Exploring Nature: How to Take Beautiful Spring Portraits

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  By Jonathan Ma
Exploring Nature: How to Take Beautiful Spring Portraits www.sleeklens.com

Spring is a beautiful time of the year. The flowers start to bloom, the trees start sprouting leaves, and the colors in the natural world start to come to life. Spring portraits can be very fun and engaging, not just for the photographer but also the subject. The sun starts to come out more during the spring, and with it a golden glow. This is especially apparent when taking back lit portraits. The blooming flowers and plants can be used as props during the spring also. With spring portraits, the goal is to bring out the beauty of the subject through the beauty of the natural world. Let’s take a look at some tips you should keep in mind for spring portraits:

  1. Use plants or flowers as props
  2. Position a sun flare in the background
  3. Take advantage of overcast days
  4. Back-light the subject for a golden glow

Use Plants or Flowers as Props

Plants and flowers make amazing props, especially for female subjects. They bring out the natural beauty in the subject, bringing attention to their purity and innocence. As the photographer, you can: bring plants or flowers for the subject, arrange for the subject to bring their own flowers, or pick wild plants or flowers on-location during the photo shoot. If you choose the third option, make sure you know what the flora is like at the photo shoot location before you get there. This is something that can be given attention when scouting the area before the photo shoot.

Once you have the subject holding the prop, there are a few different options. You can have the subject hold it up to their nose and (pretend to) smell it, or have them hold it in front of them – depending on the effect you are trying to achieve. By focusing on the prop with a telephoto lens and using a low aperture such as f/2.5, you can blur out the background and create a nice bokeh effect.

 Position a Sun Flare in the Background


Sun flares are a great way to provide your portrait with extra pop. Since the sun comes out more during the spring, sun flares are often available to shoot during this season. To take a photo of a sun flare in the background of your portrait, position the sun behind the subject. The best time to take sun flare photos is during the golden hour, which is the first hour after sunrise and the last hour before sunset. During this time, the sun will not be as bright so it’ll be easier to properly expose your photo. The subject will not be blown out by the sun’s brightness during the golden hour.

Take Advantage of Overcast Days

During the spring, there are many overcast days. Overcast days are great for portraits. The reason photographers love overcast days is that the clouds act as natural diffusers and spread the light evenly. This means that there are less or no shadows on the subjects face, especially under the nose and chin. Outdoor portraits are preferable during overcast days, to take advantage of the even lighting. Try to plan your photo shoot in advance and check the weather to look for cloudy days.

Back-Light the Subject for a Golden Glow

Notice the golden glow behind the subject’s hair in the photo above? This effect helps gives the photo more color and personality. To achieve this effect, the photographer will need to wait until the golden hour. During the last hour before sunset, the orange rays of the sun become softer and less harsh. This is a perfect time to capture the glow. By having your subject back lit with the sun, their hair will have a soft warm glow. This enhances the beauty of your subject.

Another way to create the golden glow effect is by waiting for the sun to be hidden behind a cloud. The cloud acts as a diffuser, which spreads out the light so it becomes soft. Just have your subject positioned in front of the sun, and their hair will have the golden glow. This effect looks the best when your subject is out in the natural world, enjoying nature and its beauty.

Happy shooting!

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Jonathan Ma

Jonathan Ma is a freelance writer and professional photographer. He grew up in the beautiful Pacific Northwest of the United States. The natural beauty that surrounds this area has helped him to learn to appreciate art and photography. Jonathan's favorite styles of photography are nature and sports photography. He enjoys learning and teaching others what he knows.

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