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Tips To Stop Making Portrait Mistakes This Spring

Written by Sasha Bell

Spring is just around the corner – all the beautiful daffodils are starting to come out and there are even hints of cherry blossom beginning to bloom as well!

This means it is the perfect time to start taking advantage of the spring light which looks so amazing for portraits. If you haven’t been taking many portraits throughout the winter season  – now is the time to get back into it!

Using Bokeh in Your Portraits

What we love about spring is, how incredibly bright the light is, which makes capturing bokeh in portraits a lot easier.

We always get asked how we get so much beautiful bokeh in our photographs – so in this blog post:- 3 More Tips For Beautiful Bokeh, we share some great tips on how to get it. However, a very common mistake that photographers make is, using a narrow aperture for their portraits which creates small sized bokeh in the background, with the bokeh in more focus and less soft.

When you use a wide aperture you get gorgeous big blurry bokeh that fills the background and makes the portrait look a lot more exciting and interesting!

Take Profile Portraits

Photographing your portraits from the right angle(s) is one of the most important things to do when taking beautiful photographs of your model. It doesn’t matter if you have an amazing camera, an amazing lens or gorgeous light – if the composition is bad, there is very little that can make up for it.

So, if you don’t always know what the best angle is to go for, it’s best to have a safe go-to option to resort to if you’re worried that other angles and compositions tried out aren’t working for you. We suggest opting for side-on profile portraits, which are easier to master and will compliment your model far more than the typical “head-on” portraits.

If learning how to model or knowing to direct your model, is a side of portrait photography that you want to develop further, take a look at this blog post: Question: How I Can Look Better In Photos? for more tips on how to work the camera in your favour.

Here are two examples of what we mean by profile portraits and how flattering they are.

Portraits With Blossom

Portraits with blossom can look amazing when you get the right balance – it’s about having enough blossom in the photograph to fill the frame and not having it look too crowded and messy, which then detracts the attention from the model too much.

We always like to play with different angles and positions to try and find that balance. There’s usually a “sweet spot” for the model where they should be surrounded by a decent amount of blossom. Once they’re in their place – it’s usually all down to experimenting with different angles and distances until you get what you’re looking for.

Then, what we like to do is pick a small bit of blossom and hold it in front of the lens, to add a gorgeous soft haze in the forefront of the portrait. Make sure to not hold the blossom too close to the lens, otherwise it will completely wash out the photograph!

Here are two examples below of how we used this technique for these few portraits – the first one is a very obvious example of some blossom being held just in front of the lens to create a soft haze.

Use Colourful Backdrops

Spice up your portraits and use the spring flowers to create beautiful and unique backdrops, don’t settle for plain boring backdrops when you can make your spring portraits look really colourful.

Processing Spring Portraits

The presets we use to edit our portraits vary depending on the time of year, because the light changes so much and the spring light is often very white – so if you don’t give enough attention to the processing of your spring portraits, they can look wishy-washy with very little contrast.

If you don’t already have some of our presets in your collection, then we would recommend these two preset packs which are ideal for spring light.

Click on the two links below to see the before and afters of these presets:

Soft Afternoon Glow Lightroom Preset Pack

Whipped Cream Lightroom Preset Pack

Get More Portrait Tips From The Bell Sisters

In the Hot Tips For Your Outdoor Portraits eBook we share our most important portrait techniques that we use without fail, on every single one of our portraits. It will prove to be one of the most beneficial and helpful eBooks you will have ever come across – it is very much to-the-point, simply outlining our favourite techniques, so you can start improving your outdoor photography portraits skills instantly!

For more information on this ebook and how it will help you – Hot Tips For Outdoor Portraits eBook:

More Photography Tips from The Bell Sisters

In our DLSR Blueprint eBook we share our complete photography foundation on how to go from beginner, to amateur, to then go on to reach a professional level of photography.

For more information on this ebook and how it will help you – click here: The DSLR Blueprint eBook:

Download our FREE eBook: 7 Quick Tips To Take Better Photographs

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About the author

Sasha Bell

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