3 Common Mistakes a Rookie Portrait Photographer Must Avoid
Photography, especially portrait photography, isn’t always about technical skills or advanced camera features and functionality. It involves a human element, and your success as a portrait photographer largely depends on how well you connect with the subject. I started my career as an amateur photographer, learning from the mistakes I’ve made along the way. I gradually progressed to become a professional photographer with hundreds of photo shoots added to my repertoire. Some of the common mistakes most rookie photographers make would include:
- Don’t Cast Everyone in the Same Mold:
The traits that make us human are the traits that make us unique. Every person is unique, each with his or her qualities, likes and dislikes, and perceptions. As a professional photographer, I have learned that what works for one person doesn’t always work for another. Understanding this helped me find the best angle, capture subtle expressions, or find the best pose. A portrait photographer has to give his subject the time and space to be themselves and get comfortable. A few photographs, especially the first few ones may be bad, but that’s alright. As people open up, you’ll eventually find the best angles.
- Give Importance to the Setting:
The setting is as important as the subject because it gives perspective. It could be their home, their office, a place where they like to relax, a favorite room in the house, or even the street – the setting helps viewers understand the person and even gives them some information about their lives. Always strike a balance between setting and subject. Don’t allow the environment to dominate so much that the subject is lost.
- Focus On The Eyes:
A professional photographer never fails to pay attention to the eyes because that’s what draws people to a photo. The eyes should be sharp and focused. If you’re used to autofocus, maybe it’s time to move out of your comfort zone and try manual focus – especially if the subject is fixed and you’re working on a tripod. You could also use the sign point autofocus feature to get the camera cursor to point directly towards the subject’s eyes.
What are some rookie mistakes that you’ve made? Share them with us!