5 Ways to Improve Portrait Photography

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Photography is one of the most technical yet incredibly versatile art forms. Photographing people is an immensely popular hobby for many. People’s photographs fall into two classes – candid and portrait.

These two types of photography can become easier and more convenient to snap if you are aware of certain simple tips. Our photography experts found several incredible ways to improve portrait photography.

This article is written to help improving creative skills of portrait photographers. If you are new to portrait photography and don’t have basic technical knowledge on camera equipment you may want to start out with technical tips for portrait photography.

Regardless of the distance between the camera and the subject, knowing the intricate details of technique and composition can help to click amazing portrait photographs.

5 Ways to Improve Portrait Photography

Check out the tips and tricks from our photography experts to learn the best ways to improve portrait photography below. If you want more influence, you may appreciate the World’s best portrait photographers

1 – Close the distance

Not being near enough to the subject is one of the most common mistakes many photographers make. This is relevant when photographing a person or a small object. It could be that the subject may be physically large enough but may not be able to express meaning outright.

Viewers are usually aware when the distance between the camera and subject is deliberate, to add an artistic effect, and when the distance becomes the cause of lowering the picture’s value.

Hence, it is highly advisable to create a strong enough rapport with your subject so they are comfortable and cooperative.

2 – Seek a perfect setting

Apart from the subject, the setting in which the subject is being clicked also matters. The background is a great way to include a deeper perception. The proper setting is also immensely helpful in conveying a more detailed and precise message through a photograph.

Always ensure that the setting of your portrait photographs is relevant and clear. It should add pictorial detail to the subject of your photograph so viewers can instantly understand the message you are trying to convey.

Make sure to keep a fine balance when highlighting the subject so that the background setting is not blurred.

3 – Make yourself unobtrusive

Taking perfect portrait photographs becomes easier when the photographer is unnoticeable. This is especially important when you are seeking to snap candid portrait photographs of people at work, such as vendors and workers in the market, or sports fans and audiences at stadiums and theaters.

Make yourself unobtrusive - Portrait Photography

Make yourself unobtrusive – Portrait Photography

A few simple tips can help you become an unobtrusive photographer. First, determine the theme and message you wish to convey through your photograph.

Next, find a spot that offers an ideal view of the subject and scene you wish to capture. In addition, standing at the same place for some time can naturally make you less noticeable by others around you.

To keep your subject unaware of you, it is advisable to use a long lens and put some distance between you and the subject.

4 – Predict a pattern of behavior

Knowing how your subject will react or respond in their familiar settings is extremely important to click excellent candid portrait photographs.

When you can anticipate the subject’s behavior beforehand, it makes it easier to predict when the right moment for a perfect picture will arrive.

The perfect moment may last only for a split second, so make sure to keep your camera aimed and ready.

If you are aware of the settings, then it is recommended to adjust your camera settings (shutter speed, aperture, etc) before you get the camera ready to click the perfect portrait photograph.

5 – Anticipate actions within the frame

One of the best ways to become an expert at people photography is by understanding basic human nature to predict the subject’s behavior depending on the situation.

For example, if the subject is sitting in a restaurant, then you can expect them to look up and smile when the waiter comes to their table.

If it’s a party or special occasion, you can be sure that the subject will probably smile when they open a present or greet and meet with their loved ones.

When you can predict these simple human reactions, it becomes incredibly easy to realize when the perfect moment for ideal portrait photographs is arriving.


These tips and tricks have helped thousands of amateur photographs to reach the professional level. Let’s hope these ways to improve portrait photography are as effective for you and help you click your best pics every time.