Portrait Photography Tips

Anyone with a camera can shoot a portrait, but good photographers use other techniques to distinguish their images. Use these portrait photography tips and make those run of the mill shots look extraordinary.

A Change of Perspective

Most photographers shoot with the camera at eye level. This is applicable in most cases. In some instances though, using a different vantage point is better. Try taking a picture from a lower perspective. Have the subject stand on the side and the head tilted down towards the camera a little.

Or you can take the shot from a slightly higher view. By adding some variety, you can make the image more interesting.

Eye Contact

Some of the more interesting portrait photography tips involve the subject’s eyes. When the subject looks ahead, a link is created with the onlooker. However, having the subject looking somewhere else can make it more interesting. Take the following scenario. The woman is looking away from the camera, to the left. There is a look
of wonder on her face.

It’s an appealing shot for a number of reasons. For one, it appears candid. It doesn’t look prepared and no feeling of being self conscious. Secondly, it is an invitation to ponder. The viewer will think of what has caught the subject’s attention. It’s these kinds of pictures that ultimately hold the viewer’s attention.

Add Points of Interest

Another portrait photography tip worth mentioning is that of adding props. If you’re taking photos of a child, put some toys there. If it’s a young woman, have her holding a glass of wine or maybe going over some papers. The add ons you can put in are endless. Just make sure it complements and doesn’t overpower the main subject. Added correctly, it can stimulate the mind of the viewer.

Light and Shadows

Whether it’s indoor or outdoor, lighting will play a critical role. When shooting indoors, pay close attention to what kind you use. Low key light evoke feelings of mystery or somberness. Bluish or pinkish light are typical of mornings, while reds and yellows are reminiscent of sunsets.

This aspect can’t be overlooked among portrait photography tips. You can use lampshades, specialty lights or sunlight to give your portrait the right look. Side lights, back lights and silhouettes can be used for dramatic effects. They can be used to accentuate or conceal features. Don’t forget to experiment with the filters that come with your camera too.

Candid Shots

The biggest problem with posed shots is that the subject can look stiff. Even when the picture is busy, it can look forced at times. Take shots of your children while they’re playing ball, or your mom when she’s sewing some clothes.

Just tell them to relax and continue what they’re doing. Quite often, it’s the natural rather than posed shots that are most attractive.

What these portrait photography tips share in common is that they are unusual and don’t abide by the established rules. By breaking the standard rules and thinking out of the box, you’ll come up with remarkable shots.

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