The best way to improve your photography is practice. Shoot each week so you get to where you don’t have to think about how to operate your camera. Don’t worry about producing masterpieces each time you got out; use your camera as a sketchpad to explore possibilities and don’t be afraid of making mistakes.
While it seems obvious, many photographs are made in locations where the photographer or their subject decides to make it. This works great for an interesting outdoor location but for indoor glamour you should place your subject where the light is best. Use wide-open apertures to soften and blur the background and focus attention on your subject. You may have a location in your home and never thought than an unlikely location would be a great place to make a portrait. Think about it now.
- Keep your lighting tools simple. I prefer to work with as few lights as possible because the less time you spend fiddling with equipment, the more time you can spend putting your subject at ease. These days almost all my people photography is done with natural light using only a single reflector.
- Watch the background. It’s so easy to become so enthralled by the person that you’re photographing that you forget about the background where you’ve placed them. I believe that if you watch the background, the foreground will take care of itself.
- Talk to your subject. I’ll never forget the advice one of my mentors gave me many years ago. When I asked him what was the worst thing I could do when photographing people, I expected him to give me some technical tip but his answer surprised me. “If you don’t talk to the people you’re never going make a good picture.” I’ve never forgotten that advice and would like to pass it on to you. Photographing people combines elements of psychology as much camera technology and how you personally interact with your subject will have more to do with the success of your session than the camera or lens that you use.
Look for Joe’s book—Available Light Glamour Photography—available on Amazon and your friendly neighborhood bookstore.