5 Ways to Take a Better Portrait Photo

Creating a portrait isn’t the same as just taking pictures of people. A portrait is designed to show the character of a person and depict them how they want to be portrayed.

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Whether you are new to photography or you are a landscape photographer looking to improve your portrait skills, it’s important to learn the subtle differences between a quick snapshot and a carefully crafted portrait.

Read on for some tips which should assist you in capturing not just a picture of a person but also their personality.

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Focus on the Eyes

Depending on the mood of your portrait, you may want the subject to look directly at the camera. If so, make sure the eyes are in focus. Of course, you may want to play around with expression, so try asking your model to look down or look away.

Personalise Each Portrait

Everyone has a story to tell, and this could form part of your portrait. The National Gallery of Art tells us that, in the 18th century, British artists coined the term “Grand Manner”, which included portraits of life-size proportions at full length, accompanied by accessories and in different settings.

The idea of these portraits was to convey the subject in a way that would symbolise their status. We are not suggesting you take life-size portraits of people, but you could incorporate a special place for that person or use your skills as a landscape photographer to characterize them within a beautiful setting such as those at https://www.stevemacphotography.co.uk/landscape-photographer/.

Don’t Be Scared of Close-ups

Notice the little things like the laughter lines or freckles on the nose. These are things that should be embraced. Make people feel comfortable by being silly and telling them stories. The more relaxed your subject is, the more natural your portrait will be.

Know Your Poses

When you put someone in front of the camera, they suddenly lose the ability to act naturally. People appreciate direction, and as the photographer, you should learn what poses look best and how to flatter your subject.


Lighting makes or breaks a photograph. After all, photography is just painting with light. Remember to use a good light source, either natural or flash, and practise getting your exposure correct. You can create soft or dramatic portraits depending on your light.