#2 Give directions to your subject
Let’s face it, most people are not confident or even comfortable being in front of the camera. Providing gentle directions to the person you are photographing can help them relax. Keep your directions simple and positive. If you don’t know any poses, focus on one thing to improve each shoot. Perhaps you ask your subject to lift their chin to provide a more flattering view of their face. A little positive direction goes a long way.
#3 Find a clean background that contrasts with the subject
Backgrounds are extremely important in creating pleasing portraits. The key role of the background is to provide context to the environment the person is occupying and make them stand out. Finding a clean background that provides contrast with your subject is crucial.
Some things to be mindful of:
- Branches, poles or other objects may look like they are growing out of your subject’s head, depending on where they are in the image. Try to frame the shot so that your subject’s head is distanced from distracting elements.
- Try to find colors or tones that either complement or contrast your subject’s skin tones and clothing.