1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Tips for portrait photography?

Discussion in 'Photography & Video' started by DRZ, 16 May 2006.

  1. DRZ


    Joined: 2 Jun 2003

    Posts: 6,985

    Location: In the top 1%

    As title really - I havnt ever really turned my hand to portraiture before but I really would like to be able to take some nice shots of family and friends.

    Unfortunately, I seem to have some sort of mental block when it comes to a proper shoot - I cant get "into" it like I can with other shots.

    I can take candids of people, thats no bother!


    Thats probably the 'best' "portrait" style shot I have taken. Maybe a shot of my cat, but that doesnt really count.

    I see people here posting amazing portrait shots and its something I just cant seem to manage - how do you do it?
  2. RiPz


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 756

    Location: Middleton, Manchester

    less beard.
  3. Lostkat


    Joined: 17 Oct 2002

    Posts: 8,106

    Location: Deepest Darkest Leics

  4. DRZ


    Joined: 2 Jun 2003

    Posts: 6,985

    Location: In the top 1%

    Thanks for the tips :)
  5. cyKey


    Joined: 18 Oct 2002

    Posts: 9,814

    Location: Nr. Liverpewl

    A quick tip is to look at other portrait photos and try and reproduce them. I also remember some stuff from a magazine. Always have the camera either at eye height or just below looking up. Looking up gives a great sense of presence. The best thing is to keep a look out for Practical Photography. I think they usually do a section on portraits.
  6. Dfhaii


    Joined: 19 Oct 2002

    Posts: 550

    Location: Penryn

    photo.net is great for portraits (as you've probably seen from my irc spamming), and iirc has a guide on portraiture. General reccomendations are a focal length of 85mm-135mm, and wide open, but they're not set in stone.

    One vital thing, make sure the subjects eyes are in sharp focus, as it can ruin what would be a great shot having them slightly off and the tip of their nose razor sharp.
  7. MichaelG


    Joined: 10 Aug 2005

    Posts: 237

    Location: Cambridge, UK

    I've been trying to practice portraits too. I can never get enough light indoors. (I don't really want to shell out on a flash)
    Outdoors I seem to always get lumpy backgrounds.

    Magazine portraits don't tend to have such problems, because they are often done in a studio with fancy lighting. Any suggestions?
  8. PaulStat


    Joined: 1 Mar 2003

    Posts: 5,487

    Location: Cotham, Bristol

    Do you ever take that beany hat off? ;)