The Art of Portrait Photography 

The Art of Portrait Photography 

Portrait photography is the art of capturing a person’s likeness in an image. This type of photography goes back as far as the 1800s and has evolved significantly since then to include digital manipulation, different shooting styles, and lenses to capture different looks. There are many things that make up this genre of photography, but one thing is for sure – portrait photographers have mastered their craft! In this blog post we will discuss some tips on how you can get started with portrait photography or improve your work if you’re already at it. 

The Importance of Learning the Basics

When you’re first starting out it’s important to learn the basics of portrait photography. There is a lot more that goes into this type of photography than just taking good pictures, including posing and lighting techniques. You should also consider getting a solid background such as seamless paper or a muslin cloth to get really nice backgrounds for your subjects. All of these things will help improve your work dramatically! 

Lighting and Equipment

Lighting is the most important component to portrait photography. The best way to learn lighting is to practice! One of the easiest ways to start off is with natural light. There are a lot of great places outdoors you can shoot your subject, like in an open field or on a beach. When using natural light, it’s also important that you use your flashes as fill lights – they won’t be enough for your subject since sunlight has such strong contrast. You should also consider adding reflectors if you’re shooting outside during overcast days, as this will help fill in shadows and give your subjects more even lighting throughout their entire body.

Study different photographers’ work! This can help give you inspiration when planning out new shots and in providing ideas for new poses.

Lastly, make sure to have a solid camera and lens for portrait photography – you’ll want something in the 35mm-55mm range so that you can get up close shots of your subject’s face without having to back too far away from them. 

Work on Composing Your Shots

Composition is one of the most important aspects of any photograph. When composing your shots try to think about what will be going on around the edges of your images; these are called frames within the image! If there is a lot going on behind or in front of your subjects it may be wise to move to a different location but if you don’t have time for this just try setting up your lights so that they’re not quite so prominent in the background. This could also apply to other things in the image like interesting patterns on clothes, for example!

Camera Settings

While you’re learning the basics of portrait photography, there are some technical things that will make a big difference in your final images. When shooting outdoors with natural light it’s important to shoot in either Shutter Priority or Aperture Priority mode, as this will allow you to get better sharpness and have more control over how intense the lighting is in your background!

Posing Your Subjects

There are multiple ways you can pose your subjects – ask them if their arms are always by their sides! Also, try to be consistent between poses so that your pictures flow nicely from frame-to-frame. 

When shooting people portraits, it’s often best to show their eyes. This means either taking shots straight on or at an upward angle – it’s not the greatest idea to shoot your subject from below!

Importance of Post-Production

After taking your images it’s just as important that you edit them. I’m a big fan of Lightroom but there are multiple programs out there for editing so do some research and figure out which one will work best for you. There are also many presets out there for different looks, like those from VSCO Cam, so be sure to check those out if you’re looking to add more variety to your style.


Bonnie Baldwin