If you aspire to be a professional portrait photographer, the most important thing is learning basic and advanced photography techniques. However, in addition to this, there are some simple points you need to keep in mind that would go a long way in helping you become a successful professional portrait photographer.
Plan the look
Decide the look you want for your portrait well before you shoot. When doing this keep in mind what kind of portrait you are shooting – wedding portraits, senior portraits, family portraits, baby portraits and so on. For example, for wedding portraits the look would be romantic, happy and celebratory. Family portraits should exude warmth and togetherness. If possible, discuss this with the subject in advance.
Select a location
Select the location for the shoot based on the look you want for the portrait photograph. Try to find something that would provide a great background for your portrait. If you are shooting portraits of children or seniors , you could find a place that has significance in the subject’s life –– a playground they frequent, a house they grew up in, or a soccer field where they won a match. Use props whenever necessary.
Go prepared for the shoot
This is probably the most important tip any aspiring professional photographer should remember. Make a list of what you need including your camera, lighting equipment, extra lenses, external flash, props, or any other equipment you plan to use. Get along an assistant if you need one. Be at the location well before the subject so that you have time to set up your equipment before they arrive. Try and be relaxed at the time of the shoot.
Rapport with subject
Speak to your subject before and during the shoot so that you build a rapport and know a little bit about them. It will make them more comfortable and you will get more natural looking portraits. Talk to them about different poses and what you feel would be the best angles to photograph
, show them some of the pictures while shooting. Also, if they have something in mind, try it out. Not only will you capture the best in your subjects but also ensure they will recommend you to their friends and family.
Take lots of pictures
Again, something every aspiring professional photographer should do with a digital camera – take lots of pictures. A photograph captures a fraction of a second and you never know when you will strike gold