The chaos in the city can be a good place to photograph portraits. The results you will get will be successful if: you use quality equipment and accessories, you know how to choose the person you want to pose and how to highlight their gaze and if of course you take into account the light source, how it falls on the subject, but also why it is seen in the background.
If you like to take pictures, there will definitely be times when it will be necessary to make portraits in the city, outdoors, which means that the light will not be as easy to control as in the studio. The following tips can be a good guide for you, if you want the most successful images:
Use quality equipment
In order to succeed in such a photo on the street, it is important to use a quality camera, which is able to capture all the details well. You need to be especially careful when using alternative light sources, as in such cases it is recommended that your gadget be equipped with a lens that has a larger aperture, such as 50 mm f1 / 8 or f1 / 4 .
In general, when it comes to street photography, it is preferable to have lenses that are 50 or 85 mm, with a diaphragm as bright as possible.
These accessories are highly sought after by photographers. They allow light control and help improve contrast.
The silver ones can be used successfully outdoors and if placed correctly will provide a cool light. For portrait photos, a 30 cm variant might be enough. White blinds can give the image a more natural and pleasant look and help eliminate shadows, and gold ones will help you make the best frames when the sun shines brightly, because they reflect warm light.
If you want the portrait of the surprised person to be "dressed" by a light as natural as possible, then this accessory must be positioned on the opposite side to the one from which the natural light comes. This way you will get much more pleasant effects.
Blende can be helpful when you want to remove shadows or create them, when you want to highlight certain parts of the face or when you want to get all kinds of effects.
Choose the subject carefully
A portrait photograph involves working with a human subject. You need a person to help you build the desired framework. Ideally, you should turn to someone you know, because the closer the relationship is, the greater the relaxation and the better your indications will be understood.
But there are also situations in which you may turn to a person you simply see on the street. If someone draws your attention, approach that individual and see if they agree to be surprised by your goal. Something interesting might come out.
The approach to the subject, in such a situation, must be done carefully. First study that person a little, think about how you could approach it, try to have a little dialogue first. In the event that you receive a refusal, do not insist, because not everyone feels comfortable with such actions.
At the same time, try to appeal to individuals who seem to have time for this, not who run on the street and it is obvious that they are in a hurry.
Take into account the emphasis you put on the subject's eyes
Since we are talking about portraits, definitely the eyes of the target person are extremely important. They need to be the center of attention. It is necessary to stand out as well as possible, to be clear, to be surprised in the most interesting and pleasant way.
A portrait photo must convey a state, an emotion, and the expressiveness of the subject is very important, which is why the model you choose must be as relaxed as possible and help you from this point of view.
Use street lights
You can take very successful pictures at night, if you take advantage of the effects that can be given by street lighting. It doesn't matter if you have a flash or not, if you are good at photography, alternative lighting sources will definitely "work" for your benefit and you will get very good results.
The idea is that you have to learn to perceive light in the most creative way possible and to think of an idea to take a successful picture even with the source coming from a street sign or a store. Keep in mind that the tougher shadows are given by a smaller size of lighting, and the softer ones by a more generous one.
Be careful in the background
In the studio you have full control over what happens behind the subject, but when we talk about the photos taken on the street, things are not as simple.
If it is a less circulated area, you may not have problems, in the sense that you will not wake up when you do not expect someone in the frame. But you have to be very careful about buildings, elements of nature, etc.
When we talk about circulating areas, things are a bit more difficult, because the elements in the background will constantly change and you have to be careful what you surprise so that you get the ideal image.
Regarding the background, you could get very beautiful and interesting results in the evening, if you use all kinds of lighting sources in the city (headlights of traffic cars, lanterns in the park, etc.).
So, if you want to get the most captivating portraits, first of all buy the right equipment, then the accessories that could help you. You can buy both a high-performance camera and a photo blind from online stores, where you will enjoy very good prices and various offers.
Then, it is very important to choose carefully the subject you want to photograph, to focus on his eyes and to be very attentive to the alternative light sources, but also to the background.