The Basic yet Challenging Tips, Ideas and Poses – Portrait Photography

Let’s just start this to the point and get really quickly to the point, everyone loves portraits. Be it kids, teenagers, grown-ups or the old people. Everyone just loves them. When one owns a new SLR, he wants to get hi pictures so perfectly that he sees no flaw in himself. For this, he just takes good portraits of himself by either asking his siblings or friends. But, the new photographer in town also wants to be the best photographer in town. So, for this, he just wants to capture the beauty of everyone around him. Portraits are great for this. To him, portraits seem to be an easy task. But the challenge that lies ahead is that capturing great portraits is not very easy task, irrespective of how easy it seems.

To capture great portraits, you have to keep an eye on the shooting mode, lighting, composition and other technicalities to capture a perfect image. To convey the message, which is an expression on the face of the subject, in this case, is very tricky thing. Here are the few tips and ideas for poses for the subject and the photographer to make better pictures look wonderful.

taking-professional-portraits-1  The Basic yet Challenging Tips, Ideas and Poses - Portrait Photography taking professional portraits 1

Get into the mind of subject:

Irrespective of how much control you have over your camera, the main thing is how and when you press the shutter button and how much light enters the lens that time. Clicking the shutter at the right time explains the beauty of the image. You have to get into the skin of the subject to know how he feels and how you have to express what he feels.



Most of the portraits do not sport the pose of the subject. The good portrait is the one that has the legs of the subject too. The main reason of this, is that when your legs are not in the right position, everything goes in the wrong direction. Because, having legs in random arrangement creates an awkward illusion of your spine being bent or curved. The basic rule of photographing portraits is that the subject should adjust his or her weight on the back leg and turn about three-fourths the angle from the camera lens. And also make your elbows a little flared to make your figure look even from every side. Your posture is the one thing which can add extra weight to you in your picture or can make you look elegant and can maximize the light falling on your face.

Awkward Head Tilt:

When you are being photographed, elongate your neck to avoid the double chin effect which just everyone hates and tilt your head at 1-degree angle to help create your jaw line. This will also make your cheekbones stand out and have a proportional mass around your face and neck.

Light on Face:

The rule of thumb in portrait photographs is to make the light fall on the face from 45 degrees above your head. This creates a perfect illusion of having perfect facial features of the subject. Let me say this, everyone wants this.


Portraits in every sense are only about your subject. In portraits, background does not matter that much as it matters in the outdoor photography or landscape picturing. Try to take pictures with a plain white or black background. If you are not lucky enough to have these two backgrounds then go for dull solid backgrounds. This will make the viewer focus on your subject and eliminate the presence of the background.


The most important thing is the depth of field in the portrait. One must have handful knowledge of how much sharpness, he needs in this picture. Knowing this will make the photographer make use of shorter lenses better when he needs to use the longer lenses, by adjusting the zoom of the lens. This effect is essential for extreme closeups where the depth of field is very low in case of more shutter speed.


Let us apply the basic rule of optics, angle of incidence should be equal to the angle of reflection. This applies to the real world too. When capturing portraits, this rule comes in very handy. Try to place your camera in such place that it is out of the range of angle of reflection so that it avoids the glare produced by light on the glass to be shown in the picture. If you still have a flash spot glare in your picture, then switch to softer shade of light, to minimize this.

Bright Eyes:

Try to focus light into the eyes of your subject. The eyes have all the message you want to convey to the viewer. So, having uniformly lit eye is very important. Dead eyes, usually have a flat eye and do not have that peculiar glow which we see normally in real life. The job of renowned photographer is to turn 2D things to 3D. For this instance, dead eyes are 2D and the glow makes them 3D in a picture. The best thing is to make light fall to the part of the eye other than the pupil so that it has the regular glow which is seen live.


Try to get the eye level picturing out of your head. Most of the portraits are taken from the eye level of the subject. Try to take pictures from the angle exactly 90 degrees above the head of the subject or get down as low as the feet of the subject to add the X factor the image.


Play with the eyeball of the subject. Make them focus on something around them other than making them see into the lens. Not completely off the scale but make them see towards something 45 degrees right or left from the lens of the camera. This makes the portrait feel a bit natural as if the subject did not actually know that the picture was being taken. And let’s just accept that everyone wants candid picture nowadays.

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