Portrait photography can be one of the most interactive kinds; you get to work with clients of various ages, explore new areas where photos can be taken, and create unique, specialized images. There are some tools that can make it easier to complete a photo shoot when you're on site instead of in a studio. Here are three that can help you quickly move, shift, and get the shot.
Quick-Release Tripods: A Must-Have for Outdoor Shoots
The first thing you should know is that you're going to move around often at an on-location photo shoot. If it's a park, for instance, you might take photos of a couple's children on playground equipment, near a flower bed, under a tree, or in other locations. The key is to get as many unique and interesting angles and photos as possible, so being able to stabilize your camera on a tripod and also able to use it in your hands is vital. A quick-release tripod has an attachment that screws into the bottom of your camera. This attachment locks into the tripod when in use, and it pops out quickly with a single release latch when you want to take your camera off the tripod. You can find these and similar photography gear at suppliers like Acratech.
Portable Umbrellas and Light Reflectors: Use the Power of the Sun
Another important part of outdoor photo shoots is the ability to fill in dark shadows. With portraits, you often want even lighting on the face (unless it's a moody or dark image that you're after). To do this outside, you'll want to have a light reflector on hand. A golden reflector gives the skin a soft golden glow opposite from the angle of the sun. It's not much fill, but it does help pop a person's features on the darker side of the face.
Flashes: Not Just for Studio Use
To completely eliminate the risk of poor, washed out, or too-dark photos, you will need a flash. Many people make the mistake of thinking the sun is good for lighting. It's not. It's harsh and leaves horrible lines on the face that don't look good in portraits. To combat this, you should always shoot your subject with his or her back to the sun. Use a flash on your camera to fill in their features. What happens is that you get a beautiful halo of light on the subject's hair and outline, but you have smooth lighting on the face.
These are just a few tips for getting the shot on location. Give them a try and see your photography improve.