Photography and portraits are the ideal marriage, at least while they coexist peacefully within the limits of the frame. The poses, looks, gestures and sensations that this type of photography is capable of transmitting are easily threatened by carelessness or errors that can put an end to this exciting coexistence.

The problem arises when, more confident in obtaining the final photograph you have in your mind than in working to achieve it, you overlook certain details that can end up leading to divorce for this magnificent union.

That is why in today's article I have prepared a list of the most frequent mistakes in portrait photography so that the next time you are about to take them, you do not shake this beautiful relationship.

But before continuing, you can't miss this mega guide on portrait photography  with all the tips and tricks, and much more than you can imagine.

Now pay attention to the following portrait photography mistakes so that you can avoid them in the future. And notice the importance of not doing it, appreciating the beautiful photographs that have been able to successfully draw them:

1. Ignoring the backgrounds: It doesn't matter how professional your model is and the spectacular poses she does for you if any element of the frame takes away from it. Ignoring the background in your portrait photos can be a blunder. Try to minimize or eliminate from the frame all those elements that could distract the viewer from your protagonist. The more the model contracts with the fund, the more attention will be focused on it . Try to use large f-stops (greater blur) or smooth/uniform backgrounds .

A good background background dresses the portrait

2. Just focus on the photos: In portrait photography, the interaction between the model and the photographer is everything, even more than the resulting photos. If you can't connect with your model, your portrait photos will suffer. It is very important that you strive to make your models feel comfortable, calm and confident. If you notice that your model is a little tense, try to talk to him and give him confidence, or bring him closer to some object or element with which he can interact so that he feels calmer and "forgets" that you are there. portraying it. In this way, your photos will not only come out more natural, but the experience of working with you will be more pleasant.

3. Not working with colors: colors are another important compositional element that you cannot ignore when working with your models. These can help your model gain strength or, on the contrary, if you ignore them, lose it. Use colors to contrast your model and thus highlight their poses. If you are taking your photos in a park, try to contrast the green grass with blue tones or, if what you want is to make it get lost among these, try putting a green dress on it in order to highlight a particular feature, its look, etc Take the test, the results will surprise you.

Green background and green cape highlight the subject

4. Breaking the rules: While the rule of thirds is a rule to be broken, in portrait photography it may be better to leave it intact. Placing your model in the center of the frame will take away expression and surprise from the photograph. Place it in the points of greatest attraction within the frame in order to enhance the sensations that it transmits in each of its poses. Breaking the rules is an art , but respecting them is too.

5. Do not cut heads: do not worry that you will not go to jail. A very effective way to create some tension in your portraits is by cutting off part of the head, letting the attention focus on the most striking aspects of the face. Cut slightly above the forehead and focus the gaze on the eyes. Cheer up, start chopping heads .

Cutting heads is not a mistake, do not encourage yourself to do it if.

6. Missing the details: in a portrait photograph, the entire model does not always have to appear within the frame, since there are certain details that deserve to be focused on. Do not overlook them! As you get closer to your model, using a very close-up or a detail shot, you will be able to focus attention on that striking and characteristic element of your subject, be it their lips, their nose or their eyes, or any other trait that deserves to be portrayed. Of course, be careful not to add elements that distract the eye or do not add anything to the photograph. keep simple.

Don't overlook the details

7. Blind them: direct light on the eyes is very annoying, so try at all costs not to blind your models. Whether using a flash, a spotlight or a reflector, make sure that the light does not force you to squint, since in this way, you will not be able to be comfortable and look natural. If you haven't mastered your flash yet, don't worry here is “ Everything You Need to Know About Flash for Portrait Photography ”. While it is true that the more light the better, this is not always the case. The important thing is to use the necessary light to be able to achieve the shots you have in mind.

8. Not focusing the gaze: the model's gaze acts as a magnet for the viewer so, if they are not fully focused, they can ruin your shots. Keep in mind that the gaze concentrates its attention on those objects or subjects in focus and although it is true that it is not always necessary for the eyes to be completely clear, especially if you try to direct the viewer's gaze towards another point such as the mouth of the model, if the gaze is visible, it will attract the attention of the viewer directly. The look transmits many sensations so I recommend that you do not ruin them. Pay special attention to this small detail, especially when working with a very shallow depth of field (very large apertures: f/1.4, f/1.8, etc.).

The look says a lot about the model

9. Do not look for perfection: if something in the shot has not convinced you, do not let it go by because, in portrait photography, that detail can make the difference. Whether it's a strand of hair on your model's face or a background detail out of place, try to correct it, but without cutting into the dynamics of the shot or interrupting the model. Everything should seem natural, even the mistakes.

The whole is more than the sum of the parts

10. Do not change the perspective: although it is very common, when using a certain plane, to be at the level of the protagonist's eyes, this does not mean that you can get out of the script a little and encourage yourself to change the perspective in your compositions . Cheer up, you will see that the results are surprising and out of the ordinary!

A chopped perspective will give your portraits more vertigo

11. Constantly reviewing the photographs: constantly reviewing how the photographs have turned out will not only take away the dynamism of the session, but will also convey the feeling that you are not very sure doing your job. Make a correct metering and exposure and check the framingwith a first test shot (explain to the model that this shot is a test shot), check the photo to see that everything is correctly adjusted, but get rid of the bad habit of constantly doing it. You should avoid any type of practice that undermines the dynamism of the portrait photography session, since the more dynamic your sessions are, the better the inspiration will flow for both parties: the model and yourself. Avoid all kinds of obstacles that could interrupt it.

12. Capture only her body (and not her essence): portrait photography is not limited to portraying the faces or the curves of the models, but quite the opposite. The portraits that cause the greatest impact are those that manage to capture and convey the essence of the person being photographed. The direction of the gaze, the expression of his face and his gestures, the position of his arms, the opening of his mouth, the hairstyle, etc. They are a lot of elements that will help you enhance the feelings and messages that your portraits should carry implicitly. After all, photography without a message is just an image. There are several ways to capture emotions, here are some of them: " Tricks To Fill A Photo With Emotion ".

transmit emotions

13. Not looking for inspiration: not looking for inspiration before a photo session is like going for a run without warming up beforehand. Inspiration for a portrait photographer is as important as their ability to improvise, in fact, it is an excellent way to boost the imagination and to allow you to work freely: the more time you plan your shots and what you are looking for with them, the more time you can dedicate to it. to what you know best: taking photos. Look for references about how other photographers have done the same or similar work to the one you are about to start. The search for inspiration is the most important part of the preparation, do not overlook it.

14. Being just the photographer: your work as a portrait artist is not limited to just pressing the shutter button on your camera, but it goes much further, you must become the director of the entire scene. Take the reins of production and worry about getting the best out of all the people around you. Maintaining a comfortable and pleasant environment when working will increase the chances that the final result will be a success.

15. Not being yourself: the worst thing you can do as a photographer is: stop being yourself. It doesn't matter how many tips, tricks and techniques you acquire, how many other colleagues' works you study, how many books you read or how many photos you take if, after all that, you don't feel that your imprint has been embodied in your photographs. Dare to explore the most hidden places within your imagination and let your creativity flourish. Do not be afraid, experiment, try, spoil photos, but never stop having fun. You are an incredible photographer, you just need to realize it.

Be true to your inner photographer

If you never stop being yourself, photography and portrait marriage, you will have obtained your beloved godfather!

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