Tuesday, April 30, 2013

How to take good portraits

Here is my first tutorial ever.  *gulp*  Hopfully I won’t totally butcher it.   I'm just a self taught photographer so I'm still learning, and FAR from perfect.  ;)   So please let me know if you’re confused, and/or have questions. ;D

How to get good portraits:

1.Learn to shoot in Manual.  I cannot stress how important this is, if you don’t have this down you’ll never be fully happy with your portraits.  No matter how “smart” your auto setting are, you’ll be disappointed or frustrated with it.  It does take work to learn manual, but it is so worth it, you won’t be disappointed.

2. Learn to be an encouraging chatter box...  I know it sound lame and shallow (believe me, this is hard, I’m not a natural chatter box), but the constant encouragement makes your client confident that they are doing the right thing.   Then you will get more natural, comfortable pictures of them, and they love it!

Learn how to pose.   When you understand the best way the human body looks it will help you get much better shots, consistently.   Also learning how to get you’re client INTO the pose is very important.  I’ve found that showing the pose myself is the best way to get them into it.  Yes, it seems a little bit silly at first, but then it becomes pretty natural.  (And guess what?  If you were in their position you’d love to have the pose shown to you).

I’m planning on doing a post on posing with more detail.   As I said, I’d love to hear you’re thoughts/questions or random comments. :)


  1. I am sure these tips will be helpful for photographers, Olivia, thanks for sharing! I love the two top pictures, the smiles in the second show such love!
    Emily J.

  2. Yes! Thanks for sharing, Olivia! Wonderful tips... learning to shoot in manual was definitely a very good thing for me to learn when I did (like you said, it makes a big difference in the way your pictures turn out). Creating a comfortable atmosphere/posing are both things I think I will always be learning! ;-) I'll look forward to reading your next post on posing!

  3. Thank you guys! I'll always be learning about posing as well... ;D Jenny can tell you I experimented on her quite a bit! ;D

  4. This is good Olivia, those three are really important. From the subjects point of view, I also like it when you show me a couple of the pictures you just took, and you did that with my shoot. =D


  5. I meant to comment a while ago... I REALLY find this helpful!
    I need to work on posing people, I'm more of a nature photographer I guess:P
    You should make more tutorials!!!

  6. LOL I understand, I used to be that way. Just practice, stalk blogs, and read books. I'm STILL learning. Thank you so much for the encouraging feedback. Right now I'm working on another tutorial. ;)

  7. Totally true. And I could definitely still work on all of these. :-) Thank you!