The market opportunities for Portrait photography are now so enormous, that they
include every dwelling where you live. Everyone wants his or her photograph taken
for some reason, or the other. Not only can you target every building, but also it
is a type of business where repeat business potential is also enormous. Parents now
repeat the opportunities for formal portraits; add to that is that they have more
than one child, the possibilities for repeat business is also enormous.
It is a business that you can start very easily from home; it means that you are
not working in outdoor inclement weather conditions. The equipment you need is
comparatively modest. A camera, good lenses, a tripod, two or three lights and
several pieces of cloth that will make various backdrops. Not only is the equipment
modest it is also light if you have to transfer it to an event outside your home.
The most important rule to remember is that it is a portrait, not necessarily of
just the head, but the person, or group is the focal part of the picture, so it
is important to take the photograph without any extraneous clutter. Because you
will always be dealing with people you have to maintain control, not as a
tyrant, but you have to guide your subjects. Therefore a certain degree of self-
confidence is necessary. If you are taking a formal portrait of a group of
children it is necessary for you as the photographer to ensure that none of the
children are making faces.
When you have signed up a person for a photographic portrait take a few extra
shots, and offer them as wallet or purse photographs at a smaller fee. You
already have the start business capitalise on it, few people can resist the
feeling that they have got "something for nothing". This may seem a waste of
time; they can be important additives for your portfolio.
Portrait photography has undergone many changes of style since the introduction
of the formal portrait. The modern emphasis is to bring out each individual's
personality. Top glamour models are paid enormous fees to express a distinctive
personality, but to bring that aspect forward in your subject is as much about
people skills as camera techniques. It is imperative to be able to create a rapport
with your subject to bring out the expressions that display their personality.
Anyone over the age of two can pose for the camera, with a vacuous expression,
but the secret of saleable portrait photography is capturing more than the pose.
To be a really good portrait photographer you have to be able to connect with
people, if you have not got these skills, then it is better that you concentrate
on some other types of photography.
If you want to flatter your subject, you'll probably want to minimize their
nose. Stand about twelve feet from your subject, so that their nose isn't
significantly closer to you than the rest of the face. However, at such a large
distance from the camera, if you want to fill the frame with just your subject's
face, then you need a high magnification lens. Typical "portrait" lenses are
therefore between 90 and 135 millimeters long when you are using a 35mm camera.