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12 Professional Tips for Impressive Portrait Photography 

12 Professional Tips for Impressive Portrait Photography 

Portrait photography is one of the most engaging practices for creators. When capturing such images, you can highlight the beauty of your models in different ways and portray their strong points. Nonetheless, portrait photography also remains one of the most complicated genres, which requires your full commitment. You must understand photography rules, be able to experiment with camera settings, and find new ways of presenting your models. 

Are you resilient enough to start practicing your skills and depict the absolute beauty of people? Explore this article’s top professional tips for portrait photography and try implementing them in real life. Keep reading!

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Essential techniques for portrait photography

If you already have a basic understanding of general photography rules, such as compositional structure, golden ratio, and element balancing, the following techniques will help you bring your portrait photography skills to the next level.

Сapture pictures in high resolution

Standard 720p resolution is predefined in most cameras, while it can be 1080p and more. This standard level of quality doesn’t allow photographers to depict a lot of details in their pictures—the lower resolution, the more blur. High resolution plays a crucial role in portrait photography; you can reveal the uniqueness of a model with fine details. So, make sure you set up a high resolution in your camera settings. 
But what if you already have a good picture in low resolution? This can be easily fixed using specialized online tools. For example, Depositphotos Image Upscaler, available at, allows you to double the resolution of a visual without extensive manual manipulations. You just need to upload your file to get an improved result. Online image upscaling is possible due to AI-based technology; the neural network automatically generates missing pixels, sharpens objects, and reduces noise in the visuals.

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Choose an appropriate background

In most cases, backgrounds distract viewer attention from your models. However, you can choose backdrops that will complement the general composition. For example, if your model is wearing a black T-shirt, select a background that makes them stand out, e.g., white or beige. Otherwise, they will blend in with the main object. 

Nonetheless, professional photographers can skillfully create high contrast when blending backgrounds with models’ clothing. This way, they can highlight their skin or face. You can also try this technique after gaining more experience in portrait photography. Generally, blurring a picture background is a simple technique for beginners, allowing you to focus on the model’s features.

Make sure your model feels relaxed

This portrait photography tip is not quite a technique. Nonetheless, it’s an important rule when working with individuals. Most people hesitate to work with photographers, since they believe they aren’t pretty enough for the camera. But the truth is, every person is beautiful in their own way. 

If you want your models to feel relaxed during a photoshoot, have a small talk and share your ideas with them. This can help you create a friendly environment where a person can trust you. After establishing a warm relationship with a model, you can also ask them to try unusual poses to implement unique ideas.

Familiarize yourself with a focal length

Understanding camera settings is an essential portrait photography tip, where focal length holds a special place. This value significantly impacts the way a viewer sees models in your shots. Nonetheless, focal length can both improve and impair your images. 

If you’re eager to bring realism to your pictures, choose a 50 mm focal length. This allows photographers to capture a model’s features accurately, not distorting their face. On the contrary, a focal length below 50 mm causes distortions, but can be used for artistic effects. A focal length of over 50mm can make your object’s facial features start to appear flat. There is no right solution; you should choose a focal length depending on the situation.

Highlight your model’s eyes 

It’s believed that eyes are windows to the soul. When talking to different people, an interlocutor is frequently focused on their eyes to understand a recipient’s intentions and feelings. This is also an important portrait photography tip. You can highlight your model’s eyes to create a sense of eye contact for the viewer. Doing so, your pictures will look more enticing and sincere.

Create a photoset 

To fully reveal your model’s personality, capture shots in different ways and angles. Often, you have to take plenty of pictures to find one perfect composition. Arranging photo sets in different styles is a good practice for creators, allowing them to opt for the best frames. 

Edit your pictures 

Editing is an essential process of improving your ready-made pictures, especially portraits. On the web, you can find professional retouching programs to hide skin imperfections, sharpen details, and add makeup. Moreover, simple editing tools are available for aspiring photographers. For example, you can use online graphics editors like Fotor or Pixlr. They have straightforward, user-friendly functionality suitable for beginners. 

Photography tips to capture portraits outdoors

Capturing outdoor portraits can be complicated for beginner photographers since they can’t manage lighting conditions as they would in a professional photo studio. Explore these outdoor portrait photography tips to be prepared.

Set the widest ISO option

Since natural light sources are not so bright, it’s hard to make your open-air pictures vivid. Nonetheless, this can be easily fixed by setting the right ISO. This parameter defines the level of the camera’s light sensitivity. The bigger the ISO value, the more light is absorbed by the lenses. However, if the parameter is set too high, you can get over-exposed shots. Experiment with the settings depending on environmental conditions. 

Take pictures on an overcast day

Aspiring photographers frequently believe a sunny day means there will be more light and well-visible images. But the truth is that this can cause unwanted glare and shadows. Moreover, intense sunlight can blind your model and interfere with your photoshoot. You can avoid these troubles by capturing pictures on an overcast day. After all, you can set ISO and aperture settings to add more light to your scenes. 

Wait for golden hour

In photography, golden hour is the time shortly after sunrise and before sunset. During these hours, the sun casts delicate, orange lighting which creates a magical atmosphere in your photos. Diffused light can help photographers reduce contrast and make a picture more pleasant; while shadows highlight main details and improve depth and texture. Moreover, fewer people can interfere with the process, which makes the shooting environment calm.

Experiment with different angles 

When you’re outside there are plenty of opportunities to improvise and go against your initial plans. Moreover, anything can be a useful prop to make your shots more impressive. You can ask your model to lean on a tree, play with colorful fall leaves, or pose by a river. As a photographer, you should also try creative ideas and techniques. For example, try to find unique angles.

Put vivid makeup on your model 

Makeup is a huge part of creating amazing portrait images. For example, by putting on the right makeup, you can make your model look like a mysterious nymph or anything for that matter. Nonetheless, daily makeup is poorly visible through the camera lens. Don’t be afraid if your model looks too bright in real life. It will look organic in your shots. 


Portrait photography is a unique and pleasant experience for creators and their subjects Although it is very engaging, it also requires complete involvement from a creator. You should learn basic compositional rules and always be open to new experiences. Explore the tips and techniques in this article to achieve impressive results!