5 things to remember when shooting portraits

As I take more portraits, there are number of things that are standing out as important for a good portrait shot:

1. Model has to wear something that stands out – wearing bright colors helps. A different type of attire (eg: saree or pretty jewellery) can also add that zing to an otherwise bland shot.

2. Model has to feel comfortable to give natural poses – I almost think it helps a lot if you have another person with you whose sole job is to engage the model and put him/her at ease. Posed shots rarely look good, unless you’re shooting a professional model. Going for a short coffee before the shoot to put him/her at ease with you is a great idea.

3. Shoot early in the morning or at sunset – The light is beautiful and gentle at this time and adds a lot to the overall shot. 10am onwards, it starts getting harsh, more overhead, and creates unnecessary shadows.

4. Have a theme in mind for each photo – each photograph should tell a story. Having some pre-decided themes before the shoot goes a long way in getting interesting frames during the shoot. It’s great if you can keep these themes in sync with the model’s personality. Think lots of flower shots for someone very feminine, and a more edgy shoot for someone more tomboyish.

5. Try a lot of different angles – I usually go through a number of samples online before a shoot to get new ideas. There are so many angles from where you can shoot a person – up, down, sideways, front, close-up, far off, etc etc etc. Try all of them!

Here are the photographs of my friend Nidhi Srivastava, whom I photographed just a few days back:

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Outdoor photoshoot in Philly – II

Spring is officially here and it only makes sense to take full advantage of the lovely mornings! 🙂 This was my second photoshoot in Philly, and I’m slowly beginning to see things that can help in taking good portraits. The biggest challenge is always how to get the subect comfortable in front of the camera. I love capturing candid moments and getting your ‘model’ to open up and feel free remains the single biggest factor that determines the goodness of a photograph.

Following are the photographs of a good friend, Christine Fok:

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The mayhem behind the show

I photographed the backstage activity for the Wharton Charity Fashio Show this year. It is quite a spectacle backstage! The models need to change within a matter of a few seconds between their rounds on the ramp. The designers and artists scramble amongst the models. There’s a lot of movement and madness behind! Lot of nervous laughter, anxious waiting when waiting to get on the ramp, and high fiving to cheer eachother up.

As someone who loves to take candid shots, I really enjoyed the experience! It is challenging as the lighting is terrible, and it’s close to impossible to get the shot you want as there’s always a ton of obstacles in front or behind. It’s critical to have a fast lens. It’s again critical to be quick on your feet, and have enough space on your card to take as many images as you can and then sort them later. I also realized I need to soon invest in a good mounted flash to help in these low light conditions.

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Snapshots from here and there

Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa

Golden water

En route Lion’s Head, Cape Town, South Africa

Blue waters

En route Table Top Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

Sun and water

Atop table top mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

Clouds and Mountains

View from Table Top Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

Sunset

Sunset at Table Top Mountain, Cape Town, South Africa

Spider and web

Giant spiders in Kruger Park, South Africa

Spider

Another spider in Kruger Park, South Africa