25 portrait photography tips for stunning pictures of people

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Portrait photography is something every photographer does, even if your real passion is landscapes. Ever photographed your children around the Christmas tree? Your family at a relative’s wedding? Guess what: you’re a portrait photographer. We often take our people pictures for granted, but there are several portrait photography tips and tricks that the pros use to take stunning portraits day in, day out, that you can easily adopt and give your own images instant impact. Here are 25 of the best…

Portrait photography tips: 01 Put your subjects at ease

The best way to get a relaxed, natural expression from your subject is to put your sitter at ease. To do this, try to think of ways you can make your shoot fun. If someone hasn’t sat for many portraits, they may feel awkward or uncomfortable, so it’s your job to put them at ease.

You don’t necessarily have to crack jokes, but do try to remember to smile. And be transparent about the process. Make an effort to explain what you’re doing and why as you go along.

You don’t need to explain every little technical detail but you you might find they will become more engaged in the process if you say, for instance, ‘I’m going to photography you from this angle because it accentuates your lovely cheekbones’.

Portrait photography tips: 02 Don’t stop talking

Once you’ve put your subject at ease, the job doesn’t stop there. To ensure you get the best reactions from your subject, don’t stop talking. Keep complimenting them. Make them feel like they are part of the portrait-creating process, rather than a still life.

To be honest, this is one of the hardest aspects of portrait photography and is an area where many portrait photographers let themselves down. Some people naturally have the gift of the gab while others are more introverted.

As hard as it can be to make small talk sometimes, it’s the only way you’l inspire the best reactions from your subjects.

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