ZoomIn’s Guide to Portrait Photography – Part III

May 26, 2013 at 11:52 pm

We’re back with the final post of our 3 part guide on how to click great portrait photos (In Part I   we covered Composition and in Part II we covered Light and Background)  In this last post, we will cover the importance of ‘Posing’ and the ‘Mood’ of your photo…

Pose: It would help sometimes to get your subject to pose for you. And by pose, I don’t mean your run off the mill “say cheese” pose. There’s a way in which you can get the best out of your subject and here’s how to do it:

Tilt the body/head: A slight tilt of the head or tilt of the body, depending on how much of the subject you have chosen to capture in your shot, will always bring about interest. It creates a rather different approach to the photo than the same age old ‘head-held-straight-and-smiling’ pose.

Look away: Sometimes not looking directly into the camera is also a good option. Get your subject  to look away in another direction and leave enough space towards that particular direction while composing your photo. This will generate a lot of curiosity in terms of what the subject is looking at or is looking towards.


Posing: A slight tilt of the head will always bring about some interest.

Posing: A slight tilt of the head will always bring about some interest.


Mood: Finally, most portrait photos will carry a ‘mood’ along with them. It could be a happy mood if your subject is all smiles, a ‘thoughtful’ mood if the subject is shown sitting and pondering about something, an ‘informational’ mood if your subject is reading a newspaper, so on and so forth. It is extremely important that the mood of the photo is conveyed through the click, because this is exactly what will make the viewer think “Wow, that’s a really nice photo!”


Mood: Most portrait photos will communicate a mood through them. This one expresses mischief.

Mood: Most portrait photos will communicate a mood through them. This one expresses mischief.


There you go! Now you’re all  geared up and ready to take a go at portrait photos. Happy clicking and do share your thoughts along the way!

ZoomIn’s guide to Portrait Photography – Part II

May 16, 2013 at 6:23 am

We’re back with the 2nd part to our guide on how to click great portrait photos! While part 1 covered Composition, in this part I’ll cover the importance of Light and Background. Here goes…

Light: Light plays a crucial role in photography. A few things to bear in mind before you push the shutter button:

  • Natural light: As with all other forms of photography, natural light is the best form under which a photo can be captured. Ensuring that there is plenty of light on your subject will reduce the chances of grains, which in turn will get you a  clean and crisp photo.
  • Sunrise/Sunset: The different timings of the day and corresponding type of light do help to add a unique look to your photo. The early morning sun can provide a very fresh and crisp feeling to the photo and the evening setting sun can bring about a dramatic and dreamy feel to the photo.
  • Flash: Every photographer’s enemy – The Flash. Most people complain about how the use of flash white washes their photo completely or how it ruins the artificial light that they try to capture. However if mastered, not only will you use this right, but you can also manipulate it to get the desired results. Nowadays, on more advanced point and shoot cameras and DSLR’s, the flash settings can be manually set. The intensity of the flash can be adjusted to your taste so as to not over expose the subject’s skin completely. Explore this option in your camera settings. You’ll be surprised with what the results look like!


Clicking a photo during the sunset can have quite an impactful output!

Light: Clicking a photo during the sunset can have quite an impactful output!


Background: When it comes to portrait photography and the background, there’s one and only one tip that I have for you – keep it clean. The cleaner and more distant your background is from your subject, the lesser the distractions. This way, the only point of interest in your photo would be your subject. Just make sure that the color of the background and the subject isn’t too similar as this would blend the subject into the background.

Sometimes a contrast in terms of the background can help as well. Having a brightly lit background and keeping your subject a little darker can provide a striking effect – or doing it the other way around can help too! This will surely make your subject stand out in the photo.

Background: A brightly lit background and a darker subject can create a contrasting, yet impressive effect!

Background: A brightly lit background and a darker subject can create a contrasting, yet impressive effect!


Well that’s it for now. Keep a check for the third and final part of this post which will cover the ‘Pose’ and ‘Mood’ factor of portrait photos.

ZoomIn’s guide to Portrait Photography – Part I

May 8, 2013 at 11:28 pm

Portrait photos have always been popular. And in today’s connected world everyone wants a really great portrait photo for their profiles! So we are bringing you  a basic guide on how to capture a  good portrait photo in  a series of three posts. Today’s post will cover composition….

