This portrait photoshoot in the Holyrood Park area was my second one in this location with Christina. Christina is both a good friend of mine and a fantastic model. She’s always up for a bit of posing even if it’s quite windy and chilly which is quite usual for Scotland, unfortunately.
At the same time Scottish sunsets are the most beautiful and dazzling. Even if it’s quite cold outside but you’re brave enough to sacrifice your comfort for amazing photographs, I promise you will not regret it.
Portrait photography in Edinburgh with Christina | Scotland portrait photographer
I have incredibly fond memories of my first photo shoot on Arthur’s Seat with Christina. It was the first photography adventure of mine after having moved to Scotland. It something I had been planning for ages before actually doing it. Click here to have a look at what we created together 2 years ago. That session will never stop being one of those I have best memories about. The sunset was just as epic and it happened on the first day of my new life in a new country. Although some might say it is crazy to say but it was like a sign telling me that I made the right decision to pursue a professional photography career in Scotland. And to take the biggest risk in my entire life. After all, I put all my eggs in one basket. And I never stopped believing it was the right decision.
But enough about me. Let’s focus on how to create epic portraits during your photo shoot.
Create perfect portraits | Portrait photography Scotland
I would love to provide you with suggestions on how to make your portrait photography session amazing and create gorgeous results.
Here is my advice.
- Go for the golden hour. Scotland tend to be cloudy and sometimes rainy, so it’s not always possible. But when it is, try to schedule your photo shoot 2 hours before the sunset. It will guarantee the softest, most beautiful and most flattering light. Make sure you research the exact sunset time in the shooting location, as it varies depending on the spot and season of the year.
- Avoid the harsh afternoon sunlight. Shooting in the middle of a sunny day might seem to be a good idea. But I can assure you, it really isn’t! Harsh afternoon sunlight is the devil. Both for models and photographers. Skin looks shiny, people squint their eyes and posing really isn’t enjoyable. Such light conditions make photographer’s job during editing really difficult. So if possible, avoid the harsh light – it’s the devil!
- Focus on the eyes. As much as during weddings, elopements and engagement photo shoots I try to avoid making my models look directly at the camera, I avoid this tactics when taking individual portraits. Portrait photography is all about the eyes. The eyes are windows to the soul, and even though this quote might sound a bit cheesy and cliché, it really is true. Nothing says more about a person than their eyes. But don’t make your model look at the camera in every single shot. It’s important to have some variety.
- Always go for the natural light. I know that there are quite a few photographers who love using reflectors, flashlights and sources of artificial light. But I’m surely not one of them. As much as the use of artificial light is sometimes necessary, especially during indoor wedding or elopement ceremonies, I prefer to avoid it. With picturesque Scottish landscapes you can go out and shoot outside even if the weather isn’t the most perfect and still get amazing results. A great example is my portrait photo shoot with Marta in the craziest Scottish weather. We simply embraced it! And the results were awesome.
- Make your client/model feel comfortable. Because you will never get good results when your model is hating the posing! As simple as that. It’s the photographer’s job. So try and create a bond with them. The better they will feel around you, the more amazing the photographs will turn out. It’s my number one tip for portrait photography. Also, make sure your subject doesn’t freeze to death. And that’s how me and Christina became friends, by working on some amazing shoots in Edinburgh together. Surely there is no better feeling then getting new amazing friends through photography and working together on creative projects!