Portrait photography tips

Anastasiia Panchenko
PR-manager, who loves to write tips for Mac and iPhone users
October 4, 2023
7 minutes to read

Taking portrait photos is exciting, but it’s not that easy. You can catch the amazing emotions of the person and show them in the photo. In this article, we will share some tips to create great portrait photography for both beginners and professionals.

Portrait photography


  1. What is portrait photography?
  2. What camera is best to use for portrait photos?
  3. Tips for taking great portrait photos

Before we start

If you like taking photos and editing them on your computer, you’ve probably accumulated many duplicates or similar photos on your Mac, which can take up a lot of space. To declutter your Mac from unnecessary copies, we recommend using a special free application from Nektony called Duplicate File Finder.

With Duplicate File Finder, you can easily find and remove duplicate files and similar photos on your Mac.


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What is portrait photography?

Portrait photography is a popular and effective way to show a person’s personality, emotions, and mood. Portrait photos usually focus on the person’s face with a blurred background. Other elements in the photo are not important and not essential. Good professional portrait photos can tell you a lot about the person. Such details as face expression, facial characteristics, look, emotion can be emphasized by one shot only.

What camera is best to use for portrait photos?

Having a good camera is important when it comes to taking portrait photography because through the camera lens you convey a person’s emotions.

Of course, it is better to use a professional camera with a long lens. Using a lens with a longer focal length can bring the background closer to your subject, creating a blur effect. For portraits, the best lenses are those between 70mm and 135mm. Professional cameras also need to help create great luminosity so you can take amazing photos even in bad light conditions.

However, if you are a beginner, and you don’t have a professional camera, you can take great portrait photos even with your iPhone camera.

The portrait mode on the iPhone camera allows you to create stunning images with a blurred background, making it look like you used a professional camera for the photo. If you use all the camera settings efficiently, customize them under different lighting, control aperture and select the most suitable value, your photos will be even more attractive.

Tips for taking good portrait photos

1. Communicate with the subject

The main character in your photos is a person. As a photographer, you should communicate with the person you are working with and make them feel comfortable with you. Most people feel a bit nervous, at least at first in front of the camera, so it may be difficult for you to truly unlock their personality. To avoid this, try to discuss your ideas and communicate with the model before and during the photo shoot to help you win the person over and get them to open up.

Main character in the portrait photo

2. Experiment with lighting

The light is a great tool for photographers, so you should learn how to use light to your advantage.
The best time for shooting is the golden hour. This is when the light conditions are perfect for a photoshoot. But it doesn’t mean that you cannot take photos at any other time. Even bad light conditions can be an advantage and help you show the atmosphere and main idea of the photo.

Natural light is great, but too much sunlight can spoil your pictures and make them overexposed. So you should carefully choose when you take your photos.

You can also use your own light equipment or bring more light to the photos using a camera flash. Try to experiment with lighting, using different light colors.

The light in the portrait photo

3. Think about composition

Don’t forget about the composition when taking portrait photos. Think about the elements that will be in the photo and place them so they do not distract attention from the main subject but emphasize facial characters and demonstrate the overall theme.

Composition in portrait photography

4. Use emotions to relive portrait photos

In portrait photography, the main focus is on the person and their face. True emotions will make your photos more vibrant and will show the beautiful features of the model. Sparkle in the eyes, sincere smile, shyness, or a confident expression — all these moments are stunning and help you show the beauty of the person. That’s one of the reasons why portrait photography is so popular and interesting.

Emotions in portrait photos

Also, remember to avoid fake emotions because they usually look unnatural in the image.

5. Edit your portrait to improve it

Finish the process of creating stunning portrait photography by editing the photo. You can crop, adjust brightness and shadows, and correct the colors. Use retouching if it’s necessary to help you remove skin imperfections and make the eye color brighter. Editing will enable you to add more of your own style and flair to the photo.

Edit portrait photos


There are a lot of important aspects when creating stunning portrait photography, and it is always a creative and individual process. We hope these tips will improve your skills and allow you to take even better portrait photos. Also, don’t forget to delete all the unnecessary similar pictures from your Mac with this free tool: Duplicate File Finder. This app will help you find and remove all the identical photos taking up all the storage space on your phone in less than a minute.


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