Outdoor portrait photographs have a charm all their own. You get to photograph your subject in the midst of nature and can choose from an endless range of backgrounds. Also as opposed to studio portraits, the subjects can be more free and spontaneous which produces more natural portraits with rich vivid colors all around. Here are 5 tips that can help you to get beautiful outdoor portrait photographs.
Prefer the shade
While getting outdoor portrait photographs, shooting in very bright sunlight can create rather harsh portraits. Preferably shoot in the shade of trees or buildings, or on a cloudy day. The ambient light is enough to get good pictures and allows your subject to pose comfortably and look at the camera without squinting. Also, you can play around with the shadows in the background, creating different illusions or moods. Just make sure the background does not overshadow your subject.
Though not absolutely necessary in daytime outdoor photography, using a flash can enhance the quality of your photographs. Especially when shooting in the shade or early evening, it would light up areas that are shadowed on your subject and lead to better portraits.
Select the background
In outdoor portrait photographs you have the advantage of selecting from an endless range of natural settings. You could shoot on the beach, the hills, grass, gardens, desert, or an urban backdrop. Depending on the look you want, select the background. Nature themed backdrops add a certain innocence and freshness to the portrait whereas an urban setting gives you a more sophisticated or dramatic effect.
When shooting outdoor portrait photographs, the background colors are natural are cannot be changed. Hence you need to ensure your subject is wearing clothes and makeup that stand out against it. For example, if you are shooting in a grassy backdrop, make sure your model it not wearing green clothes. He/she would just blend into the background and make for a poor portrait. Try to get a combination of colors that enhance the subject’s features and keep the focus on him/her.
RAW images are those that are captured by the camera without any manipulations or adjustments made by the camera. They reflect exactly the same frame the camera captured. This allows you to make any corrections, if required, in post production and thus ensures your pictures are only manipulated once, if at all. It helps keep the photographs as natural as possible and maintain the quality of the images too.