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5 Photography Tips & Tricks For Creating Dreamy Portraits



Dreamy-like photography can be found all over these days—from the pages of high-fashion publications to the feeds of your favorite Insta-photographer. There is something so mesmerizing about the ethereal world in which they inhabit, that it makes you wonder just how these photos are created.





Capturing portraits in this genre requires a lot of creativity to pull off, but at the same time, what makes it fun is that there aren't any hard rules to follow.





1. Discover Enchanting Locations




Finding the perfect location is essential in making people believe they’re in a dream world. You can look for places that people usually associate with dreams, or be creative and build these dreamscapes yourself. Popular locations for these kinds of portraits include landscapes, theme parks, and old buildings. These places feature a lot of visual elements that you can channel into

crafting surreal scenarios.




2. Create Soft Clean Shallow Depth of Field Backgrounds

If you take Discover Enchanting Locations concept and apply soft clean shallow depth of field the end results can bring about a mystery portrait looks. Using a shallow depth of field is essential in creating dreamy portraits. Why? Because having a blurry background replicates the same hazy sensation of being in a dream. Apart from that, it also allows you to isolate other visual elements, placing the viewer's focus on your chosen subject. Using a shallow depth of field is essential in creating dreamy portraits. Why? Because having a blurry background replicates the same hazy sensation of being in a dream. Apart from that, it also allows you to isolate other visual elements, placing the viewer's focus on your chosen subject.



3. Illuminate You Work With Lens Flares


Another great way to achieve dreamy effects is by using lens flares. It can be quite challenging to get this technique right at first; simply pointing your lens toward the sun isn’t going to guarantee beautiful flares. However, with the right technique and some practice, you’ll learn to capture them in your photos beautifully. All you have to do is position your lens so that the sun is in the frame and slowly move the camera until concentric circles appear on the screen. Keep adjusting your position until you see the details of your subject's face clearly despite the presence of the flare. Do this with your camera’s live view screen turned on, since using your viewfinder could potentially damage your eye. If you want your sunburst to have well-defined rays, use a small aperture between f/11 to f/22. However, if you’re looking for a more blown-out look, use a wide aperture such as f/1.8 or f/2.8.

Additionally, since your subject is backlit, remember to use a spot meter just like when shooting portraits near windows. You can also use a reflector or whiteboard for extra lighting.



4. Seek Out Soft Lighting

Soft light is an essential component in creating a dreamy photo. The reason that it's used in most dream sequences in movies is because it makes scenes appear purer and almost heavenly. However, you don’t necessarily need expensive lights in order to illuminate your portraits; all you have to do is wait for the right outdoor conditions. Soft light is an essential component in creating a dreamy photo. The reason that it's used in most dream sequences in movies is because it makes scenes appear purer and almost heavenly. However, you don’t necessarily need expensive lights in order to illuminate your portraits; all you have to do is wait for the right outdoor conditions.



5. Play With Long Exposures


When playing with long exposures, set up your camera on a tripod, and switch it to Speed Priority Mode. You can start with 1/5th of a second or slower depending on the lighting and the amount of blur you wish to achieve. After you choose the shutter speed, ask your subject to move any part of their body such as their head or their arms. You can also try playing with lights to create beautiful trails. Have a friend hold a light source and move it around as soon as the shutter opens. Once you're finished taking the photo, you can expect to see long streaks show up in your shot.


Remember that if the scene is too bright, you could end up with an overexposed image. Therefore, consider taking photos in a dimly-lit location to get the most out of this effect.


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