How to Take Portraits like A Pro: Top Tips to Start Crushing Portrait Photography


Taking striking portraits is never an easy task. Unlike you who is used to a camera, most people are not, so when posing for a picture they end up forcing a strangled smile, pose awkwardly and generally look incredibly uncomfortable.

If you want to step up your portrait photography game and take stunning images of your family, friends, and clients, then herein are top tips you should consider


1. Make your subject comfortable

The key to excellent photography is to engage with your subject and make them feel comfortable. You can do this by:

  • Helping your subjects relax by telling a series of stale jokes and making silly faces
  • Have a conversation with your subjects, bring out their emotions and quickly take a snap when they least expect it.
  • Be relatable to your subjects. When dealing with kids, for example, forget about “cheese” and use a phrase that’s more fun like “Sponge Bob.”

2. Know your way around lighting

Outdoor shoots are great for portraiture; however, direct sunlight leaves way too many shadows on the subject which can be very unflattering. If you’re shooting outdoors, then try to place the subject in front of the sunlight or the sun lighting one half of the subject. Doing this creates a bit of contrast and creates softer shadows. Besides, your subject will look more natural than to squint into the sun.


3. Get the right focus

Shooting with a digital camera? Switch the mode to single point autofocus with the position locked on the eye of your subject. Should the subject be sitting at an angle, then focus on the closest eye to the lens to allow, the depth of field to go behind the focal point.

Since you are using a small f/stop while taking portraits, the slightest movements your subject makes can throw off the focus, therefore, always remember to re-focus every time you take a snap.

4. Master post-production

Stunning images aren’t taken – they’re created. You should do most of the work during the editing process to bring out the shadows, adjust the lighting, sharpen the image and retouch your subject face to have a correctly looking portrait.


Fortunately, there are a variety of image editing programs to help you produce the kind of images you’ll be proud of, and your customers will be happy about. Some of the apps you should consider are:

  • RetouchMe – This photo retouch app allows you to get rid of your subjects dark spots, frown lines, wrinkles, acne, and other blemishes so their face can look vibrant and natural. You can also swap face, body, background and add filters. Check out this app on the website retouchme
  • Adobe Lightroom – This app helps you manipulate photo clarity, contrasts, hues, light and shadows depending on the mood and tone that you like.

With these tips in mind, there’s no doubt that you will improve your portrait photography skills. As you go on with practicing, remember that everyone has a good side, as a photographer, it is up to you to spot it and bring it out in the best way possible.

TUT Staff
The Urban Twist is revolutionizing the news by delivering real-time coverage, breaking news, analysis and opinion on the arts, fashion, dining, music, events, politics, sports and society in general. It combines a highly regarded editorial team with a cutting-edge Web and mobile publishing platform to offer unique intelligence and insight.

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