Quirky, Set, Go!

 
Create a distinctive visual style in your portraits. At the same time, be weary of typecasting yourself. Shot with: Apple iPhone 4 Photograph/Gaurav Sawn

Create a distinctive visual style in your portraits. At the same time, be weary of typecasting yourself. Shot with: Apple iPhone 4 Photograph/Gaurav Sawn


Is classic too boring? Or, is classic simply dead? Priyanka Chharia suggests simple ways to remake the quintessential portrait using an ordinary phone.

What would Richard Avedon’s iconic portraits have looked like had he used a smartphone? More importantly, would he have used a smartphone? Can the modest cameraphone reinvent the classic portrait?

Bring out the personality of your subject. Ask them to do something unsual and fun! Shot with: Samsung Galaxy Nexus Photograph/Priyanka Chharia

Bring out the personality of your subject. Ask them to do something unsual and fun! Shot with: Samsung Galaxy Nexus Photograph/Priyanka Chharia


Advantage Smartphone

The obvious advantage of shooting with a cellphone is that it’s always on us. You are more likely to use a cameraphone while you hang out with friends. Portable, handy and lightweight, it is far easier to carry around than a regular DSLR or compact camera.

An offbeat aspect ratio can instantly change the way your portrait looks. Experiment with collages, squares, wides, panoramas and stereos. Shot with: Apple iPhone 4 Photograph/Moiz Sheikh

An offbeat aspect ratio can instantly change the way your portrait looks. Experiment with collages, squares, wides, panoramas and stereos. Shot with: Apple iPhone 4 Photograph/Moiz Sheikh


Much Less Intimidating

Unlike bulky DSLRs, cameraphones are subject-friendly. They spell casual and fun.

Create image composites using apps such as Photoshop Touch. Smartphones allow for advanced editing techniques today, and offer more than basic fun effects. Shot with: HTC One X Photograph/Aditya Nair

Create image composites using apps such as Photoshop Touch. Smartphones allow for advanced editing techniques today, and offer more than basic fun effects. Shot with: HTC One X Photograph/Aditya Nair


At the Right Angle

Most camera phones have extremely wide lenses, unlike the conventional focal length that one would associate with portraiture. How do you deal with this? Experiment with angle that you shoot from. Go wide or low, shoot from the top or the hip… or just get really close—this may distort the person’s face but that itself can look weird, unusual and fun.
Alternatively, allow the background to give some context. Is there a part of the city where you have always wanted to make a portrait, but never tried? Cellphones allow you to make pictures in a lot of locations where photography may otherwise not be approved of.

Use colour to brighten your photographs. Additionally, juxtapose street scenes with people shots to create some crazy portraits! Shot with: Apple iPhone 4S Photograph/Natasha Hemrajani

Use colour to brighten your photographs. Additionally, juxtapose street scenes with people shots to create some crazy portraits! Shot with: Apple iPhone 4S Photograph/Natasha Hemrajani

Let Colour Liven Things Up
Place your subject in front of a vibrant yellow wall or set up a bright coloured chart paper behind them. Use a retro-effects app like Instagram to make this colour look cooler.

Apps such as Bentocam (Android) and Double Photo (Andorid) will add special effects, such as a double or multiple exposure, to an otherwise ordinary portrait. Shot with: Apple iPhone 4 Photograph/Gaurav Sawn

Apps such as Bentocam (Android) and Double Photo (Andorid) will add special effects, such as a double or multiple exposure, to an otherwise ordinary portrait. Shot with: Apple iPhone 4 Photograph/Gaurav Sawn


Have Fun with Accessories

From pocket spotlights to fisheye lenses, there are a bunch of accessories that are available for cellphones nowadays. You can also put a magnifying glass in front of the lens and shoot someone’s face. Or put some cellophane paper in front of the cellphone’s flash to get a dynamic tint that gives the image an Warholesque feel.

As you look for subjects, begin by photographing friends and family at home. Shot with: Apple iPhone 4S Photograph/Natasha Hemrajani

As you look for subjects, begin by photographing friends and family at home. Shot with: Apple iPhone 4S Photograph/Natasha Hemrajani


It’s Meant to Be Offbeat

Guide your subject well and ask them to enact a variety of facial expressions for you. A smile, a frown, a wink… experiment with as many emotions as possible. Do not shoot just the regular moments, but even after they relax.

Apps like InstaBlend (iOS, Android) let you sandwich two completely unrelated images to simulate a multiple exposure. Shot with: Apple iPhone 4S Photograph/Natasha Hemrajani

Apps like InstaBlend (iOS, Android) let you sandwich two completely unrelated images to simulate a multiple exposure. Shot with: Apple iPhone 4S Photograph/Natasha Hemrajani


Make ‘Quirky’ Quirkier

There’s a crazy amount of filters and apps that can make any portrait look different. For instance, use Pixlr-o-matic’s edgy frames, Hipstamic’s old world look, Instagram’s vintage filters or Snapspeed’s grunge effects.
At the end of the day, portraiture is all about the people you photograph, and not the gear you use. Classical portraiture is something you should definitely practise, but get quirky sometimes. The genre is vibrant, dynamic and everchanging. More than anything else… it’s far from being dead!

Two Simple Ideas to Capture Funky Self-Portraits Using Your Cameraphone

Tags: angles, Cameraphone, Casual, Cellphone Shooting Technique, colours, expressions, filters, Fisheye Lens, Hipstamatic, instagram, july 2013, Mobile, Natasha Hemrajani, pixlr-o-matic, portraits, portraiture, Priyanka Chharia, Quirky, Richard Avedon, Smartphone, Snapseed, vintage