Shooting Portraits: A Few Tips And Stuff


This is an article to help those few and indeed others who want to know a few tips and tricks on how to go about shooting portraits and making it more interesting.

Credits: anird

Shooting portraits has been around for far longer than we can imagine. I mean, way before the camera was even invented. Rembrandt was the king of self-portraits and so were many of the Renaissance artists of the time. How can one forget the greatest portrait of all time: “The Mona Lisa.”

Now, what relation does that have with what this tipster has to offer? Quite a lot, in fact. Guidelines have existed since fish for all of these endeavors, and what you are going to read next is like a analogue interpretation for shooting portraits.

1. Not Shooting At Eye Level: While it is the norm to shoot portraits at the eye level of the subject, completely changing the angle that you shoot the picture from can give the picture that extra pow pow.

Credits: whynotwinnipeg

You can either go high and shoot your subject or get as close to the ground and shoot up.

Credits: whynotwinnipeg

2. Playing With Eye Contact: It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul and the direction of the subjects’ eyes can impact the picture in a major way. Apart from the usual looking down the lens, we can either have the subject look off camera to an unseen something that creates an atmosphere of intrigue.

Alternatively, the subject can be focusing on something or someone within the frame, thus, creating a second point of interest and a relationship between it and your primary subject while also helping in create ‘story’ within the image.

Credits: anird

3. Playing With Light: The way lighting is used can create mood, backlighting, and silhouette for your subject to hide their features, which can create a powerful image.

Credits: yami

4. Remember The 6th Rule: Sometimes, posed shots can look somewhat….well, posed. Some people don’t look good in a posed environment and so switching to a candid type approach can work.

Credits: whynotwinnipeg

5. Prop it Up: Adding a prop of some kind into your shots will create another point of interest that can enhance your shot.

Credits: anird

6. Focus On A Body Part: Get up close and personal with a body part of the subject. Sometimes, what’s left out of an image says more than the image itself.

Credits: pregrino_george

7. Frame The Subject: Framing the subject will draw the eyes to a point of interest in the image.

Credits: aalper

8. Backgrounds: The person in your portrait is the main point of interest but sometimes placing them into different contexts with different backgrounds you can dramatically alter the mood in a shot. Sometimes, you want your background to be as minimalistic as possible.

9. Expressions: Experimenting with different expression from the subject will definitely make the picture more interesting.

Credits: anird

Photos courtesy of mikahsupageek, aalper, whynotwinnipeg, yami, pregrino_george, mugeyildiz, and anird.

written by anird on 2012-07-05 in #gear #tipster #color #art #lomography #portraits #challenge #ideas #tipster #india #cityslicker


  1. whynotwinnipeg
    whynotwinnipeg ·

    great article;) thanks for using my photos.

  2. anird
    anird ·

    thanks again for letting me use your great snaps :)

  3. reminator
    reminator ·

    Nice article! I usually give my subject viewing room or breathing room in a photo. That means that if they look to the right you frame your subject on the left up until 1/3 of the picture and leave 2/3 space for "looking". This takes the most out of the effect.

    And for candid shots, if you are out in public wanting to snap random people on the street you should ask for permission and sometimes show your appreciation by buying from them our giving them something. then you have the problem that they will start to pose a bit, the solution to this is our waiting patiently till they drop their attention or by snapping them while they are doing something as that will take up all their attention, which results in a natural poised picture!

    But still, a matter of choice and preference as the photographer is the one with the vision!

  4. brandkow93
    brandkow93 ·

    good photos, but most of them i wouldnt describe as portraits most are snap shots.

  5. jeremias8
    jeremias8 ·

    Nice article!

  6. epfencer
    epfencer ·

    great article! :)and great fotos

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