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Short and sweet. If you’re a beginner, this will help your portraits improve dramatically. If you’re an old hand this will serve as a reminder for how to make portraits that sing.
The first thing to remember is portraits start with the face. So fill the frame and get close and make the face the prominent feature in your basic portraits.
Secondly, look for a good expression. As Bambi Cantrell always says, “Expression over perfection sells every time.”
If you get a good expression out of your subject they will like the portrait and so will their family.
By keeping it simple, especially when starting out, you can dramatically improve the quality of your portraits. Fill the frame with the face and look for a good expression.