Portrait Tips: 15 Portrait Photography Tips No One Else will Tell You

Portrait Tips

Here are a few portrait tips to help you achieve success in portrait photography. Whether beginner or experienced, every photographer needs to stick to basic knowledge and be extremely careful and decisive when shooting a portrait.

11 Portrait Photography Tips

11 Portrait Photography Tips
Portrait Photography Tips

1. Pay Attention to Background

The right background for the photo should work for the model. When the viewer looks at a picture, his gaze should be attracted by the person depicted on him and not by the furniture behind his back.

Portrait Background
Portrait Background

2. Focus on the Key Points

A portrait photo will be meaningless if you don’t remember the main detail in a person’s face – the eyes. Eyes are the mirror of the soul. The expressive eyes of a model can save even the poorest photo. You need to focus on the eyes.

Focus: Portraits Tips
Focus: Portraits Tips

Emotions will help to give the picture a mood. They can be different: anger, sadness, joy, disappointment, etc. The fact that the model itself is emotional and charismatic helps a lot.

3. Arrange Proper Lighting

Portraits require careful attention to lighting. The best time for a photo is either early morning or evening. Taking pictures in cloudy, cloudy weather is always more accessible and more convenient.

In sunny weather, light can “block the frame” and blind the model, which is highly inconvenient and takes a lot of time in post-processing. Interesting shots are obtained when the photographer is experimenting with light and shadows: lace is reflected on the face or the lines of a fishing net, etc.

Lighting for Portraits
Lighting for Portraits
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4. Crop Photos Wisely

There should be no distracting details in the frame. All attention should be directed to the subject of the portrait. If what the photographer sees in the viewfinder does not suit him, it is better to get closer to the model or look for a better angle.

Cropping Photos: Portrait Tips
Cropping Photos: Portrait Tips

5. Shoot Children at the Height of the Child

It is enough to sit down or kneel. First, this is a correct psychological move: when a child is with you, he does not feel superior. In this regard, he opens up and enters into friendly contact with you. Second, the best photographs are obtained when the photographer is in line with the child’s gaze.

Shoot Children at the Height of the Child
Portrait Tips – Shoot Children at the Height of the Child

6. Try to Shoot People in a Comfortable Environment

If a person is uncomfortable in the conditions you have created for him, he will turn out to be constrained and squeezed in the photo. Ask what he would like and where he is most comfortable. For example, if a child is more interested in playing on the street with a ball, it is possible to photograph just such moments and not drag him with tears in his eyes to a photo studio.

Try to Shoot People in a Comfortable Environment
Portrait Tips – Try to Shoot People in a Comfortable Environment

7. If You Do not Have the Right Lighting Equipment

If you are shooting portraits in an apartment with a lack of light, try positioning the model near a window, so the light falls on the subject at an angle.

Portrait Tips
Portrait Tips

8. Don’t Be Afraid! Embody the Most Unimaginable Ideas

Don’t be afraid to experiment. If you decide to take a photo of a child, give him paints, and he will provide the desired result himself. If it’s a girl, make an exciting body art on the face using rhinestones, stones, etc.

Embody the Most Unimaginable Ideas
Portrait Tips – Embody the Most Unimaginable Ideas
You may also like to read: How to Photograph Older Woman: 5 Effective Tips for Shooting Older Models

9. Choose the Right Colors

Colors must match – black-white, blue-yellow, etc. In bright colors, shoot in dim light; in light and warm colors, shoot in lighted rooms outdoors.

Choose the Right Colors
Portrait Tips – Choose the Right Colors

10. Position People Correctly

It is perhaps one of the most common mistakes. Models must not be facing the sun! It is necessary to put the person with his back to the sun and illuminate with a reflector.

Position People Correctly
Portrait Tips – Position People Correctly

11. Prepare the Props for Photo Shoot

If suddenly you see that exactly one hour has passed since the beginning of the portrait shooting, and the model still feels discomfort, offer her some props: gum to blow bubbles, flowers, a toy, etc. As practice shows, with such items, it is easier to enter the desired image.

Prepare the Props
Portrait Tips – Prepare the Props

12. About Publication

If you decide to post your work on the Internet and photo banks, you need to discuss this issue with the model in advance. It is done so that the model then has no complaints about posting her photos without permission. If you take pictures on TFP CD terms, which in principle is considered free of charge, you must agree (model release) to transfer all rights to you.

Source - Pexels
Portrait Tips. Source – Pexels

13. About Sharpness

Try to check the Sharpness of the eyelashes. If you enlarge the frame to the eyelashes, you can see if the picture is in focus. If each eyelash is visible, the frame is in focus; if the eyelashes are blurred, there is no focus.

Sharpness - Portrait Tips
Sharpness – Portrait Tips

14. Use a Reflector

It will be helpful for you to create good light. If you chose 5 in 1 reflector, you have many advantages. At least it will be easier to shoot in sunny weather. Use the white side for bright light, like in a studio; silver with a bit of light to add it; the gold side is suitable for shooting at sunset, and the black side is ideal for shading.

Use a Reflector
Portrait Tips – Use a Reflector

15. Take 2-3 Photos in a Row

It can be challenging to capture the moment even in portraits, and it takes a split second before the right emotion gets into the frame. So, if you shoot several frames in a row, the chances of catching this “instant” increase.

Take 2-3 Photos in a Row
Portrait Tips – Take 2-3 Photos in a Row

The essential thing in any shooting is to be yourself. “Stew in your own juice” and develop your vision. Learn to explain to the client what you want to see from him, choose your model carefully, try to bring something special to your photos, hone your skills, and then your pictures will “live”!