Portrait photography do’s and don’ts, 14 Tips

Daniel • updated January 3, 2023 • 3 min read

Portrait photography do's and don'ts, 14 Tips

Welcome to the world of portrait photography do’s and don’ts! This is where we share helpful tips and tricks for capturing the perfect portrait (or at least something that doesn’t make your subject want to hide under a rock).

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a complete beginner, there’s always something new to learn when it comes to portrait photography. So grab your camera (or smartphone), find a willing subject, and let’s get snapping!

Just remember to follow our do’s and don’ts, and you’ll be well on your way to photographic greatness. But most importantly, have fun and don’t take yourself too seriously – after all, it’s just photography, not rocket science. So let’s get started!
photography started.


 

DO:

  1. Use appropriate lighting. Nothing says “I’m a professional photographer” like having your subject’s face shrouded in shadows.
  2. Choose a suitable background. Your subject may have a great personality, but if they’re standing in front of a pile of dirty laundry, it’s not going to do them any favors.
  3. Use a good camera and lens. Trust us, your smartphone camera is not going to cut it.
  4. Experiment with different angles and compositions. Maybe try taking a photo from ground level, or perhaps upside down? The possibilities are endless (and probably a little dizzying).
  5. Use natural poses. No one looks good trying to balance on one foot while making a duck face.
  6. Get to know your subject. The more you know about them, the better you can capture their unique personality.
  7. Edit and retouch tastefully. A little bit of Photoshop can go a long way, but don’t go overboard. We don’t want your subject to end up looking like a plastic doll.

DON’T:

  1. Don’t use harsh lighting. Unless you’re going for the “I just got out of prison” look.
  2. Don’t use busy or cluttered backgrounds. No one wants to see the inside of your cluttered closet.
  3. Don’t use a low-quality camera or lens. Your subject deserves better than a blurry, pixelated mess.
  4. Don’t stick to one angle or composition. Variety is the spice of life (and photography).
  5. Don’t force unnatural poses. Unless you want your subject to end up looking like they have a severe case of constipation.
  6. Don’t neglect to get to know your subject. How are you supposed to capture their personality if you don’t even know what it is?
  7. Don’t over-edit or retouch. We don’t want your subject to end up looking like a completely different person.

There you have it, some helpful (and possibly humorous) tips for portrait photography. Just remember to have fun and keep experimenting. Who knows, you might even end up with a decent photo or two.

What are your tips about Portrait photography do’s and don’ts? Let us know in the comments.

By Furoore team member Daniel
Daniel has been supporting the editorial team as a content creator since the end of 2021 and is mainly responsible for portrait photography and related practical topics around cameras, lenses as well as accessories.

Turn your snapshots into awesome portraits.

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