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Portrait Photography: How to Shoot Portraits Like a Pro

Fashion, lifestyle and commercial photographer Irezz Pratama started his photography career about 10 years ago, and now runs a photography business called Lenterra, specialising in fashion, food, interior and lifestyle in Indonesia. We fire a series of quick questions to get a better understanding of his work and top tips to becoming a good portrait photographer. Let’s get started!


EOS 5D Mark II, EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens, f/2.8, 28mm, 1/2000 sec, ISO100

What’s in your bag?

I usually bring along my Canon EOS 5D Mark II and an EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens.

Top three tips for aspiring portrait photographers?

  • Create a storyboard to express (in images) the vision for your photoshoots.
  • Build up a mood to emphasise the feelings for the photos.
  • Lighting. It can help you to achieve the story and mood you're looking for.

How does one find the right light? 

Use your sensitivity and senses, see where the light hits the object. I prefer natural light, but if necessary, I would use flash.

How to get started as a portrait photographer?

Take photos of your close friends, capture their uniqueness because everyone has a different set of characteristics.


EOS 5D Mark II, EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens, f/1.6, 50mm, 1/1000 sec, ISO100

Ideal camera setting?

When the light falls perfectly on the object OR

  • Shutter speed: 250
  • Aperture: f5/6
  • ISO: 400
  • White Balance: 6000
  • Focal Length: 24
  • AI Servo AF: Continuous shooting

Best lenses for portrait photography?

For me, I still choose an EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens.

Thoughts on the EOS R camera.

It suits my grip and feels like holding a DSLR but smaller in size.


EOS 5D Mark II, EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens, f/2.8, 70mm, 1/250 sec, ISO100

The most useful tip to direct a model.

Get into a conversation with them, treat them like a friend and not a model.

Colour versus black & white, what’s the difference?

Black & white is more dramatic for a picture. Colour is more eye-pleasing because of its wide colour range.

EOS 5D Mark II, EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens, f/1.4, 50mm, 1/800 sec, ISO125 

What happens after a good shoot?

I want to do the post-production right away!

Favourite photographer?

Neil Krug.

Best moment in your career.

I've done quite a lot of portrait photoshoots, but I remember my first time shooting a wedding, which venue happened to be in Como, Italy. It was such a surprise.

The biggest lesson you've learnt.

I've learnt to convey a hidden message through my photos.

Who/what inspires you?

Music.


EOS 5D Mark II, EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens, f/1.4, 50mm, 1/2500 sec, ISO100

What is the thing about street portraits that you find the most interesting?

I am more attracted to a street portrait photo that can bring up a specific feeling or story. It's more of how a photo can trigger your emotions.


EOS 5D Mark II, EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens, f/2.8, 43mm, 1/800 sec, ISO100

See more of Irezz’s portrait work below.


EOS 5D Mark II, EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens, f/2.8, 70mm, 1/100 sec, ISO500


EOS 5D Mark II, EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens, f/1.4, 50mm, 1/200 sec, ISO500


EOS 5D Mark II, EF85mm f/1.8 USM lens, f/4.0, 85mm, 1/800 sec, ISO100


EOS 5D Mark II, EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens, f/2.8, 51mm, 1/2000 sec, ISO100


EOS 5D Mark II, EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens, f/2.8, 70mm, 1/320 sec, ISO160


EOS 5D Mark II, EF24-70mm f/2.8L USM lens, f/2.8, 42mm, 1/125 sec, ISO320


EOS 5D Mark II, EF50mm f/1.4 USM lens, f/1.4, 50mm, 1/500 sec, ISO100

For more photographer interviews, check out the following articles: 

Exploring Malaysia: Capturing the Different Faces in the Heartlands
This is What Happens When a Documentary Photographer Shoots Landscape
Can the EOS R Survive the Harsh Winter in Canada?
Minimalist Photography for Weddings: Tips From a Pro
 


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