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How To Take That Perfect Portrait?

If you would like to find out how do professional portrait photographers take that perfect portrait then read on.


A lot of people make the mistake of thinking that in order to get that perfect portrait or headshot, all they just need to do is position the subject at the center of the frame. They think that as long as the subject is right smack in the center of the frame and that there are no red eyes, if the subject did not blink and if the subject smiled anyway, it’s already the perfect portrait. While it’s true that it would be best if the subject also smiles, that basically does not make up the best or perfect portrait. Here are 7 quick and easy tips on how to get the perfect portrait. Note that these are tips followed by professional portrait photographers the world over. It will certainly not hurt if you follow one, two or even all of them! Check these out.


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1. Change your perspective. This means that you need not just sit and be at eye level with your subject. Many newbie photographers do this. While it’s the “standard” thing to do (not to mention pretty formal thing to do), it’s really not necessary. You can completely change your perspective and shoot from a different angle. Try this – if you want to take a photo of someone who’s busy working on his or her laptop, why not grab a chair, pull it in front of your subject, stand on that chair and take a photo from “above” your subject? Your subject can then just look at you and you will have a different perspective. Your photo will also be interesting since it will also include your subject laptop and other items that may be around your subject.


2. Don’t be afraid to NOT establish eye contact. Your subject may look straight into your camera lens, yes, but it can also be more dramatic if your subject DOES NOT look into your camera lens. Ask your subject to look off the camera. Perhaps your subject can focus on something on his or her left, something unseen or something outside the field of view of your camera. This will definitely help create a dramatic feel to the photo. It will also help create a “candid” feel to the portrait.


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3. Experiment with lighting. Lighting can be a photographer’s best friend if done and executed pretty well. There really are a lot of possibilities to a portrait if lighting is used. What you can do is conduct side lighting – this will help set a certain mood. You can also experiment with backlight or silhouetting. This will add that “wow” factor to the photo.


4. Don’t be too strict with the rule of thirds. As previously mentioned, you need not put your subject dead center. You can experiment with the photo composition. You can place your subject on the right or you can even place your subject on the edge of a shot. These techniques will help create depth for your photo.


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5. Use a venue that isn’t familiar for your subject. Usually, subjects are placed or photographed in places or venues that are familiar to them – home, a photo studio or an urban environment. However, why don’t you try placing your subject in a place that’s out of their comfort zone? More often than not, subjects will feel a little uncomfortable at first but if you know how to make your subject feel at home and if you know how to explain to your subject what you want for the photo, chances are the subject will gladly step out of their comfort zone and do something pretty awesome. Who knows, the subject may start jumping up and down, giving a really nice smile or posing as if he or she is a professional model!


6. Use a prop. Adding a prop into your portraitures can help enhance a shot. While it’s true that the use of a prop may take the “attention” away from your main subject, it will also add sense to the photo. The portrait will have more meaning, in a way. Examples of these props are a subject’s favorite gadget, favorite toy or perhaps something that he or she uses every single day.


7. The last tip is particularly helpful if you want to have as many candid shots as possible – take a series of shots! Shoot portraits in “burst” or “continuous shooting” mode. This way, you will be able to get as many beautiful portraits as possible. A lot of professional photographers find this particularly helpful when they take portraits of kids.


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