Taking close up portraits of people in an intimate setting can get awkward if you don’t know how to approach the genre.
We’ve put together this list of close-up portrait photography tips to make your life easier. You can make your models feel comfortable and take amazing photos at the same time.
In close-up photography, it’s easy to notice flaws, textures, and other details. These don’t stand out as much in traditional portrait photography.
Before your photo shoot, make sure that your model is happy with the way they look. The more confident they are, the better your close-ups will look.
You can boost their confidence using makeup, creative face paint, or fake textures. For example, you can use black eyeliner and yellow eyeshadow to make blue eyes pop. You can add a little blush to pale cheeks to make your subject look younger.
Avoid using too much foundation, mascara, and concealer. These will make your subject’s face look cakey and unnatural. This will result in unflattering close-ups.
You can also enhance your model’s face using makeup techniques. You can try fake freckles (drawn with an eyebrow pencil) or puffy eyes.
Take Face Close-Ups
The wrong equipment will make your close-ups look and unflattering. If you take a close up portrait using a wide-angle lens, it might affect your subject’s proportions. Their nose or chin might end up looking bigger than the rest of their face.
This is the perfect effect for funny photography. But it’s not great for conventional portrait photographers!
For the best results, use a zoom (also known as telephoto) lens for portraits. This will allow you to take photos from a distance. And it’ll give your subject space to move around without feeling claustrophobic.
Use a Large Aperture
Close up portrait photography doesn’t come with a set of rules. You can use any photography techniques you like. It’s important to note a few things about aperture and closeups to make the most of your photoshoot.
If you use a large aperture, such as f/1.4, your camera will be able to focus on only so much.
If you like the soft-focus effect, make sure you use manual focus. That way, you can capture the right details, such as the model’s eyes.
For those who want a very sharp close up portrait, a small aperture (such as f/8.0).
Like textures and details, lighting stands out more in close-up photography. If you shoot from the right angles, you’ll be able to shape your model’s face. You can create a sense of mystery, and add depth to your portraits.
There are different types of natural light you can work with. One of the most effective ones for this genre is a sidelight. All you need is a window (or an open door) and soft light. Cloudy and sunny days are perfect for this.
Your model should sit next to the light source without facing it completely. The light should hit half of their face and then naturally fade out into the other.
This will create a beautiful transition. It’ll make your portraits look like more than a flat picture.