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 for 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.
Make Your Model’s Face Stand Out With Makeup or Face Paint
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 Using a Zoom Lens
The wrong equipment will make your close-ups look distorted 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 for a Softer Focus
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.
Use Direct Light to Create Stunning Portrait Lighting Patterns
Direct light and patterns work very well together. You might find that your close-ups look dull. You can make them look more interesting using custom shadows of your own making.
For this idea, you can get as creative as you like. All you need is bright sunlight and something to cover your model’s face with.
The object should have some kind of pattern. That way, you can experiment with different shadows.
You can use curtains, hats, window blinds, hair, and so on. The more unusual the patterns, the easier it will be to take unique close-up portraits.
Make Your Photos Diverse Using Different Facial Expressions
The right facial expressions can make your close-ups look joyful, mysterious, or thought-provoking. A subtle eyebrow movement can turn a curious expression into a suspicious one. A shy smile can make a dull portrait look exciting.
To master the art of facial expressions, use references. You can use film stills, stock photos of facial expressions, or your own imagination.
You can’t expect your model to try out different expressions. Especially not at the beginning of your photoshoot. To make everyone feel comfortable, start with normal expressions.