10 Classic Tips For More Interesting Portraits

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A lot of people think that they can’t take good portraits because they haven’t got the right lens or lighting but that’s simply not true at all.

Learning how to take great photos takes time but these 10 tips should make a big difference if you start to follow them all.

Experiment with Focal Lengths

You’ve probably heard the term ‘portrait lens’ before; portraits typically look best at slightly longer focal lengths of around 70-115mm but that doesn’t mean that these are the only lenses that you should use.

I like to shoot with a wide angle quite often as this can make for some really interesting portrait photos; you can include more in the frame than you would have been able to at a longer focal length.

In the photo below, I was able to provide context to the shot along the dark shadows and details in the large rocks that would have been cropped out, leaving just a simple blue sky had I used a longer length.

A portrait of a girl posing on rocks at the beach

Experiment with the Background

It always amazes me that someone would shoot with a white background when, with just a little more effort, they could have found a much more interesting location.

The background is a huge part of a photo that can provide the viewer with more information about the photo.

I like to take models out to interesting locations that I scout out beforehand because the results are much more natural and, if I find somewhere outside, the lighting can produce a wider range of results.

Even when you have to have a fairly plain background like in the photo below, it’s easy enough to find a location that’s just slightly more interesting. Just a little extra effors will produce a much better photo.

When you compare the paleness of the wall to the texture of the wooden door, there’s no question about which is better.

black and white portrait diptych of a young man

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