How To Create Dramatic Portraits(VIDEO)

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How To Create Dramatic Portraits

Whatever the setting, three factors are crucial: light, pose and expression. For most portraits, the light should ideally be diffused but directional. Explore simple, effective methods of building a dramatic photographic portrait like silver screen portraits of classic Hollywood with Bowens lighting and light shapers.

Tony walks you through how to do this one light at a time and provides inspiration for your own future shoots.

Got only one light? No problem, you can make stunning portraits. Join Tony Corbell as he guides you with tips and techniques on how to maximise one light source for a simple, yet beautiful portrait effect with an homage to Leonardo Da Vinci.

How to create Dramatic Portrait

Read: Portrait Photography for Beginners

How To Create Portraits Top Tips

  • Natural sittings, indoors or out, produce more natural portraits
  • Indoors, use natural window light, with reflectors to light the shadows
  • Outside, shoot in the shade or with the sun behind the subject
  • Pose the subject in a place that looks natural and feels comfortable
  • Try to elicit natural expressions through directions, don’t ask for smiles on demand.

Neutral-coloured backgrounds work well with any colour of clothing. They can also be mixed to coordinate with the subject’s clothing choice.

Find a natural pose that suits your model. Some people are comfortable standing, others look more comfortable sitting. Take care of hand placement as some people become self-conscious about them when being photographed. Give them something to do with their hand, such as holding a book, or resting their chin gently on a palm.

Facial expression is vital, though this doesn’t necessarily mean smiling. A natural smile is great, but a forced one is worse than no smile at all. Take lots of pictures to increase the chances of getting a good shot.

ABOVE AND FACING PAGE – Including some foreground and background elements enhances the sense of depth and realism. Hair lights are used to improve separation and enhance the luminance of long hair.

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Share! And we hope you pick up some helpful tips.

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