The Art of Photography
It would be absolutely illogical if a professional photographer's site didn't have any useful tips on photographic work. I have been doing professional photography for more than twenty years and I have a lot of practical experience; all this lets me find exact reasons why the photo is no good and offer you a number of ordinary universal methods how to avoid inexpressive photos in the future. Oh no, I am not a messiah! You needn't even listen to me, you may well try and do everything your own way! I am sure those who wish will try - and that's great! Each experience is unique!
But at first, I'd like to make a small remark. A digital camera itself doesn't guarantee a high quality image. We have been misled by the association imposed on us by commercials that digital quality is the highest quality. It is not always true, I can assure you. A lot of factors account for this - from the misuse of the camera to the bad quality of some makes. I guess some digital camera users have already experienced this. And some of them have even got disappointed, which fortunately hasn't led to worse consequences. Well, it's a lyrical digression, actually. The main goal of the article is to find out how to make a photo both technically high-quality and interesting.
The light is the heart of the photography, its mood, quality, merits and demerits. The light is one of the strongest sources of our feelings and a powerful means of representation. By means of the light it is possible to tone down or hide any part of the face and vice versa - to emphasize or exaggerate. It is due to the light that you are able to make your human subject younger or older and even change the size significantly. Try taking a photograph of the same person in various lights and you will see how essentially different all these images are.
The best possible lighting for making a portrait is often daylight, outdoor or near the window light. Some amateur photographers learn to their surprise that the overcast sky creates favorable lighting for taking photographs of people. And it is really so, the sunlight coming through clouds diffuses and as a result the lighting becomes soft and pliable. In the main, these are practically ideal conditions for making a portrait.
Avoid lighting your human subject's face by direct sunshine, for it creates harsh shadows and intensifies all the defects. Besides, the bright light will make the human subject squint, which can spoil a nice photograph. But who knows, this might have been your idea to make a portrait of your boss with a distorted face!