How to Become a Portrait Photographer


Since the early times, people have been fascinated with the beauty of the human face; its features and the emotion it displays through expressions. Different artists from various eras had also used different methods to portray the human face for different purposes. Paintings and sculptures are used as means of displaying a human face until the first decade of the 19th century when camera was invented, which takes images in a more accurate and detailed perspective*. Since then, people started to use cameras to capture facial expressions and emotions, which is then considered portrait photography.


Portrait photography focuses on the human face, with the intention of capturing emotion, feeling, expression and mood. Unlike paintings and sculpture, photographs are more realistic because they display the actual person in a particular setting. The purpose of portrait photography would depend upon the intention of the photographer or the client. Location, light and subject are the important elements of this art**.


Skills and Responsibilities Needed in Portrait Photography


To be called as an expert in portrait photography, one should possess good to exceptional photographic knowledge, creative, interpersonal, and in most cases, IT skills. Having a college degree in photography may not be necessary, though it could be used as an advantage in applying for this career**. Portrait photographers usually work in studios; however, they can also work in other locations especially if the client would be posing at a special event or for commercial purpose.


Aside from taking pictures, the job of a portrait photographer is to set up the needed equipment, establish the setting, coach the subject(s) on proper posing, select the best picture and develop or print the image. In some cases, editing the picture would also be done by the photographer***. Portrait photography can be a part time or full time job, with rates varying from person to person


Portrait Photography as a Job Opportunity


Several businesses hiring professionals in portrait photography are commercially owned studios. Some also opt to be a freelance photographer and usually work on location. But if one is working for corporate companies, the opportunity to hold a management role in the company may be high or most likely if the photographer has had several years of experience and is reputed to be exceptional in taking portrait pictures. Other portrait photographers may choose to open their own photography studio or teach portrait photography to aspiring photographers.


Capturing the most important people, places, happenings, and things in our lives may just be a simple gesture to do every now and then, but these priceless memories will always be kept and valued as long as we live.  Portrait photography or other artistic ways in capturing every special moment is an undying legacy we can always pass from one generation to another.

Ready for a career in Portrait Photography? Get information on photography programs in your area and online using our photography school finder at the top of this page.


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