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  • Writer's pictureAlbert Soto

Capturing the Magic of Portrait Photography [a beginners guide]

Updated: Jan 2

Capturing life’s special moments through portrait photography can be one of the most rewarding experiences a photographer can have. Whether you’re taking photos of family, friends, or even strangers, there is something magical about bringing out your subjects' emotions and personalities. Here is an overview of how to get started with portrait photography.

Choosing Your Equipment

Pentax Auto 110 film camera
Pentax Auto 110

When starting out in portrait photography, you don’t need an expensive camera. Depending on how much room you have in your budget, a basic DSLR camera is usually enough for capturing good-quality shots. You should also invest in a good lens that will allow you to capture sharp images with beautiful detail. A wide aperture lens will be particularly useful for portraits as it will give you more control over the depth-of-field in your images—allowing you to blur out distracting background elements and keep the focus on your subject.

Lighting is another important element when shooting portraits. Natural light often works best when taking photos outdoors but if shooting indoors, look into investing in some artificial lighting equipment like softboxes or reflectors which will help to spread the light evenly across your subject’s face while eliminating harsh shadows.

Posing Your Subjects

Black and White portrait
Shelby, Circa 2019

When posing people for portraits, it's important to keep things relaxed and comfortable and ensure that everyone feels at ease—including yourself! It helps to have some ideas prepared beforehand so that everyone knows exactly what they are supposed to do when they're in front of the camera. Pinterest has been my go-to for years. However, it's also important to be able to direct your subjects during sessions and be willing to adjust poses if necessary. Encourage them to experiment with different positions or facial expressions until the perfect shot is captured!

Portrait photography can be incredibly rewarding—capturing those special moments and translating them into timeless memories for years to come. Remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to portrait photography; don't worry if your first few shots don't turn out perfectly—just keep experimenting, adjusting lighting and poses until you find a style that works for you! With dedication and patience, anyone can become an amazing portrait photographer!


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