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Portrait Photography

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How to take a photograph for a portrait drawing

For a drawing to look 'realisitic' that is 'like you sat for it' several things are important:

1. The sitter should be aware that the photograph is being taken. 'Snapshots', especially of children, will always look like a drawn photograph.

2. The person you want a picture of, should be sitting. It is not crucial, but helps to relax the person. If the photographer sits as well it is beneficial.

3. Take your time! Give yourself 15 -30 min to take the photograph. Due to time spent sitting, the position and facial expressions will be more like in a traditionally drawn portrait. Use a tripod if you have one.

4. Light. Outdoor shade is ideal to see the most detail in the face. Try to turn off the automatic flash.

5. Position of the face: slightly turned to the right or left. Most people have a 'preferred' side and will turn to that one anyway. Avoid straight on. Make sure the eye, that is on the far side is still visible all the way. Look straight into the lens of the camera.

6. Image size. Generally the bigger the better (that goes for prints as well as file size - albeit no bigger than 2Mb). The more detail is in the picture, the more accurate the drawing will be! For digital images a special email address will be supplied, where you will mail your jpeg file.

If you would rather have a professional photographer take your portrait, I suggest you look at Melanie Wells' work. Check out her portrait photography!

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