Want to upgrade your skills to the level needed to become a professional photographer? Part of that involves knowing how to shoot models properly, which is an art that requires learning a specific set of skills.

No matter your motivation, any photo enthusiast can benefit from learning these tricks. Charles Nucci was just a hobby photographer, but as soon as he took it seriously, he made the adjustments necessary to make his passion into a career.

Part of that involved learning about how one goes about making a portrait look fantastic and what takes away from their appeal.

In this blog spot, we’ll outline three simple steps that will have you snapping amazing shots of models in no time flat.

1) Cultivate a friendly relationship with the models you shoot

If you want genuine reactions in the photos you take, you need to develop a chemistry that is based on rapport and/or friendship.

Henceforth, those seeking incredible shots should make an effort to bond with whom they are about to take pictures.

This is not an issue if you are photographing family or friends, but you must make every effort to push past any awkwardness to connect with other subjects, as getting genuine reactions from a total stranger can be hard.

All you need is to go to lunch or have a 30-minute coffee date, and you’ll have a connection of some variety to build on after you go to snap photos with them afterward.

This will generate the fun photo session all professionals seek with people they shoot – after all, why go through all the trouble of being a photog if you don’t enjoy the work you do?

2) Use the right lens for shooting portraits

Taking pictures of people is different from shooting landscapes or ladybugs on a leaf.  For both of these scenarios, a professional photographer will switch the lens they use to get the best possible result. Shooting models is no different.

In these cases, professionals use a lens between 18 to 55 mm in width, but 55 mm is the size that most go with.

This is because of the background blur that this lens produces. When this effect is generated, it emphasizes the model in the foreground, drawing the eyes of the audience where they should be focused.

3) Light: best friend or worst enemy?

Mastering the use of light is a landmark achievement that will mark your arrival as a master photographer.

Where it is positioned, the intensity of it, and how the photog decides to harness its illuminating properties will go a long way toward making good shots legendary.

Rule #1 of light in photography: your primary light source should be situated in front of your subject, as having it come from the back will end with the subject having a shadow cast across their face (you can use a flash in this case, but it often ends up looking artificial).

Beyond this, however, don’t be afraid to experiment with how you use light in your photography.

Another tip surrounding light: morning and late afternoon/evening light (known as golden/blue hour) will give you the best shots possible, so set your alarm early and be prepared to take midday naps.

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