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Introduction to portrait photography: what it is, some tips and tools

The subject of a photograph is usually someone or something, and that person or thing will be the most important part of the photograph. The photographer should keep this in mind while taking any photo because the wrong person or object can ruin the picture.

Portrait photography is not just about taking pictures of people or things, but it is about capturing a moment in time and preserving that memory for future generations. Read our latest article to learn more and how to shoot the best portraits.

What is portrait photography

Portrait photography is a type of photography that typically features a person in their natural state, especially when the subject is the main focus. The term “portrait” generally has a broader definition than “photograph” and includes the subject’s head-and-shoulders shot, full length portrait or three-quarter length portrait.

What Are Portrait photographers

The portrait photographer is someone who takes photographs of individuals or groups. The profession includes the use of lighting and posing to create a particular effect. It also includes the practice of styling hair, makeup, and clothing for the purpose of creating a subject’s desired look. The term “portrait” is often used to describe this type of photography.

What makes a photo a portrait?

A portrait is a painting, drawing, photograph or other work of art depicting a person who occupies the central focus of the image. Portraits generally show a frontal view with a clear, three-dimensional form.

Why is it important to have portraits taken?

Portraits are a great way to capture a person’s likeness and personality. They can be taken in either traditional or digital formats, with the latter being becoming increasingly popular due to the ease of editing and sharing.

Approaches to portraiture

In portraiture, the artist creates an illusion of reality. The artist depicts a subject by painting them or drawing them; however, the portrait is not meant to be exactly what it appears to be. This approach is often used in painting, drawing, photography, and other visual arts as well as film and theater.

We’ll also cover different portraiture styles below:

Styles of portraiture

There are three main styles of portraiture in Western art: the portrait, the full-length portrait and the bust. The first two types were painted on rectangular panels, whereas a third type, the profile portrait, was painted on a round canvas.

Mobile portraiture

Mobile portraiture is a term for photographing people on the go. It’s typically done by using a smartphone with either a wide angle lens or a point-and-shoot camera that can take in a wide view.

Types of Portrait Photography

There are many types of portrait photography, from posed to candid. We’ll cover the different types below:

Traditional portraits

Traditional portraits are a type of painting that typically hangs on a wall and is made from pigments mixed with water and applied to canvas.

Lifestyle portraits

Lifestyle portraits are images that depict a person in their everyday life. They can be of people at work, cooking, or doing daily activities. Lifestyle portraits are typically created by photographers who have an interest in photography.

Environmental portraits

Environmental portraits are photographs that show the beauty of various environments without focusing on humans. This can be done by taking photos through a wide-angle lens and in black and white, or using a filter to alter the colors.

Beauty portraits

Beauty portraits are portraits that depict beauty. They may be painted, drawn, or photographed. Beauty is generally associated with the human body and its natural form of beauty can only be captured in the human form, although artists may choose to depict beauty in nonhuman forms.

Fine art portraits

Fine art portraits are paintings or drawings of a person’s face that gives the viewer an idea about the person’s personality and emotions. The work may be made by artists working in any medium, and the artist may have used any combination of colors, lines, shapes and textures to create a portrait.

Family/group portraits

Family portraits are typically a type of portrait photography that captures the likenesses of family members, friends and relatives in a single frame. Familial photographs can be taken by either professional or amateur photographers. They are generally taken with a digital camera and/or smartphone.

Best Camera Settings For Portrait Photography

When it comes to portrait photography, the ideal camera settings vary depending on what type of photo is being taken. There are three main portrait photography types: candid, formal and informal. Candid portraits can be taken with an aperture setting as low as f/2.8, a shutter speed as slow as 1/80 of a second and an ISO setting from 100-400. Formal portraits are best taken with manual settings which include aperture at f/2.8, shutter speed at 1/250 and an ISO of 100-200. Informal portraits can be taken with a range of different settings such as aperture at f/2, shutter speed at 1/250 and ISO around 400.

What camera should I buy for my portrait photography?

A camera is a popular choice for many portrait photographers. However, it can be difficult to find the right camera for your needs. The best way to choose between cameras is by considering what you want to shoot, how much you want to spend, and what lenses are available for the camera.

In most cases, a full-frame DSLR camera with prime lens are the most optimal for shooting portrait photography. You can use a smart phone or entry level DSLR, but the quality won’t be as comparable to a more expensive camera.

What lens should I buy for my portrait photography?

The best lens for portraiture is the 50mm f/1.4, which can be found in your budget by purchasing a $150 Canon 50mm prime lens or a $300 Nikon 50mm prime lens. If you want to purchase a zoom lens, then the best option is a 70-200mm.

What location should I shoot in for my portrait photography?

The best location for portrait photography is usually a place that has soft, even lighting. Light from the windows can also be used to create soft light. For example, shooting in a bedroom with windows is typically a good location.

Lighting for a successful model

Lighting is an important and sometimes overlooked element of any shoot. It’s important to choose lighting that does not over-expose the model, but provides enough light for them to see their expressions and body language.


Portrait photography is a fun, creative way to capture some of your favorite people in the world. Hopefully you found this blog post to be helpful as we covered the different types of portrait photography, equipment you should be using, and best practices for shooting.