Some Tips on Portrait Photography

Any photographer can take a good picture of a place or thing. It is more difficult to succeed in good portrait photography. A portrait photo is usually defined as a photograph of a person or group of people with a specific emphasis on their face, or faces. It is meant to not only capture a good image of the person or persons, but to also reveal something of their character, attitude or personality. In other words, whatever makes them unique.

What Makes a Good Portrait Photographer

Portrait photography can be a challenge. A good portrait photographer should have a lively, upbeat personality. Many people are shy in front of a camera, and it is the photographer’s job to set the subjects at ease and shoot the photo at the proper moment to catch the best image. Serious or thoughtful expressions may reveal more of a person’s character than a smile, thus providing better portrait photography images than a forced expression.

The photographer should also have all equipment prepared in advance, and have proper lighting available. Placement of the person, or people is also critical, as long as the people are emphasized and not the surroundings.

Portrait Photography Posing Tips

For a group portrait, people should be posed either touching each other, or overlapping visually. Head heights should be staggered, and those with brightly colored clothing should be placed in the middle.

When posing couples, try to avoid space between their heads to create intimacy. Both people may either be facing forward with one persons front touching the others back, or touching each other.

Individuals are usually posed with their body and head facing different directions. Often a prop of some kind, such as a musical instrument, book, or piece of sports equipment is included to give some suggestion of the subject’s interests and personality. This is especially true when a high school senior has their senior portrait taken.

Types of Portrait Photography

Portraits may be done of individuals or of groups. Family portraits involve as many family members as you can get to sit for the portrait, or just mom, dad and the kids. Wedding portraits are done of the entire wedding party, and individual portraits of the bride, the bride and groom together, and whoever else is desired. Team portraits are done every season. Many people even have portraits done of their pets, or with their pets. Anything goes.