- March 11, 2019

Portraiture allows you to capture the personality of a subject in the best light possible, but clients don’t just want a photo or two that they can use on all their social media accounts. A diverse set of framing for both informal and formal shots will not just make them happy, but make you more likely to be recommended for new jobs. We list seven tips for putting your subject’s best face forward and getting it all down in just one photo shoot.
(Cover photo by AVISHEK DAS/PIXERF)


7 tips for Portrait Photography Shoots


#1 Change the Perspective

Gavin Poh/PIXERF

Traditionally, portraits are taken with the lens at or around the eye level of a subject. But guys, it’s about time we change it up. Shoot from above or below, but be wary of where light falls on their face.


#2 Shuffle Eye Contact

Shivam Ghai/PIXERF

Having your subject look at the camera creates a connection, but having them look off camera or at something else creates a little more charm. Shuffle between the two eyelines so you have more to play with.


#3 Chuck the Composition Rules

Nash Rizal/PIXERF

Sure, you should play by the rules for one or two shots, but chuck them aside for the others and you’ll thank us. Breaking the rule of thirds by placing your subject dead centre or on the edge of a shot can have dramatic effects.


#4 Get Lit

How Chung/PIXERF

Play with side-lighting to create different moods, and use backlighting and silhouetting to downplay certain features and add mystery to the frame. Strobist techniques can help to light your subject properly for indoor shoots.


#5 Create Expression


Taking your subject out of their comfort zone is the best way to create unique shots. Ask them to jump or give them an interesting prop, then zoom in on their facial expressions. Suggest taking a walk with them and tell them a joke while you take some shots.


#6 Take Candid Shots

Yaman Ibrahim/PIXERF

Steer away from posed shots and take more candid ones. It’s easier when your subject is in their element. Ask them to do something they enjoy, like playing an instrument or preparing a dish in the kitchen.


#7 Use Props

Rohini Hirway/PIXERF

Get your subject to fiddle with a prop and catch the looks on their face. You can even use props to obscure parts of their face and focus on the others.