Angles and distortion
If there is one thing that wedding photographers should be quite skilled about in the area of portraiture, it would have to be playing around with angles and understanding the basic principles of distortion. And yes, in case you are wondering, if you would like to become a wedding photographer at some point or so, you will need to be more than well versed in the aspect of taking great looking portrait shots when it all comes down to it.
As a matter of fact, it will be more than safe to say that a huge percentage of the photos that you will end up taking as a professional wedding photographer will turn out to be portrait shots. The common rules of thumb are that shooting at a downward angle can make the subject look vulnerable, smaller and feminine whereas shooting from an upward angle can make the subject look bigger, more authoritative and masculine. Angles from down below can be somewhat unflattering. Distortion is something that you need to look out for especially during a bridal shoot. The person nearest to the camera is usually the one who look the biggest. Just try to keep that in mind all of the time for good measure.
Most wedding photographers will tell you that one trick that seems to work every single time is the aspect of over exposing the photos that they take. This sounds technical but there is actually a pretty simple concept behind that. You simply make the background lighting brighter than usual. You can adjust this through the exposure settings of your camera as well as bring in additional lighting or angle the shot in such a way wherein it will be able to make the most out of the naturally occurring light during that particular moment. Over exposing your portrait shots will make the background somewhat irrelevant and the focus will be more on the features of the subject.
Uniqueness and individuality
A portrait should encapsulate the personality and the individuality of the particular subject that you are trying to capture in your photos. You should now have a blanket approach to portrait photography given the fact that people are unique and interesting and altogether different in their own ways. Find out what makes your subject interesting and unique and try to bank on that. Let this be your guide when it comes to the direction that you need to take for the portrait photo shoot that you are initiating for the subject.
This already goes without saying but it deserves to be mentioned for emphasis anyway. You need to make sure that your portrait shots will be focused on the closeups when it all comes down to it. Bring a macro lens or a telephoto lens along with you so that you will be able to come up with detailed looking closeup shots for your shoot. You need to make sure that every frame is maximized as much as possible because this is the best way to make your portrait shots come out looking striking and impacting.