From studying may blogs and writings by professionals there's a common thread running through the process that they all take - and it boils down to three steps.
- Decide on the pose you want. Ultraclose head shot, head and shoulders, full length portait and so on.
- Decide on your equipment and location. What lens should you choose? Is he background integral to the scene?
- Determine your lighting. Natural/ daylight? Flood lights and/ or flash?
Now chat to your subject and help them to relax and enter into the spirit of the occasion.
Here's more of what the experts say...
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So let's look at just one effect - it's called Bokeh. That's when the background of a picture is out of focus compared to the main subject. Let's see it in action.
||Here we have two portraits taken in the same lighting conditions.
The strong spring sunlight has been diffused by the overhanging trees.
On the left the picture is more or less in focus front to back.
On the right the background is out of focus and so seems diffuse.
This helps the viewer's eye to concentrate on the central image - the portrait.
How do you do it with your camera?
If you have an 'A' or 'M' control then set your aperture as wide open as conditions allow.
If you have 'scene' modes then select the Portrait setting.
If you have neither then get in close so that the background seems further away.
If all else fails then fake it with post processing.