Composition: The process of putting your photo together, i.e. ‘Composition’, is arguably the most important aspect of capturing a good portrait shot. The placement or arrangement of your subject in the photo is extremely important. Here are a few pointers:

  • Off Center: A good rule in composing a portrait would be to keep your subject off the centre of the photo. Keeping your subject towards either side of the photo proves to be more interesting. This tends to creates a lot of interest and drama, and will work almost every time. With that said, try not to compose every photo in this manner as the results would then become quite repetitive.
  • Fill frame: The crux of portrait photos is to highlight one single element – your subject. One way of getting this done is by ensuring you fill the frame of your shot with the subject – around 70% of your photo should comprise of the subject. This means that you need to get up close to the subject or zoom in. It is possible that your subject’s features might get cropped in the process, but that’s a call you can take- does it look fine or a bit strange?
  • Focus: As mentioned above, you really need to concentrate on your subject. To get a  good output, you need to make it a point to focus only on the subject and the rest can be set out of focus. Don’t forget that the eyes are the window to one’s soul. So focus on your subject’s eyes while taking that shot!
An attractive click: This photo is a perfect blend of all the points discussed above.

Composition: This photo is a perfect blend of all the points discussed above. The subject lies towards one side of the photo, occupies most of the frame and the focus also, is solely on the subject. While the top of the subject’s head is slightly cropped, the overall effect still looks good.

Part II will focus on Light and Background and Part III will focus on Pose, Mood and other pointers. Stay tuned…


Introducing the Hopscotch-ZoomIn photo contest jury!

May 3, 2013 at 8:05 am

With the photo contest submission over, our jury of fabulous photographers will be be deliberating on their decision for the 6 winners of the Jury awards. Read on to learn more about this jury.

Neha Malhotra

Neha Malhotra is founder/photographer of TinyLove Photography, an on location photography service for newborns, kids, families and expecting parents. Her photography is fun, non-traditional and totally unscripted. She believes that kids always have best stories to tell and therefore are her biggest inspiration. She focuses on giving each of her client not just great images but a great experience as well. So, for those who ever hoped that baby bump, first smile, tear, or that stolen moment would last forever, your wishes have come true, as TinyLove Photography creates a visual diary of your life’s moments to bring a little more joy in this world.

You can see her work at www.tinylovephotography.com



Nandini Mehta

Nandini Mehta is a Mumbai-based photographer, known for her stylized depictions of babies and children. Nandini maintains that taking a snapshot is easy, however the challenge lies in making an impact. She believes that a photograph should narrate a story and reflect the personality of the child. This requires a lot of dedication, diligence and patience. With Nandini you get to build memories of your child from day one, in a unique and extraordinary way. Infant Photography is fascinating.



Anbu Jawahar

Anbu Jawahar is an artist, designer, a self-admitted gadget junkie, but more essentially a gifted photographer with years of experience. The different hats he wears bring together completeness to his unique style of digital photography. A social person with a gentle presence, he is able to participate & capture the fleeting moments in a family that make for wonderful memories. Anbu loves all things new and his experimentation and curiosity make him a good learner. He constantly tries to update himself; mainly sourcing inspiration, tips and techniques from other photographers all around the world.



Devika Mahajan

Meet Devika Mahajan – mom, photographer and juror of the Hopscotch – Zoomin photo contest.
A finance professional with stints in San Francisco, Chicago, New York previously, motherhood kindled Devika’s passion for photography like none other. What started 5 years ago as a personal hobby of clicking her newborn’s various moods and moments, soon became her calling. She found being behind the lens a lot more rewarding than being in front of a computer screen, much to the delight of the many young parents – for whom she’s captured some amazing memories. Full of ideas and laughter, Devika is patient, kind and fantastic with young children. Her work can be seen at:



Shruti Moghe

As one of India’s leading lifestyle photographers, Shruti Moghe strikes a great balance between creativity and efficient execution. Motherhood becomes her and she has molded her successful career into striking out into a line of photography relatively new to India. Her passion for working with kids is evident in the way she captures beautiful moments & milestones. Her work with families and young ones can be seen here:https://www.facebook.com/media/set/set=a.119430404772120.12363.119429604772200



Manmeet Bhatti

Born and raised in a naval background, Manmeet Bhatti had never in her wildest dreams imagined that she would become a photographer. But the writing became clear when she walked out from Sir J J Institute of Applied Arts with a Young CAG and many other awards. Her range of work encompasses multiple platforms – publicity shoots for movies like Black, Paheli, Kabhi Alvida na kahina, Page 3, editorial work for fashion and lifestyle magazines, and production for a range of clients like Kaya skin clinic, Pantaloon, Central, Gini & Jony, L’oreal Matrix, Wella, Galaxy chocolates, Economic Times. She has enjoyed a long career that has given her the opportunity to experiment in and explore fashion, beauty and portraiture.A very involved mom herself, Manmeet experiences a unique joy when shooting kids. She believes that unpredictability of children always leads to unexpected and magical results. Her work can be seen here www.manmeetbhatti.com