Portrait photography is a photograph of a person or a group of people that captures your character or personality by using effective lighting, backgrounds, and poses. A portrait picture might be an artistic representation of a person’s attitude. In order to take perfect pictures, good photography cameras are required. In this article we will guide you for taking perfect photographs.


A photographer’s aim is to capture a picture carefully so that their facial features, person’s personality, attitude and identity will be distinguished. You have to focus on the face so your background should be blur but it is not necessary. You can also edit background after capturing the picture.

In portrait photography, a portrait picture is planned carefully that’s why we cannot say that a candid picture is a portrait. Everything is planned for example background, place, position and client’s dress. It’s all depends on the client’s behavior. A time is required to take a portrait picture in order to set each and everything.

Portrait Photography have four approaches.

  • Environmental approach

It means that a client is positioned in surrounding that involves a profession or a person’s identity. For example, your client is a software engineer, you can capture his/her photo inside the office with the client working on a computer holding a mouse. If your client likes waterfall then you can capture your client’s photo while standing near the waterfall looking at the beauty of nature.

  • Constructionist approach

Constructionist approach is all about building emotions, feelings and developing atmosphere.

A photographer may have to set the mood of the portrait by setting the background, lighting, and client’s body language.

  • Candid approach

Candid approach involves the spirit of client when they don’t know that photographer is working. But it doesn’t mean that this is not planned. A photographer is capturing a random pictures when you are not taking interest. For example, photographer is capturing the moments during an event. It may be wedding.


  • Creative approach

In this approach, if you really want perfect portrait photography then you should be more creative.


Setting and equipment that to be used for portrait photography

  • Which lens to use

First you have to decide which lens you should use before you start portrait photography. If you really want to flatter your subject, you can also use short telephoto lens. Telephoto lens are used for photographing distant subject like sports events. If you are using a full frame camera then try 135-150mm lens.

  • Use a tripod

Check all the settings, set your frame and analyze the light. Take 2 to 3 shots for your practice to check whether you have set everything according to the requirement. Using a tripod forces you to slow down. This would be best when you slow down and think before pressing button.

  • Use a remote trigger

Remote trigger is used to sharpen the images. This remote trigger will help you to avoid any camera shaking, when you push the button.

  • Shoot in Manual Mode

There are different situations:

  • If you are using tripod then try to shoot in manual mode.
  • When you use Aperture priority mode, set the aperture mode to f-stop. After setting this mode, your picture would be exposed properly.
  • ISO

I recommend you to start ISO 400 and adjust according to your need. If you are shooting in low light and indoors. Don’t forget to increase ISO at that time. You also have to maintain shutter speed.

  • Focus Mode

Use only one focus point. Do not try to use multiple point. It sometimes gets wrong. Always try to focus on subject’s eye.


  • Drive Mode

First set the drive mode to single. You don’t need to use burst mode and never try to shoot 4-8 frames per second.

  • Aperture

Set your aperture between f/2 and f/4 for portrait photography. If you don’t have lens, invest in 50mm f/1.8. It is not that much expensive. This will help you in making your background blur so that your background will look less distracting.

  • Shutter Speed

Choose the shutter speed according to your subject.

  • White Balance

Try to choose one of your camera’s white balance presents like daylight. Choose the one which best suits the lightening conditions. If you are shooting indoor, click 2 to 3 photographs to see which looks best and gives you the natural skin tone.

Black and white Portrait photography

When you are shooting in black and white, you look classic. Black and white photography is special as it removes all the colors and it forces you to think about the light and shadow. You can show your feelings, expressions without the color distraction.

You can take colorful pictures after that convert them to black and white using editing software. But you would not be satisfied with the result. As black and white portrait photography needs attention and preparation.

Outdoor portrait photography

There are some tips for outdoor portrait photography,

  • Always try to shoot during the golden hours as it will give soft touch.
  • When you are shooting outdoor, you should use a reflector to control your light.
  • In order to capture a best portrait you should use the fixed focal length lens.
  • One more tip for you in order to take a best outdoor portrait is to avoid shooting in direct sunlight.
  • You should use an artificial flash while shooting outdoor to avoid any shadow that may appear on your face.

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