Ep 237: How to create the perfect portrait in seven simple steps

What are the steps you need to take to create the perfect portrait? In this episode, Gina and Valerie discuss the seven steps that will ensure that you get the perfect portrait – every time. It’s not just about the lighting and posing, it’s also about what you’re trying to say (or what your client wants to say) about your subject.

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Show Notes

Step 1. Decide what you are trying to say

  • What kind of portrait are you creating and what are you trying to say?
  • Is it a candid image that documents or preserves a moment in time?
  • Is it a commercial portrait used to sell a personal brand?
  • Is it a lifestyle/fashion portrait that will be used to sell an emotion?
  • By defining exactly what you are trying to say before you shoot you can then focus on how you will shoot.

Step 2. Decide on how you are going to say it

  • List all the positive qualities of your model
  • Decide on best wardrobe choices to convey these qualities

3. Choose the right background

  • The backdrop is another opportunity to give subtle visual cues to support what we are saying
  • It’s important that the model is not fighting with the background for attention.
  • The wrong location can also send a confusing message
  • Add details to support your story.

4. Lighting

5. Focus

6. Energy and attitude

  • Energy is the next level in a portrait, without it, the portrait look flat
  • Energy is a genuine smile
  • Sparkle in the eyes

7. Post-production

  • Basic editing can lift a portrait and remove colour casts or brighten skin tones
  • Minimum set your camera to shoot Raw + Jpeg and set jpeg quality to portrait mode.
  • One click presets are a good way to start
  • The correct white balance and minor skin retouching using Lightroom or photoshop
  • Will take your images to the next level.


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About Gina

About Gina

Gina Milicia is one of the most widely known and respected photographers in Australia. She is the master of capturing that ‘magical moment’... READ MORE

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