points where the sun isn’t as strong and will be the most flattering for the model.
- The shade of trees will also cause the light to be softer, therefore more flattering. Depending on what mood you want your images to have, where you need shadows to fall on a model’s face will change.
- Rim Lighting – Balanced lighting, placing the model in front of the sun so there is a glow around the model.
- Using shadows from unusual shapes can help add creativity to your images.
In the above image I have used natural lighting in the early afternoon; this has caused the lighting to give a soft lighting effect which is most flattering for the models face, with no hash shadows being cast on her face. I have also used a leaf, taken from the trees in the background, this is to add an element of creativity and to also add the effect that the model is blending into the background well.
♡ Background ♡
- Although the background can add personality, it also shouldn’t distract attention away from the subject.
- Opening the lens aperture will cause the background to be slightly out of focus, which will help remove any obvious distractions like road signs or other people in the background.
- Link the background to the model – match clothing with colours in the backgrounds
- Capturing your images in a quiet location will avoid unwanted, busy backgrounds; this also will result in not having to worry about model release forms for anyone but your model.
- The model will feel much more comfortable if they aren’t surrounded by people watching them.
In the above image I found the path through the middle of the image slightly distracting, to avoid this area of the image becoming a main focus I used a large aperture to ensure the background was slightly blurred and out of focus, ensuring the model is the only area in perfect focus.