18 Tips for Better Portraits

  • Post comments:0 Comments
  • Reading time:6 mins read

18 Tips for Better Portraits: A blog with photography tips.

Want more attention? Try a simple head-and-shoulders shot. This is the most flattering angle because it minimizes flaws and maximizes your good points. It’s also the easiest to take. Look straight into the lens and hold still. No smiling, no monkey faces, no mugging. Hold your head steady and don’t blink. If you wear glasses or anything else you don’t want in the photo, remove them and put them on a nearby surface where you can grab them quickly at the end of the shoot. Be aware of what’s in the background — move things out of the way or have someone else move them if you can’t or don’t know how. Wear solid colors rather than patterns or stripes for a clean background (check out my friend Erin’s great post about this here).

How do I look? Good, but my hair! Your hair can be one of those pesky flaws that make a photo less than perfect, but there are a few easy ways to minimize its impact while keeping your locks intact!

Here are 18 tips for better portraits by Matt Kloskowski. The tips are organized into three levels of complexity: fun, intermediate and advanced.

1. Use natural light whenever possible.

2. If you don’t have natural light, then use a good soft box or a shoot-through umbrella (the kind that has the white backing).

3. Set your camera on aperture priority mode, turn off autofocus, and use a medium aperture (f/8 or f/11).

4. Open up your lens all the way so it’s at its maximum aperture (f/1.8 or f/2).

5. Set your white balance to daylight or cloudy.

6. Set your exposure to -1 stop (or whatever looks right in terms of how the person looks).

7. Shoot in RAW – it’s easier to fix mistakes in post processing if you shoot in RAW format.

8. Shoot with a medium sized aperture (f/2 or f/2.8).

9. Use a focal length of 50mm or 85mm if you’re shooting with a full-frame camera and 30mm or 40mm if you’re shooting with an APS-C camera (I like to use my 24-70

I’ve been photographing people for years and often struggle with how to get them to look natural in front of the camera. This blog has some great tips that can help you avoid that stiff, awkward feeling.

18 Tips for Better Portraits is a short post from Digital Photography School with excellent ideas for posing and composition. It’s very easy to understand and I highly recommend reading through it before your next shoot.

A few of my favorites tips include:

Wear clothes that have large patterns or designs as they draw the eyes away from the face; this helps create a more flattering portrait.

“Crop out any unnecessary distractions around your subject (e.g., other people).”

“Try to give your subject something to focus on.”

“Get down to their level.”

The main purpose of photography is to capture the beauty and the special moments of your life! It is a powerful medium which can create stunning art. Here are some tips to help you take better portraits:

Clothes, makeup and hair styling all make a huge difference in portraits. Make sure that you are dressed nicely and that your clothes fit properly. Your clothing should match your general style, but still look great in a portrait.

Look at the background of your picture. If it has clutter or anything distracting, try changing it up or moving yourself so that you are not in view of it.

Make sure that your eyes are open and focused on the camera. You can pose different facial expressions such as giving a slight smile or looking serious. You can also use props to focus on something specific such as flowers, animals, or an item from their favorite movie or book series.

Position yourself correctly when taking portraits. The best way to get good shots would be to have a high-quality camera with a programmable flash feature for optimum lighting conditions. Use natural light for outdoor shots and avoid using direct flash indoors. Do not use flash if it will reflect off of shiny surfaces such as windows and jewelry because this will cause red-eye in people’s eyes.


The opening photograph is a portrait of the artist’s girlfriend, and I think it is a very good one. An old Hasselblad 500 CM and Kodak Portra 400 film was used to shoot this image. The background is a roll of muslin fabric that has been attached to a pole, allowing the model to pose freely in front of it.

The main source of light comes from an octabank softbox placed above the model at 45 degrees. The octabank is illuminated by an Alien Bees B800 with 1/2 CTS gel taped over the flash head. The light output from the flash has been dimmed by using two layers of Rosco

Professional photographers call these things “props” and don’t want you to touch them. But after you’ve taken the picture, you can do whatever you want with the hair. You can make it into a wig or braid it or use it to tie up a cat. You can dye it, cut it, curl it, straighten it, shampoo and condition it.


_This is called “hair art”.

Hair art is one of the most popular forms of art today. It can be done on canvas or on hair and it’s a great way to show off your talent. Having a creative mind, you can do anything with it and produce amazing results.

Before starting, make sure to properly prepare. Along with drawing skills, you must also have good planning skills. Even the slightest mistake in planning will be too visible while producing hair art.

How to plan? Consider the size of your canvas first. Is it big enough for what you want to produce? Is it bright enough? Will it fit the place where you want to hang it? Also consider the right lighting conditions of your room or studio, because if they are not bright enough, you won’t see things as they are and will end up with something different from what you expected.

Leave a Reply