For beginners, here’s how special effects can be achieved quickly and easily. Your photos will be real eye-catchers.
It’s finding the right light and the perfect spot
The right light is essential for a perfect portrait photo. Because only with the right light can a certain mood be created – dramatic or light, high-contrast or moody. So start every shoot by looking for the best possible lighting conditions.
Optimal light source: daylight
Natural daylight is always my favorite light source. For a perfect beauty portrait, I recommend a well-lit place with soft light.
See places with different eyes
You can recognize such spots quickly if you look at your selected shooting location with half-closed eyes (blurred view). Or – if you can focus your lens manually – go into the blur with the focus. In this way, you can see the best spots of light directly.
The formula for a perfect portrait
3 x L is my magic formula for a perfect portrait photo – light, location, and love.
Soft Light versus Hard Light
Soft light is better than hard light for beauty portraits, as it has the same effect as a soft-focus filter: the skin appears smoother, dark circles are reduced and imperfections are concealed. Do not place the model indirect light or in direct sun.
Use a softbox to help soften the light
There are of course aids to softening the light. For example through a softbox. This is a photo accessory that is used to evenly illuminate subjects. It breaks up the light and thereby makes it softer. But you can also achieve this effect naturally – for example with clouds, which also break the sunlight. Or do you happen to have white curtains on the windows at home that let the light through? Jackpot! You can also use this as your personal softbox.
Hard light in turn gives a portrait photo more drama. When it comes to highlighting a person’s personality, you may be able to tease out certain traits with this light. To do this, place your model in direct sunlight because you can play with light and shadow.
Note: If the light is too strong, this setup can make it uncomfortable for your model and cause them to squint.
Avoid the midday sun
If you take photos outside, be sure to avoid the blazing midday sun. Because that is tough light that comes from high above. This ensures that the eyes (sockets) lack light from the front. And for me the eyes are an important factor for a beautiful portrait, after all, they are the gateway to the soul. Better: Look for partial shade – roofs, overhangs, trees, balconies or house entrances that block the light from above. Alternatively, you can just wait a little while until the sun is lower.