Portrait Photography

Portrait photography can be one of the easiest or most challenging types of photography. Almost anyone with a camera can do it, yet getting the perfect lighting can sometimes be difficult. Sometimes simply pointing a camera at someone and snapping a picture creates an interesting portrait; other times elaborate lighting setups may be needed to create a mood or to add drama to your subject.

A portrait, simply stated, is the likeness of a person — usually the subject's face — whether it is a drawing, a painting, or a photograph. A good portrait should go farther than that. It should go beyond showing your subject's likeness and delve a bit deeper, revealing some of your subject's character or emotion.


A good portrait should capture some personality of the subject. Exposure: ISO 200, f/4, 1/320 second using a Sigma 17-70mm f/2.8-4 OS at 70mm.

Portrait Settings

One of the most important parts of portrait photography is finding, or more likely creating, a suitable setting that captures the mood you want to project with the image. For a subdued or moody portrait, a dark background, such as black, dark gray, and brown, works best. If you're going for a more high-fashion look, keeping the background bright and uncluttered is the norm. White backgrounds work exceptionally well for fashion, though brightly colored backgrounds can work as well.

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