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Top Tips for Great Portrait Photography

14th March 2023

Top Tips for Great Portrait Photography

Portrait photography tips can range from simple tweaks to your camera settings to keeping the subject comfortable and natural. Though many photographers have upgraded to a decent DSLR camera to gain more control when they take portraits, taking wonderful shots of people is still a big challenge.

Some portrait photographers swear by the rules while others thrive in breaking or bending them to work on out-of-the-box ideas. The following are some tips for helping any kind of portrait photographer:

Change the Perspective

Most portraits are shot at subject’s eye level. But if you totally change the angle you are shooting from, your portraits will get the wow factor. Climb up high and shoot down or stay close to the ground and shoot up. This will make for an interesting perspective to your subject.

Advice on Aperture

When you shoot portraits, it is best to use a wide aperture to capture a shallow depth of field such that the background behind the subject is well blurred, making them stand out better. Specialist portrait lenses tend to feature wider maximum apertures for further blurring of backgrounds.

Experiment with Eye Contact

It is surprising how much impact can be produced by the direction of eyes of your subject. Most portraits feature subjects looking down the lens. But you can also experiment with the subject looking off camera at something outside the picture or focusing on something which is part of the picture. These help in creating the story within the image.

Settings of Shutter Speed

While setting shutter speed, consider focal length of your lens lest camera shake becomes an issue. A general rule is to ensure that your shutter speed is higher than your effective focal length. This also implies that you can do well with slower shutter speeds while using a wide-angle lens.

Enhance Your ISO

Your models for photo shoot tend to move around much as they are photographed, not to mention changing their facial expressions like blinking at the camera. To avoid this situation of motion blur, you need to use a faster shutter speed. This ensures sharp shots and prevents motion blur which happens as you shoot portraits in handheld positions.

Choice of Lens

This has a huge impact on portrait photos. A wide-angle lens is a must for creating portraits with visual impact. For instance, shooting from a low angle will create the impression of your subject being taller than in reality. Also, don’t get too close or you might get an unflattering distortion. For more drama, try tilting the camera to an angle.

Use a Prop

Add a prop of some kind into your shots and enhance the quality of your shot, by using another point of interest. It is true that you run the risk of taking away too much of focus from your subject but you can create a story around the subject and the prop. Props are easily available when you take Photography studio in rent.

Be Creative with Composition

Avoid being lazy with your composition. Most often photographers stand back, thinking that it is good to include all or top half of their subject. Instead, zoom in to fill the frame for a highly inspired photo composition.

These are all some tips for taking great portrait photographs.


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