Portrait Photography Tips for the Average Joe

portrait photographyPortrait photography, some people would say that it’s really just a more sophisticated term for a selfie. After all, the concept is still all the same. A person takes out a camera or perhaps any other kind of device that takes a photo and poof, there goes a selfie. What a lot of people tend to fail to see though is that there are vast worlds of differences between a professionally taken portrait and the usual run of the mill selfie.


A photographer’s skill to be able to take a good and decent professional portrait is absolutely required for a professional career in the said field because at some point, regardless of what kind of photography style is being practiced, the photographer will be requested to take portrait shots at some point and they would need to come out smooth and pretty for the sake of the clients as well as for the sake of the business. This article will attempt to break down on a few portrait photography tips to help the average Joe on his quest to either make that selfie or take portraits of other people – be it amateur or as a professional like Michael Nowill.

Technical Knowledge

When a DSLR is part of equation; then a bit of technical knowledge will really be able to get a photographer out of the woods and to be able to take a really high quality portrait. The best technical tip from the top photographers out there would be to shoot in Aperture Priority Mode. The second leg of that tip is to make sure that the photographer balances it out with Exposure Compensation. This is an approach that is so much better than just going crazy on the flash or abusing the natural light readily available.

Another awesome trick would be to use a telephoto lens. The thing with a telephoto lens is that it lets a photographer pretty much focus more on the subject and then be able to blur out the rest of the background, making the subject more or less the focal point for the portrait. This comes off as really polished and makes the subject look like he or she is popping out.

Be wary of too much light

The next trick is fairly similar to the first one in this article. A photographer needs to be extra careful when the setting for the photo shoot is outdoors. For one, the sun has a nasty habit of sort of drowning out the focus on the subject being taken a portrait of and can particularly make people who are wearing a lot of white sort of washed out and just blah. This is a common mistake when people take portraits of brides who tend to wear white in a background with a lot of natural light.

Should a photographer have an absolute need for a flash though, which is advised to be used at the minimum, the use of a tinted colored deflector would be useful to help balance out the brightness and help make the portrait come out as less washed out.