6 Techniques That Will Help Your Portrait Photography


Every individual has their own unique attributes that deserve to be celebrated. A great photographer would be able to identify these features and capture them in the best light. If you’re still in your learning stages, you’re probably still struggling to take professional photos when it comes to portrait photography. Here are some tips that will definitely help you along:

The Background

Your portrait isn’t all about the person you’re capturing. It has a lot to do with the background too. If the subject is against a noisy backdrop, it will take away from their features and be too distracting. This is why, for most portraits, photographers usually rent a photography studio in Melbourne to get a completely neutral background, devoid of any unforeseen changes in the environment too.

The Subject

You can attempt to take the best shots but it won’t make a difference if your subject is uncomfortable and has a lot of tension. This is why your job is more than just standing behind the camera, it’s breaking the ice and connecting with the subject too. Ask them if they have a particular shot they have in mind- if there’s anything they’re insecure of. Be open and tell them if there’s a particular shot you have in mind too. Chances are your subject won’t know how to pose, so don’t expect them to know what to do without guidance. Give them clear instructions.

The Eyes

Portraits that have a piercing focus on the eyes immediately grab the attention of the viewer. So when shooting your portraits (and when using a shallow depth of field) make sure your focus point is set accurately so you can create a moving photo.

Focal Length

By choosing a flattering focal length, you allow for an amount of image distortion that is vital for your portrait, provided you know which length to go for. Checking the lens barrel will reveal the focal lengths your lens offers and you can select a length by moving the zoom ring. 50mm focal length portrays the most accurate representation of the subject. When you drop to lengths below, you’ll usually end up with unflattering distortions. However, 80mm tends to be the most popular length for portraits.

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Aperture Priority Mode

If you shoot with a shallow depth of field, you’ll be able to enhance the subject by sharpening their features and blurring the background. A larger lens aperture would result in a further blurred background. F/4 is usually the ideal aperture to use for portraits since it keeps the entire subject in focus.


When it comes to portrait photography, the star is your subject’s face and so it shouldn’t be under (dark) or overexposed (bright).  Instead, your background would ideally be too bright or dark since you don’t want to risk the subject’s face being under lit or over lit.

Use these techniques to perfect your portraits. Remember, practice makes perfect so keep at it until you fully understand each of these techniques- play around so you realize the cons and pros of each.