5 tips to improve your portrait photography
Updated: Feb 7, 2022
Picking out a perfect background for portraits is really important! You don’t want a background that is too distracting to the viewers eyes or too cluttered as that will draw too much attention from the subject in the portrait. What you want is usually a neutral background, however not a completely plain background.
Natural daylight is the most attractive source of light especially for portrait photography. However direct sunlight usually creates very harsh shadows so if you do want to shoot in such conditions the best opportunity would be to find a place with a light shade. A slightly overcast day is super good for portrait photography as it will create soft light on your subject.
As for indoor portraits (like this shot) its best to place your subject near a window or somewhere close to natural light and then have your subject facing towards the light or slightly towards the light (depending on how the shadows turn out when facing different directions towards the light) but without the subject being over- or underexposed. Exposure is super important in portrait photography so make sure to set the exposure carefully and place your subject in the right amount of light.
Shooting with a shallow depth of field will allow you to have your subject in focus and your background blurred out or out of focus which will essentially make the subject stand out more and draw the viewers attention to the subject. A shallow depth of field is controlled by aperture which is measured in f/stops or numbers. The smaller the f/stop the more blurred the background will be.
Portraits look best when the eyes of the subject are in focus (which is what we’ve done in this shot). Focusing on the subjects eyes will also improve the contact between subject and viewer. So for the best results it is super important to make sure to set your focus point carefully.
We love to create a certain mood or specific feeling with our portraits as that will evoke and speak to the viewers emotions. It is also very attractive to make the subject in your portraits look as natural as possible and as comfortable and relaxed as possible because that’s a lot more flattering than a super uptight and awkward face expression.