You see, I’m a professional portrait photographer in Oahu, Hawaii and I shoot portraits, including sunset portraits all the time. At first I didn’t know exactly how to answer that “what types of portraits should I get?” question. You see, what portrait you should get depends on who you are. Do you like goofy pictures; beautiful, well laid-out and composed pictures; couples pictures; whole family pictures? In a sense, there is no right answer.
I’ll share my experience and recommendations with you here. I’ve found most people enjoy these 10 portraits:
- Whole Family Portraits
- Whole Family Close-up Portraits
- Siblings Family Portraits
- Scenic Take-Aways
- Romantic Portraits
- Romantic Newlywed and Anniversary Portraits
- Emotion-filled Portraits
- Detailed Closeups
- Children and Adults Being Goofy
- Action Shots
1. Whole Family Portraits
Normally I just let the families organize themselves. The are some exceptions, such as when the ground has a slope. In the case of sloping ground, I usually have the tallest family mebers on lower ground, shortest on higher ground. One example of this is when the family is standing on the sand on the shoreline, and I am shooting down the shoreline. In this case, I would have the taller family members nearest to the water (if not in it). Another thing to watch out for are family members that aren’t showing their faces well for the camera. Whether this is conscious or subconscious, it doesn’t look good to have half of a face in the group family portrait. Find a way to have all of the faces fully exposed.
2. Whole Family Close-up Portraits
Here is where your zoom lens really shines. Get a nice close-up of the family. I have found that the best way to achieve this pose well is by having the family lean on or hold one another; basically, everyone should be connected. Experiment with the direction of the eyes or with varied expressions/moods. When one or two or all are looking off into the distance in different directions, it can add an interesting dimension to the portrait. (Note: when the family is all looking into basically the same direction, it is then better to have them all looking at exactly the same point. This will have a unifying effect.) Another thing to consider is mood. Varied moods can add intrigue. Alternatively, you may want to have the whole family in the same mood, as in a group tickle shot.
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3. Siblings Family Portraits
4. Scenic Take-Aways
5. Romantic Portraits
6. Romantic Newlywed and Anniversary Portraits
7. Emotion-Filled Portraits
8. Detailed Closeups
9. Children and Adults Being Goofy
10. Action Shots
Through my ten plus years in portrait photography in Oahu I’ve found these portraits mean the most to my clients and are the best at capturing precious memories. Before you hire any photographer you should work through this list and find out what’s most important to you and communicate that with your photographer. Something to the effect of, “the pictures that would mean the most to me are… could we get some like that?” is a great way to open a productive dialog with your photographer. You can make this process easier by looking at your photographer’s portfolio to see what he normally shoots. If he shoots the types of images you like best, it’s probably going to be a very good fit and you should move forward with the photo shoot.
I’d love to discuss this more with you if you’re coming to Oahu and you like my work. You can contact me by clicking on the contact tab at the top of this page. If you’re ready to book your Oahu Sunset Portrait now, you can click on “Book Me” tab and get started today. Either way, I hope these ten poses were helpful and let you get better portraits and precious memories.
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