Find out how to take an impressive portrait with these 11 Tips and Tricks

Look, today’s post is really to learn it by heart, or at least print it out. Next, I bring you a series of 11 tips and tricks what will they teach you how to make a portrait, and not only that, but how to make it look impressive. They are advice, as you will see, simple and easy to carry out but that make a lot of difference between a photo of a beginner photographer and another that begins to be professional… But, before continuing, if you are interested in this discipline, do not miss the complete guide on portrait photography where we tell you all the tricks, tips and inspiration, much more than you can imagine.

How to make an impressive portrait: tips and tricks

1. Fill Flash

Even if you are taking portrait photos outside, and during the day, do it with a flash. It doesn’t have to be an external one, the camera’s own is worth it. You will notice a tremendous difference in results.

2. Open the diaphragm wide

Use aperture priority mode and lower the f/ value as much as you can. This way the subject will come out well focused and sharp, contrasting with a very out of focus background.

3. Beware of very sunny days

If the sun is shining don’t let your subject stand directly under it, as this usually causes small but strong shadows on the neck and face (shadows of the nose for example). The best thing is that our subject is placed in a place where the contrast between sun and shadow is not so accentuated. A shady spot, facing away from the sun or near a surface that reflects light and fills in shadows.

Below you can see a comparison of a photo (right) in which the shadows appear on the face, and another (left) where the sun does not come from above or directly.

4. Bring your subject closer to the light

For home portraits, try placing your subject near (very close) to some natural outdoor light source (a window for example). The natural light coming from the window will fill her face and her eyes with life and expressiveness. Of course, as I was saying in tip 3, avoid direct exposure to sunlight.

5. Law of the gaze

During the frame, try to leave your model on the opposite side to the direction in which their head is facing. For example, if his head is slightly turned to the right, place him on the left of the frame, which is complying with the law of the gaze. As an example you have the photograph of the previous advice.

6. Flash out with babies

For baby photos try to have the flash off. Some pediatricians comment that the flash can cause irreparable damage to the baby’s eye. Still, even if that weren’t true, babies usually don’t like the flash very much. And surely you don’t want your little one to appear in the photos crying… 😉

7. Contrasts

If you want to get engaging and engaging portraits, ask your subject to help out a bit by standing in odd places, or wearing clothes that are unusual for where they are. For example: a grandmother in a disco; a doctor with a tennis racket;… The experiment, apart from being fun, is a good solution for those moments of lack of creativity.

8. Photograph the silhouette

To photograph silhouettes avoid, as far as possible, automatic adjustments, especially those of exposure, light metering, etc. The camera will automatically attempt to harmonize contrasts by darkening the illuminated background and overexposing the silhouetted subject.

On the other hand, surely the flash will jump on its own, trying to illuminate the silhouette. It is best to take manual control in order to achieve all the contrast we are looking for.


9. Comfortable position

If you make your subject adopt very uncomfortable postures, it is very likely that you will take a portrait with a constipated face. To avoid this, make sure he is in a comfortable position.

10. Head tilt

Head tilt is a trick that most professional portrait photographers use. The trick is to make the subject slightly tilt their head to one side. The woman can tilt her head in any direction (always without exaggeration) while for the man it is preferable that the slight tilt of the head is in the opposite direction to his shoulder closest to the camera.

11. How to take a group portrait

A tip that works very well when making photos of group portrait is to place the heads of the subjects in different heights: have one sit on the couch, one on the floor, one stand behind, etc.

Is all for today. Please practice what you have read. If you don’t, I promise you will forget about it. 🙂