10 Main-Stream Portrait Photography Tips For Beginners (2021)

portrait photography tips

Are you getting started with Portrait photography or have already started? This post discusses some of the best Portrait Photography Tips that will help you grow.

List of 10 Portrait Photography Tips For Beginners

Here is the list of 10 Best Portrait Photography Tips for Beginners in 2021.

1. Add Props To Your Photos

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The first Portrait Photography Tip is to add props in your photos.

Props are an easy but very effective way to elevate your portraits. They make photos more interesting and tell a story through your art. It will also help your model to come up with more poses around that prop.

If you struggle to pose a model, props will definitely help out. A few of my favorite easy props are Flower Bouquets Baskets. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on these.

You can also use Umbrellas, Musical Instruments, Fans, Books, Candles, Vintage Cameras, and pretty much anything.

2. Start By Taking Self-Portraits

The next portrait photography tip is to start shooting self portraits.

I like How most photographers out there hate getting own picture taken, but experimenting with Self Portraits will give you a lot of opportunities.

You can get ideas of a lot of poses, lighting techiniques, makeup, costumes and also, you will end up saving a lot of time while shooting with models.

Ultimately, you can open doors to your creative corner and try out different things that you might never try out.  

Self-Portraits also give you a different perspective and they will teach you a few posing tricks. If your camera has wi-fi, you can easily connect it to your phone and control it that way it really makes taking selfies super easy.

3. Open Your Creative Senses

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The next portrait photography tip is to Open you Creative Senses.

The creative side can be very helpful if you are looking to try out something that no one has ever done. I always prefer surfing around Pinterest, YouTube, and other stock photography websites to take ideas.

It will help you a lot while shooting with new models. You can simply try out different things that you always wanted to do.

Also, Pinterest is something that will help you discover a lot of exclusive ideas that will help you gain some thrift in your career.

You can start by experimenting with Lights, Costumes, Props, and then grow with the journey.

4. Change Your Camera Crop Settings

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So, the next portrait photography tip is to change the camera crop settings. I ditched the standard crop a while ago and I don’t know why I didn’t do it sooner.

You can simply go on to the camera menu and change the crop to 4×3 or any other crop you like. But 4×3 to me is the most aesthetically pleasing.

It reminds me of medium format crop and it works great with Instagram’s aspect ratio. If you shoot raw, the camera will still save the original ratio and you will be able to go back to it in your raw processor.

5. Try Using an Editing Tablet

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So, the next portrait photography tip is to use an editing tablet.

I could never go back to using a mouse. Working with a tablet is so much faster and easier especially for things like skin retouch, masking, selecting areas, etc. It’s something that every photoshop user should own.

I have created the list of Best Tablets for Photo Editing. You can try checking out.

6. Shoot a Video

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The next portrait photography tip is to shoot a video.

Shooting a video will actually help you take a lot of undiscovered poses and frames that you might not even think off.

Whenever, I go for shooting, I always try to shoot a small video to 20 to 30 seconds. It helps me in getting some of the exclusive shots that will surely blow your mind.

If you are getting started with portrait photography, I will recommend you to start shooting a video with every pose you try.

It will not only help you in getting more shots but also help you in gaining exposure to the creative side of shooting.

7. Try as Much Shots are Possible

So, the next portrait photography tip is to try Shooting as many shots are possible. It is pretty much similar to shooting a video but in a different way.

The main reason behind shooting a lot of photos is to get an option to choose from a bunch. You can do an instant comparison between the two photos and choose the best one. It will help you in improving your quality of work.

On average, I try shooting 10 to 15 photos in a single pose, makeup, and costume. And, in the end, while selecting photos, I get to see a lot of options, and then I can choose the best one.

Ultimately, it helps in growing your photography game.

8. Use a RAW Processor

So, Moving on to the next portrait photography tip, Always use a RAW Processor.

When processing raw images, always use the native software. For example, I have been using Canon Digital Photo Professional and it is significantly better than Adobe Camera Raw.

The native software will be able to get you the most accurate colors and it’s free for Sony and Fuji.

I think Olympus has a program called Olympus Workplace or you can simply Google, RAW ¬†Processor for the specific brand and download it from the brand’s website.

9. Try Using Step Ladder

Step Ladder for Portrait Photography

So, the next portrait photography tip is to use a Step Ladder.

This has changed the game for me. A ladder is great for experimenting with your angles and you can easily get those very flattering portraits.

It also helps in avoiding double chains, getting that great eye contact, this angle works for all people especially for non-professional models. It’s also awesome for avoiding skies.

I prefer shooting wide open apertures and natural light and that comes with white skies. So, if you step on the ladder and get that higher angle, you can easily avoid the blown out skies.

It can also serve as a reflector holder or a space to put your lenses. You can either get it from Amazon or a local hardware shop.

10. Try Rotating the Images While Editing

portrait photography samples
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The next portrait photography tip is to rotate your image while editing.

This is such a simple tip but I only started using it lately and I never really thought about rotating the image.

Until I started doing more professional retouch and a lot of dodges and burn. Think about an artist that draws up a painting often they will rotate the canvas to get a better angle and it works the same way in Photoshop.

To rotate simply Press R and Rotate or on the Tablet, you can just use the touch screen.

These were the 10 Portrait Photography Tips, do let me know your thoughts in the comment section.

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