Five photography tips you’ll wish someone told you sooner

Tips & Techniques

There are plenty of tips and tricks that will help you get better shots. But here are five lesser known, yet amazing tricks for all portrait photographers out there. In this video, Miguel Quiles gives you five tips that will take your portraits to a whole new level. And once you try them out, you’ll wish someone told you about them sooner.

1. Use Continuous Drive mode

Most photographers use the Single Shot mode when taking portraits. However, the Continuous Drive mode could be a better idea. It lets you capture all the micro-transitions and subtle changes in the model’s face and thus catch the perfect moment on camera. You can pick the best shot when you’re back home at your computer. This is especially useful if you’re shooting portraits where perfect timing is crucial (like these milk and honey portraits, for example (nsfw links)).

2. Develop a poker face

Imagine taking a test shot of the model and displaying the image on your screen. You realize that you need different settings because the image is too dark, or you need to stand elsewhere to get a better composition. Your face shows that you’re not pleased with the image, but guess what – your model might think that it’s something about them.

As a photographer, you have to think about lots of things before, during and after the shoot. But while you’re taking photos, don’t let your doubts and negative thoughts show on your face. It could get your model discouraged and insecure and it will decrease your chance of getting the perfect shot.

3. Use the “eye chart” technique

Sometimes, the person you’re photographing can have an awkward “deer in the headlights” expression. To make the portraits look more natural, Miguel uses what he calls the “eye chart” technique. He asks his models to pretend that they’re looking at the eye chart at ophthalmologist. Looking down the imaginary chart makes the models squint their eyes a bit so they look more natural.

4. Tether as much as possible

Tethered shooting gives you a totally different insight into your work. It allows you to see your photos on a much larger screen than your camera’s LCD as you shoot them. This way, you’ll see more clearly if there’s anything that needs to be fixed, and you’ll be able to fix it immediately.

5. Let your model play a character

You can let your model play a character from a movie, for example. But even better, you can give them a hypothetical situation and have them play a role within it. This way, you’ll get to capture exactly the expressions you want.

I’d like to add that playing a character can make your model more relaxed and make the shoot mode fun for them. I’m saying this from experience because this is what I do when taking self-portraits or speaking in front of the camera. It makes things less awkward and I have much more fun if I imagine that I’m playing a role.

What do you think of these tips? Are you gonna try any of them for your next shoot? Or perhaps you already use them? Share your thoughts in the comments.

[5 MORE Portrait Photography HACKS You’ll Wish You Knew Sooner! |Miguel Quiles]

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