How To Take Great Vintage Portraits


A person riding a wave on top of a sandy beach

Everyone has their own vintage portrait back in the day. You know the shot that I am talking about. The old-looking shot of your grandparents’ face looking directly at the camera. They are usually compared to modern-day headshots. Well, you can imagine that this is not as common as you might want it to be. Alas, there has been a shortage of vintage portraits being taken now. Selfies and such took out the classic royal look of having your own vintage portrait. However, you can bring back that style of photography if you so desire. This guide is all about teaching you how to take great vintage portraits.

Cast Your Characters As Larger Than Life

The first thing you will need is to ensure that your subject is the main focus of your portrait. A portrait, be it vintage or not, should be a photograph that depicts the character’s look in clear detail. It is common for a portrait to be mostly their face. However, you can choose to add more of your subject in case they need to. Some subjects create a whole story with just their posture and it is your job to showcase it. A simple background or even just a gray one can be more than enough for your character.

How To Take Great Vintage Portraits
How To Take Great Vintage Portraits

Do Not Be Afraid Black & White

A lot of classic portraits are shown to be either in a washed-out sepia color. You can also choose to forego color altogether and make a black and white portrait instead. This simple change can make all the difference in your vintage portrait. You can create a more powerful noir style character full of mystique. However, you need to manage your shot to ensure that the color separation is even. The last thing you want is to make your black and white photo look a certain way than you intended.

How To Take Great Vintage Portraits
How To Take Great Vintage Portraits

Shadows Are Your Best Friend

A shadow can create a deeper look and feel to your character of choice. That is the portrait photographer’s best friend. You must learn how to manipulate shadows to make the scene feel more intense. There is always more emotion being poured whenever the shadows are in play. It is also good to have shadows at your background as it mimics vintage portraits of old. Do not be afraid to play around with shadows.

In addition, you can get a more dramatic shot by utilizing shadows to at a specific angle. A side shot can make your character look intense. However, shadows that come up from the front can be ominous and mysterious.

Photography Light Stand Studio Tripod

Lighting is a major part of having a successful photograph. You can create some stunning portraits by having the right lighting in place. That is why this Photography Light Stand Studio Tripod would be the perfect tool for you. This tripod can be used to alter the shape of shadows in forms that is just impossible to do naturally. Use this to get the best vintage portraits you can take.

How To Take Great Vintage Portraits
How To Take Great Vintage Portraits
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