Now that I showed you some portrait basics over here, I actually want to give you a little overview of some things you can use to make your portraits stand out.
It’s become a huge trend to not only shoot simple portraits but also play with light and shadows every now and then. You can easily do this with the help of some things you might already have at home.
So let’s talk about 5 creative portrait hacks you can use if you want to try something new.
#1 lead the light
Okay, you do see this one a lot recently, but I actually think it’s worth a mention. If you take an old (or new) CD of yours, you can actually create real rainbows. Just simply find a ray of sunlight and use the CD to reflect it onto your model.
The light will then separate into the colours of the rainbow and you can project it anywhere you want. Angles and light sources play a huge role here, so just simply try some different angles and places.
You can also use a prism to diffuse or reflect the light. That way you can also include some colour into your shoot.
#2 play with shadows
Shadows can change the whole character of an image in seconds and they can be found everywhere.
Especially at home, you might actually find a lot of utensils to get creative. My favourite ones are blinds, straw hats, lace and colanders. Each and every one of these things can cast a unique shadow.
If you’re outside and don’t have any things to use close-by, you can look out for trees and fences. They also cast artsy shadows.
#3 play with light
Let’s talk about the second thing that can change the mood of an image in seconds, light. There are different ways of playing with light.
You can, for example, place one or more coloured lights close to your model to create some moody pictures. You can also let your model work with the light-sources. Give them a fairy light or some kind of lamp or even let them paint with the light.
Again, if you’re outside, light sources can be found everywhere. For example, Ferris wheels, Christmas decor or light strings. You can also use street lights and illuminated advertising panels.
Furthermore, if you don’t want to shoot when it’s dark, shoot during the golden hour and play with the warm sunlight.
#4 explore reflections
Another thing that can be found at home or outside is reflections. You can either use a mirror to create some unusual images or search for reflections elsewhere.
Windows are great for photographing reflections, also water or glasses can be used depending on that you want to reflect. You can either show the reflection of your model or reflect something else onto it. Use glasses or pocket mirrors one the go.
The opportunities are endless and there are actually a lot of techniques to explore.
#5 place some things in
front of the lens
I’ve already broached this tip in my article about portrait basics, but you can also place some things in front of the camera. That creates a beautiful bokeh or blurry light.
I personally like to use trees and branches for that. Other things you could use would be prisms, string lights, smoke and windows.
However, there aren’t too many boundaries. Just place the things you like in front of the lens and explore the possibilities.
I really hope that you found some helpful tips! If you have any other ones feel free to share them in the comments.
Also, I am always open for new blog post ideas, so please make sure to leave a comment, too.
A huge thank you to all the models that allowed me to use the pictures I took of them. You can find their Instagram usernames in the image description.
And thanks to my boyfriend https://www.instagram.com/patroe_ for letting me use some of the portraits he took as examples!