Follow these tips for a great DIY portrait!
Seek Soft Diffused Light
- Avoid direct sunlight – it will result in squinting eyes and harsh shadows
- Ideally, your subject should be just inside the shade, facing the open sky – no squinting yet beautifully illuminated
- If your door is west-facing, you could consider taking the photo in the last hour before sunset, when there is a beautiful, soft, golden light
- Clouds act as natural diffusers, resulting in softer, more even light, so a cloudy day can also help
Check Your Settings
- Use the best camera you can get your hands on (consider resolution, sensor and lens). The aim is for a quality image worth printing!
- Most smart phones nowadays have excellent inbuilt cameras and will do a great job under the right lighting conditions
- If using a digital camera be sure to check settings to ensure highest resolution JPEGs. Settings may include image quality and image size
Don’t Say “cheese!”
- If one thing ensures an awkward grin, it’s asking your subject to smile! Instead engage, have fun and help them relax before you take the photo
- You could try a classic portrait, with a natural expression. Or get creative and have fun! Include a prop to signify a hobby / bring out their personality
- Ensure focus is on your subject’s face!
- Avoid sunglasses and caps so they are easily recognisable