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8 Tips to Try When Shooting Portraits for Better Results


Here’s a 5-minute video with 8 simple tips beginning portrait photographers can try in order to improve results. These words of wisdom come from photographers Jessica Kobeissi and Kayleigh June.

#1: Add Accessories

Giving your model accessories to wear can add a different dynamic to the shot.

#2: Get On the Model’s Eye-Level

Assuring that it is “proven by science,” June says shooting on eye-level with a model makes the photo “more comfortable” for viewing.

#3: Make Sure There is No Hair Around the Neck

Lots of hair around your model’s neck can make it appear like they don’t have much of a neck in the first place. Adding a hairpiece or necklace to keep stray hairs at bay can work well.

#4: Remove Tension Around the Mouth

June says that “new models” will often have some tension around the mouth, and that can make things uncomfortable for viewers. The same goes for the shoulders too, so watch out for these things and keep everything relaxed throughout your shoot.

#5: Don’t Always Crop in Camera

“Take a step backwards,” says June. If you include a bit more of the background, you can then crop later to perfect the composition. It gives you a bit more flexibility and space to be creative.

“You always have a second option in you shoot a little bit wider and then crop it,” says Kobeissi.

#6: Shoot Through ‘Stuff’

Holding something in front of the camera lens, or shooting through a material, can add different textures and colors to your shots. Things like colored film or sun catchers are perfect.

#7: Watch the Hands

Have your model face the back of her hand towards the camera, as the palm of the hand is more difficult to retouch. Again, try to keep things relaxed in the hand so that everything is much more natural.

#8: Turn Around in a Circle to Find the Best Light

If you’re struggling with lighting conditions, get the model to turn in a circle. You can then move around with them and find out which is the best place to shoot.

Check out the full video for more thoughts, and subscribe to Jessica and Kayleigh‘s channels for more tips.

(via Jessica Kobeissi via ISO 1200)