Looking for that million dollar image? It’s a common misconception that portrait photography is as simple as “click and go”. However, that’s far from how it works.

From good composition to choosing the right lens, we give you the low-down to help you take better portrait photography. So let’s jump right into the latest addition to our photography series.

1. Let there be light

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Lighting plays an essential role in shooting portraits as this technique creates the overall mood and sets a tone for a particular shot. Good lighting highlights the facial expressions of a model, as it brings out the texture of the model’s face. Therefore, giving the photograph a pleasant mood.

For example, when shooting with natural sunlight that comes in through a window, you’ll notice an attractive side-lit effect that reveals half of the model’s face and partially conceals the other half. If you’re keen for better lighting, simply add a reflector to reduce the harsh shadow of this portrait photography. 

2. Get the most out of your subject

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In portrait photography, a model’s pose and body language can deliver a particular mood to the photograph. So, knowing how to direct a model shows you have a well-planned photo shoot concept in mind that involves interesting angles, positioning of the models and their expressions.

Here is a good example of model direction. The model’s eye contact, from various angles, creates a strong impact that brings out a connection between the subject and viewers. When you master this technique, you’ll find it extremely useful for various portrait photography themes, be it fashion or wedding photo shoots.

3. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different lens

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Portrait photography is great for storytelling. However, for photography newbies out there, the task of choosing a lens remains to be as complicated as understanding how the egg cracked the internet. The usual portrait photography lens are 85mm, 100mm and 135mm. But the focal range offered by the 24-70mm zoom lens are also fantastic.

With the widest setting, this lens allows you to capture the environment along with the subject. And the environment has a massive potential to amplify an image, as it’s capable of playing a major role in offering a glimpse into the subject’s life – an essential aspect in storytelling.

4. Breaking the rules of portrait photography

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Many photographers tend to stick by the rule of thirds. But in portrait photography, certain rules are allowed to be broken. Sometimes you need to think outside the box to produce unique, creative and interesting shots. Also, shooting from high or low angles will provide different perspectives, which adds another dimension of the image.

Additionally, using the right props can create a big impact. It’s useful as it brings out the certain message and direction of the photograph. The dress code, style and color theme of the entire photo shoot also produces a lasting impression of the subject.

During your next photo shoot, we hope you adopt these skills when shooting portrait photography. Once you’ve aced this, you might just see your work being featured in top magazines. So are you ready to shoot your way to stardom?