There’s a general notion that close-up portraits are unsophisticated and perhaps the most straightforward type of photography.  Well, that’s what the layman would think.

A close-up portrait or a headshot is the most expressive and most demanded type of photography.

We use them in brand images, social media profile pictures, magazines covers, and more. There’s undoubtedly more to close-up portraits than a zoomed-in face.

An excellent close-up portrait tells a story. But how can you, as a photographer, get a face to depict a tale?

Take in the details. Close-up photos might require less content, but it demands intense focus on even the smallest detail.

A couple of things make close-up portraits distinct from regular photographs. No doubt, the usual lighting and angles techniques still come in handy, but there’s more.

Focus on the eyes.

“The eyes are the windows to the soul.” That’s a cliche that still holds water, especially in close-up portrait photography.

The most basic human emotions are found in the eyes. And it’s no secret that emotions are the most profound element of a story.

So if you could evoke emotions through a portrait, then you’ve told a story. Keep your camera’s focus on the eyes and work to capture the feelings in them.

You can tell your models to engross themselves in the feelings you’re looking to get. Get them to look into the camera or space, and try various angles until you get the most expressive portrait possible.

Get the hands in.

The hands are the least appreciated element in close-up portrait photography.

A face can tell as many stories as possible. But with the hands to the face, the stories come alive.

For instance, a finger to the chin accentuates the look of wonder or deep thoughts. A hand through the hair would give even more gloom to a frustrated look.  You can have your models try different poses with their hands.

It’s not essential to have the hands included in every close-up portrait shoot. Still, it adds more color to your photos, and it’s pretty helpful in eliminating the idleness associated with tight headshots.

Bonus Tip.

You can highlight the best facial features and de-emphasize the unattractive ones with lighting.

And when you get the perfect shots, don’t forget to share them freely and privately with as many people as you possibly can.

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