The ABCs of Portraits

You may not know that photography can make you better at Scrabble.

Here are the ABC’S of portraiture. Some of these can score high, not just in your next Scrabble game, but with your portraiture.

 A is for Abstract

Portraits don’t have to be the whole face of a person. You can experiment with abstracting the face, highlighting her most beautiful feature.A is for abstract copyright Aloha Lavina

B is for Background

Backgrounds help to declutter a portrait, to make the subject stand out.

C is for Composition

Designing a composition that works is crucial in a portrait. Want to make people uncomfortable? Center the subject. But most of the time, avoid centering your subject and use basics like leading lines, to lead the eye to your subject.

D is for Depth of field

Controlling depth of field using your Aperture helps you make a portrait pop. A shallow aperture can give a portrait a creamy goodness that’s better than milk. (Well, almost.)D is for depth of field copyright Aloha Lavina.

E is for Environment

Don’t be afraid to go wide and include the environment. The surrounding space around a portrait can help give it story.

F is for Foreground

Not just background, but foreground can give your portrait impact. Selective inclusion of foreground elements can help you make a good composition.

G is for Grace

Graceful portraits make us look again, and again. One of the simplest ways to introduce grace into a photo is using lines. Another way is to ask the subject to position their hands in a certain way, like in this photo.G is for grace copyright Aloha Lavina

H is for High key

Overexpose the photo artfully for a stunningly bright high-key image.

I is for Intimacy

Get up close and tell a private story with your lens. Intimate portraits take us into the subject’s emotion and helps our audience connect with the stranger in the image.

J is for Juxtaposition

Introduce tension or harmony into the image using juxtaposition. This is putting two things side by side to compare or contrast them. Contrast can be a good way to add impact to a portrait.

Oh wait. This is only 10 letters of the alphabet. If you want the rest of the alphabet, I guess you better get my free ebook!

Enjoy.

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About Aloha

I am a photographer and writer currently based in Bangkok, Thailand. My work has appeared in CNNGo, Canon's PhotoYou magazine, Seventeen magazine, The Korea Times, Thailand Tatler, and a few photography books including recently Blogging for Creatives, a book published in the UK. I believe there is nothing you cannot imagine that you cannot do.

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