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Portrait Photography Tips


Someone hands you their camera and says,”Take my picture”! Next you look through the viewfinder and fire away. However, if you don’t pay attention to the surrounding area there can be many distracting elements that take away from the subject. Here are a few photography portrait tips that can help you take better portraits.

Move In Closer

It’s just that simple! Try to fill the subject in the frame as much as possible. Move a few steps closer or use the digital camera zoom. All of a sudden the cars, trees, street signs, and lots of other things are nowhere to be seen.

Turn On Your Flash During the Day

At first, I thought that flash was used only when it was dark… right? The fact remains that flash and other forms of light help enhance the photo.

It’s very common to see dark shadows on your subject’s face especially when the sun is shining directly above their head.

Most digital cameras have a “fill flash” mode where the flash will fire under any lighting  condition. This technique will not only remove unwanted shadows, but it will make the subject’s skin tone and clothing appear more vibrant!

Don’t be afraid to turn on the flash when it’s bright and sunny.

Pay Attention To The Sun’s Position

As you’re probably aware, the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. About midday, it’s right above your head. You can use the early morning sunrise and early afternoon sunset to your advantage. The effects of natural light create warm and pleasant pictures.

In the morning, note the position of the sun. If you’re taking a portrait at this time, make sure the sun is shining on your back but in the subject’s face.

In the early evening, you would use the same theory but position your back facing the West. The sun should always shine over your shoulder to use a technique called front lighting. I love front lighting because it creates rich skin tones.

There are advanced options such as back lighting, and side lighting which create  great effects but I’ll cover those separately.

By following these portrait photography tips, you’ll learn to pay a bit more attention to your surroundings. This will allow you to take better photos and create very pleasing and eye catchy portraits.

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