Tips for how to take a great portrait photo

I find faces fascinating. That’s why I love the challenge of taking an engaging portrait photo.

Portrait photography is a real art. A good portrait photographer aims to represent the subject in such a way as to help the viewer connect with that person. Getting it right isn’t always easy.

Aren’t we all portrait photographers now?

Now that we’ve all got smartphones most people have easy access to a camera. But having a camera doesn’t mean you’re able to capture a perfect portrait. An experienced photographer is skilled at putting the person being photographed at ease. Needless to say that they need to be respectful, yet confident.

The professional photographer knows how to use light and composition to reflect the subject. They have the right equipment to help you get the result they’re looking for.

When it comes to a great portrait photo, the eyes have it

According to internationally renowned photographer David duChemin, “with few exceptions, the eyes are the key to the portrait.” The eyes show emotion. We smile with our eyes. You can also see anger, hurt, sadness and fear in people’s eyes. They’re as individual as fingerprints.

Remember that famous National Geographic photo of The Afghan Girl by Steve McCurry. Unforgettable.

A good portrait photo helps build trust

Most companies, big or small, like to show the faces behind the business. It’s one way they connect with their customers. If you’re a small business person running your own enterprise, you ARE your business. Having a quality portrait to include on your website and social media is marketing 101.

An ‘honest’ photograph will help build trust in you and your business.

Our top portrait photography tips

Here are a few of our tips for creating great portrait shots for your business

  • Your style and the type of clients you want to attract should be reflected in the photograph. If you work with corporates, you might want to go for a more formal pose; wear business-like clothes. If you’re a designer or your business is on the creative side, you can have a bit more fun with how you present yourself.
  • Whatever you choose to wear, it’s often a good idea to avoid checks and stripes. They can make the photo look ‘busy’ and create a ‘rippling’ effect on-screen. Choose something plain that still suits your style.
  • You might also consider how the colours you choose will look when your photo is shown in black and white. Think about the contrast and tone of the final image.
  • Tame your hair and check that your face isn’t ‘shiny’.
  • If you usually wear glasses, keep them on for the photo – make sure you give them a good clean beforehand – and check that they’re sitting right on your face.
  • Be mindful of the background in your portrait photo. Usually, a plain background is best for corporate shots – one that you might use for Linkedin or on your other social media. But if you have photos taken for your website’s About page, it’s often a good idea to vary the shot. Play around with the setting.
  • Smile with your eyes! People are attracted to a friendly face. To avoid a ‘fake smile’, your photographer will often try and make you smile or laugh with a joke.

We’d love to help you put your ‘best face’ forward. Please get in touch for a quote and to discuss your portrait photography. Call Katarina on 0415 128 804.