Useful Portrait Photography Hacks

By Matic Broz, editor-in-chief of Photutorial covering stock media, Adobe, and design. He founded Photutorial while finishing his PhD in computational biosciences.
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Taking photos is a hobby, pastime, or job for millions of people all over the world. While you can take all different kinds of photos, one of the most popular is portraits. These can be art pieces, professional headshots, or just silly and fun portrait photos of your friends. It can be a fun hobby, but plenty of people also make their living by taking portrait photos.

Unfortunately, while these photos are easy to take, they are hard to take well. It can take a lot of effort and planning to get portraits to turn out perfectly. With that in mind, this article is going to go over some useful portrait photography hacks you should be sure to check out.

Poses and perspective are everything.

If you want to get the best portrait photos possible, be sure to remember the poses and perspectives. Taking photos head-on while a person is standing straight can look good, but can also be a touch boring or plain. Instead, consider mixing it up.

When it comes to poses, you want to try out a variety and see what makes the subject comfortable and what looks best. Different poses can show everything from playfulness to power. You should learn more about guys’ selfie poses and various other types of poses that could come in handy regarding your work.

Also, in addition to static poses, consider taking candid photos, too. These can look great and can often produce more honest and natural shots. Try out different perspectives, like taking photos from slightly above, below, or off to the side, too. Simple bits of movement in the camera, photographer, or subject can have truly stunning results.

Keep the backgrounds simple.

The background of your photos is often underrated, but it is among the most important parts of a good portrait. Because of this, be sure to choose the right portrait background. The background should be simple and not take away too much from the subject.

It could be a white or gray seamless background, a solid color of your choice, or even a natural background. However, if the natural background is too busy, it can be distracting. In this case, many will choose to blur the natural background a little bit.

Be sure to test your background before using it, and find ways to make sure the subject doesn’t blend in too much with the background of the photo.

Get the lighting right.

Good lighting is a crucial part of any photo, portrait or otherwise. It can completely change how a photo looks, and the vibe it gives off. Experiment with different portrait lighting patterns, and you will soon see which looks better and matches up well with your particular goal.

You can use the flash on the camera, or soft lighting positioned above or below your subject. Whether the light is in front of or behind the subject can also drastically alter how the photo turns out. There is no right or wrong choice; it all depends on what sort of photo you are going for.

Also, if possible, using natural light can be absolutely beautiful. It is very soft and can help people’s skin look smooth and beautiful. Natural light is generally the most forgiving and beautiful in the early morning and late evening, so keep that in mind.

Either way, you want to ensure the subject is well-lit without the light being enough to blind them or make them uncomfortable.

With these tips and hacks at your disposal, you can ensure that your portrait photography is taken to the next level.


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