Portraits can be taken anywhere.... no really.
In this iPhone snap (taken by the makeup artist) you can see the location wasn't anywhere scenic, and that there wasn't a "real" back drop. It was actually just a grey bed sheet!! I know, I know. So professional, right? But honestly, if you're taking close up portraits, just remember... It's not about gear or location, it's about position, and it's about light. (you can see an example HERE of a portrait taken on the modest of cameras)
In this case it was all natural light. We were on a covered patio and most of the light was coming from my left (you can see this in her eyes). I did use a white reflector on my right to give a little bounce back to her hair, but I didn't want the light to be completely even on both sides.
As you may have gathered in a recent blog post, I am a huge proponent of portraits. Whether you're capturing a portrait professionally or of your sister on a family vacation, a good photograph of someone you love (or someone you find interesting) will undoubtedly live longer than you, and THAT is powerful.
3 tips to take beautiful portraits anywhere:
1. Find the light.
Whether its natural or artificial. Light is what it's all about. Light can truly make or break an image, so try not to depend on post production. Editing the look of light will never feel quite the same as capturing it correctly in camera.
2. Connect with your subject.
This one is just as *if not more* important then good light.
Eyes don't lie. If you're subject is feeling nervous, or uncomfortable you're going to see it in their eyes. Give your subject a feeling of calm or happy (or whatever emotion you want to draw out) by talking to them. I generally give a scenario for someone to think about. Like, "imagine you're a *blank* in the *blank* finding *blank*..." It helps them get into "character" if you will, and forget their nervousness in the process.
3. Play with composition.
Whether it's with how you angle the shot, how you line things up, or how you fill the frame... PLAY! Sometimes it means adding things in (like colors, patterns, and textures) and sometimes it's simply taking it all away.
I hope you've found these tips helpful!
Just remember... light. connection. composition. You got this.