Portrait photography may be the first thing you learn as a photographer. It is a niche of photography that is focused on capturing a person and their personality in an image. It relies very much on a photographer’s artistry and understanding of appropriate camera settings to capture the best pictures possible. Most of the time, portraits are commissioned and are used by clients in a variety of ways, as a part of their home gallery walls or as biography photos on their websites or books. Needless to say, photographers find that this niche provides them an unending number of shoots. It is not just fun, it is also very lucrative.
What is a Camera Trigger?
To improve your services as a portrait photographer, it is inevitable that you begin investing in accessories that will make your process seamless and efficient. One such investment is the purchase of a nice camera trigger that will guarantee steadier and better shots. It is mainly used to trigger your camera’s lens minus the physical contact with the shutter button. A camera trigger is very handy, especially in situations that require stability to achieve sharp images. This can be used for macro photography, HDR photography, and night photography. However, with a little bit of imagination and creativity, you can also use triggers innovatively for your portraiture.
Cheap camera triggers come with basic remote trigger capability without any extra functionality. However, if you prefer one that will offer more functions, we suggest you check out the MIOPS Smart+ Camera Trigger. More than just a trigger, it offers unique functions that will help you take nearly impossible pictures through a list of diverse photography modes, like lightning, sound, HDR, and Laser. With the MIOPS Smart+ Camera Trigger, you can control your camera with just a press of a few buttons on your smartphone through an application. It can also be used to trigger your flash, not just the camera.
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How will it help with Portrait Photography?
Now that you know the basics of what a camera trigger is, here's how to shoot portrait photography using a camera trigger. All you will be needing are a camera, the trigger, some props, and your creativity!
1. Stabilize your shot.
Before using it's more creative uses, master the most basic use of your camera trigger first. Simply attach your trigger to your camera, and use it to fire its shutters. Don’t forget that you will still need to apply all your skills to this shot, so make sure that your subject is ready, the lighting is apt, and your composition is on point.
2. Trigger your flash.
Not many will agree, but using flashes for portrait photography can give natural light a run for its money. As long as you know how to manipulate it's light, you can expect to achieve awesome results. A camera trigger like the MIOPS Smart+ can attach to your flash. Just set up your flash where it will give the perfect lighting that will be flattering to your subject.
3. Play with water.
Portrait photography is more than just taking pictures of people who are sitting right in front of your camera. You can play around with other elements to come up with unique photographs. With something like the MIOPS Smart+ camera trigger in your arsenal, you can take creative water droplet refractions that reflect your client’s photographs.
To do this, set up your camera at a distance from your subject. Attach the MIOPS Smart+ camera trigger to your camera and use the laser mode. Have a setup that will release water drops that will break the trigger’s laser beam. As soon as the water drop breaks its line, the trigger will prompt your camera to take a picture.
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4. Let them move.
Some movement will help bring out your client’s characteristics during your shoot. This is especially true when shooting outdoors in a context that is most familiar to your client. If your client is a traveler, maybe a quick stroll in the woods will bring out genuine emotions from them. Make them feel comfortable, and suggest some interaction with their environment.
In cases where movement is necessary, setting up your camera on a tripod will help with stability. Similar to the water drop trick earlier, all you need to do is attach your handy MIOPS Smart+ to the camera and use the laser mode. Advise your clients to move within the laser’s line, and watch your camera capture great photos.
5. Experiment with the shutter speed.
Camera accessories, like the MIOPS Mobile Dongle, can turn your phone into an instant camera trigger. With this accessory, you can keep your camera’s shutter open for as long as you need it to be. With slower shutters, you will be exposing your subject much longer, which will make for unique photographs with dramatic effects.
Doing this is very simple. Set up your camera with the MIOPS Mobile Dongle attached. Modify its settings to keep the shutter open for longer, and ask your subject to make minute movements. It can be something as simple mini head shakes. Another thing you can do is ask someone in the studio to make hand movements within the frame while your main subject sits still. To make the subjects stand out in the photo, you can ask your clients to wear black and use a black background. Also avoid lighting that is too bright, since your shutter will be open for longer.
You see, there is much you can do with your camera alone. However, having a versatile camera trigger on hand will help you capture great photos that your clients will appreciate. The tips that we listed are merely guides. Do not forget to coordinate with your clients before experimenting, since your goal as a portrait photographer is always to represent them at their best in their final photos. Any of these tips can surely help with taking creative shots, but remember that it isn’t just the final photos that your clients will appreciate. More than that, they will remember how you interacted with them, and how you involved them in taking their own portraits.
Related Article: How to Photograph Lightning Using DSLR and Camera Trigger