- Portrait Photography Tips: Get to Know Your Subjects
- Portrait Photography Tips: Use the Right Lens
- Portrait Photography Tips: Be Creative
- Portrait Photography Tips: Partner With a High-Quality Printing Company
- Final Thoughts on Portrait Photography
- Recommended Photography Gear
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- Learn the ins and outs of your camera!
- Use different poses and backgrounds!
- Scout locations in advance!
- Invest in lighting equipment!
- Practice, practice, practice!
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- Landscape Canvas Prints: How to Get the Best Image
Photo by franckreporter via iStock
Since the invention of the first camera over two hundred years ago, portrait photography has long been one of the most popular genres of photography. And while the majority of people enjoy taking photos of others, and it seems simple at first, it’s a lot harder than it looks.
When shot correctly, portraits freeze individual moments in time and tell their stories. Of course, portrait photography captures people, but there’s so much more to a great portrait than just a person. They transmit emotions, teleport us around the globe, and intimately connect us with the subject.
With that said, if you are a beginner photographer interested in portrait photography, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we share a handful of simple yet effective tips that will increase the quality of your portraits. By implementing them into your photography routine today, you will see immediate results, and your friends and family will be blown away by your images.
So, what are we waiting for? Let’s dive in and discover four simple portrait photography tips for beginners guaranteed to improve your portraits overnight!
Check out the video above by Bach Photography to learn more portrait photography tips and how you can quickly and easily improve your portraits.
Table of Contents
Portrait Photography Tips: Get to Know Your Subjects
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One drastically underrated aspect of portrait photography is the relationship between the subject and the photographer. The better you know the person you are shooting, the more comfortable you both will be during a photo shoot, and the better the pictures will turn out. This is why it’s critical to take the time to get to know and connect with your models before working with them.
In some situations, such as street and travel photography, you rarely have time to get to know your subjects. And sometimes the two of you won’t even speak the same language. However, a smile and a quick hello go a long way in these cases. They will instantly lower your subject's guard, which will shine through in your photos.
Portrait Photography Tips: Use the Right Lens
Photo by valentinrussanov via iStock
Another top portrait photography tip for beginners is to make sure you are using the correct lenses. When selecting a portrait lens, the lens type (zoom vs prime), focal length, and maximum aperture are the primary things to consider. Price will also factor into your decision, so if you are on a budget, I recommend checking out the amazing selection of used lenses at MPB.
In other types of photography, zoom lenses are the most sought-after lenses, but most portrait photographers prefer working with prime lenses. This is because they often feature higher-quality glass and have large max apertures (low f-stop number). The best focal lengths for portrait photography are 85mm, 50mm, and 35mm.
Portrait Photography Tips: Be Creative
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Due to the popularity of portrait photography, it can be challenging to make your photos stand out. That’s why our next portrait photography tip for beginners is to be creative and have fun with it! Different ways to be creative include playing with light, using props/outfits, and taking advantage of today's post-production tools.
There are tons of ways to get creative using light, whether you are using natural lighting, a lighting kit, or creative lens filters. One of my favorites is to create contrast using shadows. Next, props and clothing are a great way to add a fun and unique look to your images. Lastly, editing your portraits is a fantastic way to make your images pop!
Portrait Photography Tips: Partner With a High-Quality Printing Company
Our final portrait photography tip is to ensure you always print your portraits from a high-quality, trustworthy source. There are endless places that claim to deliver excellent quality prints, but unfortunately, not all of them live up to their promise. And as a beginner photographer, the last thing you need is to have your portraits ruined by a shabby print job.
Our go-to printing company is CanvasPrints.com. They are a leader in the online printing industry and offer a wide range of products and services, including glass photo prints. Glass prints are a unique and beautiful way to show off and display the photos you worked so hard to create.
Their glass prints feature durable, high-quality ¼-inch glass, are weather-resistant, and include a free hanging kit. Also, their modern style looks perfect in homes and offices, and they make wonderful gifts for the upcoming holiday season. Furthermore, their combination of excellent quality, knowledgeable customer service staff, and low prices are totally unbeatable!
Final Thoughts on Portrait Photography
Photo by ViewApart via iStock
As you can see, so much more goes into creating gorgeous portraits than just your camera and subject. Pre-production, production, and post-production all play huge roles in the process and affect your final results. So, remember what you learned above the next time you are taking photos of people.
If you want to learn more, here’s a list of a few more simple portrait photography tips for beginners, all of which you can peruse in our collection of portrait photography tutorials: