How to Make a Great Portrait

Most photographers love shooting portraits because it is one of the most challenging things to do. It’s all about getting the right angle, lighting, composition, posture and so on. Portrait photography requires continuous interaction between the subject and the photographer, which makes it even more complex. So, to make things as easy as possible, here are a few tips to improve your portrait photography skills and make your portraits more unique.


Change the angle or perspective


Generic portraits are usually taken at an eye level. To give your portraits a unique touch, try playing around with the angles and perspectives. For instance, you can try shooing a portrait from a bird’s eye view approach or a worm’s eye view approach. Trying different angles can make your portraits stand out.


Choose an appropriate background

© Tino Soriano

© Tino Soriano

Backgrounds have a significant effect on your portraits. So, the next time you shoot, try to go for a background that would blend in well with the subject. The main thing to remember here is that the background should not draw attention away from the subject. A subtle or neutral background would be best suited for most portraits. The point is to use the background to create emphasis around the foreground.


Experiment with eye contact

© Tino Soriano

© Tino Soriano

The angle of the subject’s eyes can have a significant effect on the portrait. They can convey several messages to the viewer. Experimenting with various eye contact angles can help you create one of a kind portraits. For instance, getting your subject to look away from the camera or focus their attention on an external object can create a sense of mystery. Or you could even try getting the subject to focus on something within the frame. This way you can tell a story with the portrait.


Play with lighting


Lighting adds a lot of effect and sets the mood for photographs, especially for portraits. There are practically no limits to what you can do with lighting. Try and experiment with as many lighting techniques as possible to create a diverse number of effects and moods in your portraits.

portrait 1

© Tino Soriano

Fool around with composition


Traditional rules of portrait photography emphasize on the ‘Rule of Thirds’, but true creativity is not bound by rules. Keep trying different positions to come up with extraordinary portraits. Place your subject at the center of the frame or at the extreme right or left. Each position adds its own special effect.

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