7 Portrait Photography Tips and Tricks

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Portrait Photography Tips and Tricks

Complete Overview of Portrait Photography

Portrait photography can be one of the trickiest forms of photography. Taking a photograph that seems natural and conveys the subject’s story is a skill that comes with time. Portraits express stories of not just subjects but also of time, culture, skill, and place. Whether you’re taking candid pictures of families or friends or setting up a specialized shoot. This article will help you to understand Portrait photography.

Portrait Photography Tips - what is portrait photography

Portrait Photography Tips – what is portrait photography

What is Portrait Photography?

In simple words, as the name suggests, it is the aspect of taking the expressions of a person in detail. Photography of an individual or group of people that captures the personality of the subject and tell the story is called portrait photography.

Portrait photography is a hard nut to crack. There is a ton of little things that we need to take care of, from picking the right gear and finding the awesome location. Even after working on the lighting part, there is a need to make improvements in Photoshop.

Let’s cover all portrait photography essential information that can improve your photography skills. Here are the 7 tips:

Portrait Photography Tips and Tricks

1. Portrait Photography Gear 

When it comes to portrait photography camera does not matter much what matter more is the camera lenses. For portrait photography, prime lenses are recommended. To get blurry bouquet photographs, you need a lens that has a wider aperture.

Portrait Photography Tips - gear

Portrait Photography Tips – gear

If you are using the kit lens, it doesn’t mean that you can’t shoot good portraits. Lenses matter a lot because different focal lengths have different looks. So always keep in mind what results in you are expecting to choose the lenses accordingly. The best lens for a portrait camera depends on your camera’s make and model. Check the portrait lenses below if you own a Canon or Nikon camera.

See Also

Best Canon lens for portrait photography

Best Nikon lens for portrait photography


2. Portrait Photography Camera Settings

No matter you have premium camera gear without the right setting you can’t achieve the best outcome. Your camera settings also depend on whether you are using a tripod or holding the camera yourself.

When using a camera with a tripod, you should go with a manual setting because it will allow you to do a maximum level of customization for your shots. So go with a slow shutter speed that helping you to use all available light. Use low ISO 100-400 when slowing your shutter speed.

When you are holding the camera yourself, shoot in Aperture Priority mode to control the depth of field. Shutter speed set by DSLR automatically according to the exposer. Professional portrait lenses will use the wider maximum apertures (from f/1.4 to f/2.8) to capture blur backgrounds.


3. Portrait Photography Focusing


In any type of photography, the focus is the essential factor because you want the subject to be in the focus. In portrait photography, it’s extremely crucial because you are dealing with shallow depth of field most of the time.

Portrait Photography Tips - focusing

Portrait Photography Tips – focusing

Now, when the subject in the same plain as the lenses then it’s no issue. When you focus any of the eye both eyes will come in focus. The problem starts when subjects not in the same plain as lenses. In that case, always focus on the closest eye and make sure focus is tack sharp because when you are dealing with shallow depth of field even if you miss the focus the images won’t look good.


4. Portrait Photography Composition

As you know photography is a combination of technicality and aesthetic part that’s where composition comes into the picture. You can use the all composition guidelines like leading lines, rule of third can be used in portrait photography as well. The subject is the main focus of the image and you want the attention of the viewer to go to the subject directly. You have to make sure to avoid the distraction.

Portrait Photography Tips - composition

Portrait Photography Tips – composition

One method to avoid the distraction in the background by using a wider aperture and focusing on the subject. If you are using a good composition you will be able to see the photos look much better. Here you can see the below the images and understand how the composition used to capture pleasing images.


5. Portrait Photography Foreground Element 

Your portrait photographs look amazing to adding a foreground element. When you intentionally keep the foreground element out of focus. You will be able to get cool-looking flare and photographs look amazing. You don’t need to use Photoshop to add flare because you will get everything perfect in the camera.

Portrait Photography Tips - foreground element

Portrait Photography Tips – foreground element


6. Portrait Photography Using Reflector

When you are dealing with natural light you don’t have much flexibility in modifying the light that’s where reflector comes into the picture. Reflective object which reflects light to the subject. This is used when you want to get rid of shadows and you want the light to look more even. Reflector comes in silver and golden parts, buy it as per your requirement. Using a reflector with wide range adjustment feature is highly recommenced so that your object has equally distributed brightness (Hey! It’s on Amazon)

7. Portrait Photography Location, Background & Lighting

This is the last but not the least tip, lighting is the must for any genre of photography. The best time of the day to shoot the just before the sunrise and sunset. This time also called Golden hours, in this time taken picture look much better.

Now let’s talk about Location & background, landscape photography location is the main factor but when it comes to portrait photography it doesn’t matter as much. Even if you are not shooting in a good location where you can use the background to your advantage and create better-looking images.