18 Quick Tips for Improving your Portrait Photography

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2. Brainstorm

So remember when you were back in elementary school and your teacher would announce it was time to brainstorm ideas for your new book report? I can’t say it brings back the best memories for me…mostly staring blankly at the sheet of paper and counting the minutes until recess.  Well, brainstorming isn’t so bad, especially when it comes to something you love.  Take a few minutes before your portrait session and write down some NEW ideas. If you’re like many photographers, you probably shoot in the same places often. Change it up.  Start with actually writing down five NEW things you want to do on the session. Things like: photograph from above, use the rule of thirds, try a sunset shot, experiment with flash, try a new pose, incorporate the surroundings, lay on the ground, etc. There are SO many things you can alter on a session, and I think many of us tend to panic and default to what we know.  We need to train the brain to slow down and try new things. Keep in mind, your clients are not going to see every photo, so change it up!

3. The Background

If you’re like me, sometimes I walk up to a new place and think, “oh gosh, this is going to be a tough one!” That’s why I ALWAYS get to the venue 10 minutes BEFORE my portrait client(s) to assess my surroundings.  Try and vary your gallery by walking around and thinking about the background.

Look for different colors, wall/plant textures, or trees vs. open space. Sometimes we get so caught up in the session we literally forget to turn around!

Portrait Photography Tips

n this photo, I shot from above to make sure to get the leaves in the background (it really WAS this vibrant). Little would you know there were about 13,405 runners in the background of this photo.  It was taken with a Canon 35mm at ISO 500, f/2.5 and a shutter speed of 1/200.

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