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5 Simple Ways to Master Portrait Photography

1839 is when photography was born and till now, it is developing continuously. However, portrait photography was always the center of attraction and still now, it is the most emphasized genres of photography.

Portrait photography centers on the personality of the person. And the interesting thing is you cannot speak of someone’s personality just by looking at them. Therefore, a portrait photographer has to struggle to bring out the inner self while snapping the moment.

And here most of the photographers fail. Lack of emotion in the photo makes it a complete disaster even though they term it as a portrait shot which the professionals don’t. They wait with patience to seize the moment when the subject’s personality is visible on his/her appearance through the lens.

However, the best way to capture the perfect portrait shots, you have to be devoted. And of course, you’ll need to practice till you are there.

But there are some factors that will assist you in getting mesmerizing portraits of your subjects. Let’s see the 5 simple ways through which you can compose better portrait shots.

A thing to note; photography as a whole is a combination of skills, technology, and of course, art. So, prepare yourself accordingly before you expect to have master shots.

  1. Light is the king: The soul of photography is light. Without it, your composition is nothing. Even when you are prioritizing dark scenario, there must be light.

However, light is the thing that shapes your mood, brightness, tone, atmosphere, and even darkness. Your control over the light will determine the depth of your texture, luminosity, and vibrancy of your subject.

In some cases, your ability to manipulate the light may draw the line between a brilliant portrait and a disaster.

master portrait photography

  1. Focus on the eyes: Portrait photography is all about capturing the emotion of the subject. And there’s nothing that can express more than those eyes. So, put your focus on the eyes to seize the expression.

Make the eyes your primary focus when capturing someone’s portrait. But that doesn’t mean you cannot manipulate your ways of focusing. You may have portraits without capturing the eyes in full.

Actually, focusing on the eyes is capturing what they have to say about the person. Not necessarily it will be all about them.

A blank look won’t serve good as you don’t want them in the final presentation. Likewise, a fake smile will ruin what you intend to compose.

  1. Pay attention to the background and spot: A background has the ability to make your piece of work a remarkable one or a complete failure. It must fit according to the context.

The viewers should not be distracted by elements of the background. But they cannot be overlooked which might decrease the appeal of the photo.

A blurry background simply makes your image more acceptable. But remember your target. If your subject requires the presentation of the background elements you must keep them sharp enough. Otherwise, optimize its blurriness according to your needs.

If you cannot find an ideal place for shooting, you can always add it in post-production. These days there are some aftermarket backdrops available which you can collect easily.

But be artistic as it often indicates your creativity.


  1. Posing is also important: Nothing is sweeter than a pose that expresses the subject at its best. Posing can create an alternative meaning in assisting you to get the perfect shot.

So, prioritize it.

You have to figure out what pose will be perfect for an ideal composition. If you have any predetermined pose which you find easy to bring out the emotions of the subject, go for it. But respect what your subject has to offer.

Obviously, you cannot ask him/her to do something they are not comfortable with. No matter how hard you try, you cannot do it right until your subject is at ease.

If your client is good at posing, then it’s fine. Go with the show. But if it is not, make him/her comfortable and relaxed. It might create a good opportunity for you to seize what you intend for.

Posing also requires movement. And needless to say, a photographer has to move here to there to get the most of the light, angle, and frame. Newbies often make mistakes here. Their outputs become blurry because of the movement required. A tripod can solve the issue.

Or if you are quite familiar with the functionality of the camera, which I’m assuming, balance the ISO and modify it according to your environment to decrease the motion blur.

pro portrait photography

  1. Pick your lens wisely: The success of your portrait shot depends largely on your lens choice. For professional shots, you must pick a wide-angle lens. A good zooming lens is also helpful since you don’t have to move frequently to cover the distance and frame.

Experimenting with your lenses will be helpful in getting creative shots. A slight tilting can get your innovative angles to shoot from.

A simple but powerful opinion can shape the way you take your portrait shots. A professional photographer always keeps a few things in mind.

Portrait photographers prioritize ideas and arts to generate top class outputs, rely on technological innovations to develop middle-class results and finally, they use equipment only to get what they call third-class crops.

So, take your stand here and ask yourself what you are up to.

Mr. Johnny is a pro-photographer and Photoshop expert. Passionate about blogging and writes on different designing related blogs. Wildlife, nature, portrait, and product photography are his main concerns. Loves to travel in different scenic places and enjoys capturing amazing photos.