Copyright Scott Bourne 1994 - All Rights Reserved

Recently my post 15 Misc Portrait Photography Tips http://photofocus.com/2011/05/26/15-misc-portrait-photography-tips/ generated a lot of positive feedback and several of you asked for more. So here you go. Add these to the original 15 and you have 25 to play with.

1. There’s no RIGHT lens for portrait photography but don’t choose the WRONG lens. A super wide lens with lots of distortion is usually unflattering.

2. Avoid unflattering shadows falling across the face. Unless you have a specific artistic reason for it, multiple shadows on the face is usually distracting.

3. Pay attention to your subject’s comfort. Don’t have them looking directly into the sun or standout outside in a bikini on a cold winter day.

4. Vary the amount of eye contact in the portrait. Try some images where the subject is making intense eye contact and still others where the subject looks away.

5. Use toning to create mood. Black and white or sepia toning can create mood. Sepia for instance can create an old-time feel to the portrait.

6. Look at lots and lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of other portraits before you shoot one. This will help you find inspiration and guidance that you can’t get any other way. Study the masters.

7. Shoot silhouettes – they can be a fun way of making a portrait mysterious.

8. Experiment with slow shutter speeds and motion blur, especially if you want your subject to be active during the portrait.

9. Follow your subject around on the street for an hour and shoot a series. This can be a fun way to get the subject to open up, relax and show their true colors.

10. Engage the environment. If the subject is a motorcycle rider, surfer, rock climber, etc., don’t be afraid to include their preferred environment in the portrait.

There are countless more ideas we can explore together and if you like these posts, I’ll do more of them.

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