Best 8 portrait photography tips you’ll never want to forget

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7. Build a rapport

If your model doesn’t feel comfortable, then the final shots aren’t going to work. Take time to chat with your subject before the shoot – have a cup of tea or coffee and talk over your ideas.

When the shoot begins, offer them direction – don’t just shoot away silently. Tell them what you want and how you want them to pose. Remember as well to show them shots of the back of the screen as this can build confidence.

8. Use a reflector

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No reflector: Without a reflector, the side of the face furthest from the window is noticeably deeper in shadow

No reflector: Without a reflector, the side of the face furthest from the window is noticeably deeper in shadow

Gold side: Gold gives off a warm glow, which works with the right subject, but looks unnatural in an indoor setup

Gold side: Gold gives off a warm glow, which works with the right subject, but looks unnatural in an indoor setup

Silver side: The silver side, being more reflective, bounces more light, and is slightly cooler than white

Silver side: The silver side, being more reflective, bounces more light, and is slightly cooler than white

White side: The white side of a reflector gives the most natural-looking results when shooting portraits

White side: The white side of a reflector gives the most natural-looking results when shooting portraits

A quick and affordable way to brighten up your portraits and to give them a professional look is to use a reflector. Use them indoors (near windows) or outdoors to bounce light back onto your subjects to fill in unwanted shadows.

Many reflectors come double-sided or with detachable covers, so you get a choice of white, silver and gold reflective surfaces. The white surfaces of reflectors can also double up as diffusers to soften strong direct sunshine.

If you’re really strapped for cash, you can make a reflector by simply using a large sheet of white cardboard – which you can also cover with tin foil for a silver effect – and it should still work a treat!

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