Photography Monthly's tip week: Perfect portraits, tip 1
This week here at Photography Monthly we will be looking at tips on how to produce the perfect portrait.
Today’s tip is about the all important eye contact:
Eye contact is very important; direct eye contact, with the subject looking down the lens, creates a sense of connection between the subject and the viewer. Just like when you’re walking down the street and you can feel someone looking at you draws your attention, so does the eye contact in portrait photography.
Direct eye contact isn’t a must though; there are other ways of using the eyes in portrait photography.
Having your portrait subject look off camera creates a sense of intrigue as the viewer wonders what the person is looking at, especially if there is an added emotion, such as laughter or upset. It makes the viewer feel as though they are an observer who wants to be let in on the secret or action.
Having your subject look at another person within the frame is also a very popular and effective mode of shooting eye contact. For example, a couple gazing at each other on their wedding day will portray love and evoke emotion in the viewer.
If you choose to go for no direct eye contact it can make the composition all the more interesting if you frame it so that there is space in the direction where the subject is looking off into. This almost suggests that whatever has their attention could appear in the frame any second, like a panning film camera.
Experiment with your portrait subject looking in different direction to see which has the most powerful effect for your shot.
Why not upload your experiments to our online gallery after and they could feature as our photo (or set) of the day?
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