You can make a portrait of your model which you will like and be proud of or it could be a portrait made by you, which your model will be completely satisfied with. But why not to create a portrait which would be liked by you as an author, your model as a person who was doing her best to make it happen and the audience, who will give the thumbs up to the work of you both.
Before you start. It is necessary to build a contact with your model. It is a part of the photographer`s job to make model feel free in front of your camera. Talk to your model, make her be relaxed and try to find her inner beauty and the essence of her soul. Sometimes the cover girl you see in front of your camera might be a very romantic and shiny person inside. Make her show you this.
While choosing the locations, to my mind it is not obligatory to find the most trendy place in your city, but to find the place where you and your model will be free to interact creatively (here I`m not talking about the commercial shooting – it`s another case).
Emotions. Try to make your model produce the realistic emotions. Sometimes for this purpose we are playing a game “Imagine if…” I ask the model to imagine if the Brad Pitt is entering the door of the studio, what will be your reaction? You might get really nice facial expressions, depending on your assignment to imagine…
Eyes. One of the most important things in the portrait is the eyes. Make sure the eyes are visible and there is enough light on them. The eyes must be in focus and very sharp; you should put the focus on the eye which is closest to the camera.
Sometimes I ask models to smile with the eyes. It is something different than just a smiling mouth. Try this and you might be impressed with the result.
Imperfections. We are not perfect and many of your models will have some slight imperfections which you could hide with finding the best position to her. The model came to you to work, so twirl her around and try to figure out her “best sides”. Don`t make her think that selfies are her best friends. Photoshop is not a safeguard of successful portrait– try to do everything in the “manual mode” – it is way better than to manipulate in photo editors.
Dynamics. Than the wind blows and her hair starts moving like in a romantic and obsessive mood. Dancing and jumping in the picture is also a good issue but then point your model to remember fixing her facial expression to omit this awkward images with a “strange struggling face”.
Elements. Sometimes when you give an object to your model he/she could feel better and find the right position easier. For instance, if the model doesn`t know how to pose with her hands – give her a bottle of perfumes and see what she will do with it. Than it would be easier for her to pose.
Light. Photography is a work of light + photographer. No light – no photography. You can shape your model with the light – you just need to find the spot you want. It is one of the most important issues in photography, so let`s discuss the basics of light in another part of the photography course. Stay tuned.