Portrait Photography Tips

Many of our readers, as they go through some of the most amazing portrait photography tips wonder to themselves, “What sets a professional photographer apart from a magician?”

Both are able to take your breath away with a swing in their hand. Both inspire by introducing you to a new, whimsical world of magic. Both awaken your inner child.

Only one never reveals his secrets.

Professional photographers like Erik Madigan Heck, Jamie Diamond, and Brian Higbee on the other hand…

Let’s just say these masters of the craft are a completely different story. Their art is an open book available to anyone willing to learn from the pros.

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10 inspirational portrait photography tips from the industry experts

Speaking of revealing the secrets of the craft, PhotoWhoa have prepared a gorgeous eBook with tips, tricks, and interviews available 100% free of charge.

Furthermore, we’ve prepared a taste of these photo hacks to sink your teeth in right now.

Without further ado, we are happy to present you with 10 portrait photography tips from amazing photographers.

1. Learn to use the strobe – Brian Higbee

We can all agree that natural lighting is awesome. Everything about it is pitch-perfect except for one itsy bitsy nuance: in 9 cases out of 10 it’s not there.

Brian Higbee – you know, the guy behind your favorite celebrity shots – came up with a fun little game he plays with his assistants called “exposure guessing”.

The game’s about guessing the exposure of natural light before actually measuring anything. The one to end up closest wins.

Surprisingly enough, a seemingly simple game is one of the best ways to train your professional eye through practice.

2. Every shot tells a story – Anna Wolf

The devil is in the details. Your job lies in capturing it in everything from the face to the stage to every slightest element of furniture standing in the room.

A girl with a book is a girl with a book.

A girl with a book in a room that has a comfy couch with other books scattered around it, a bowl of fruit, and a smoking cigarette is a composition. A shot like that tells a story others are willing to discover.

Go for the real feels and the authentic vibe without a second thought.

3. Study art – Erik Madigan Heck

Erik mostly known for his unbelievable taste and a great sense of color learned everything there is to a pallet from his painter mother at a very young age.

Erik thinks of himself as a painter with a camera even today, and it really shows in his works.

One of the best tips Erik has to give to beginner photographers is to walk in the footsteps of giants. One is to learn the art of copying great things before even attempting to find their own voice.

4.Hang out with the right crowd – Kristina Loggia

Kristina is one of the best celebrity photographers out there, but she didn’t start her career as a photojournalist from the get-go. The truth is that she was considering picking up acting and casually took shots of her friends who happened to be actors.

As Kristina was building up her portfolio the hobby grew on her. That said, the learned the tricks of the trade along with the technical aspects of portrait photography from her friends who had gone to art school.

5. The pose is as important as the face – Jamie Diamond

Jamie Diamond, the master of family portraits and the creative genius behind I Promise to be a Good Mother, fell in love in photography from the annual family picture day in her own family.

As Jamie explored the art of family portraits, she discovered that the pose is one of the most powerful assets a great shot can have.

Family portraits are invariably posed the same way and we are innately fluent in the codes and gestures associated with the pose”, says Jamie.

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6. Catch them in their own element – Elder

You’d be surprised, but Elder, the master of street-style fashion photography has never worn a Roberto Cavalli suit. More on the matter, the artist never held one between his fingers.

This never stopped the master from his climb to the top of fashion photography. How’d he pull it off?

The man simply trusts his models and does his best to capture them – the people who’ve worn Cavalli all their life in their natural element.

7. Environments tell stories – Ben Zucker

New Yorker’s Ben Zucker and Anna Wolf are similar in their belief that the scene is as important in a great shot as the face itself. A well-executed environment is a mighty element of storytelling capable of smiting the viewer into their seat.

Why miss out on something as powerful?

How does Ben achieve the story in his shots? Truth be told, the photographer himself doesn’t know. His own gut and instinct are Ben’s weapons of choice.

8. If your models feel uncomfortable, you haven’t photographed them enough – Mark Peckmezian

Mark is one of the few photographers on the planet who is perfectly capable of capturing the energy of youth in a still image.

Surprisingly, most of his models are not professionals. They are either friends or friends of friends.

How are the shoots so natural then?

You simply don’t see the first sot. And you don’t see the second. Or the twenty -second. Mark believes in a simple truth: If your models feel uncomfortable, you haven’t photographed them enough!

Portrait Photography Tips free photography guide

9 Get closer – Day 19

“Get closer” was game-changing advice the artists from Day XIX have ever received. the advice came from none other than Larry Clark himself.

What did Larry mean by that? Did they have to be physically closer to their models? Who knows?

But the advice struck true!

10. Create a safe space – Catie Laffoon

If you are looking for honesty and sincerity from your models, nothing beats offering them a safe place and some comfort. Yep, it’s as simple as that!

Did you enjoy these portrait photography tips, because we’ve got more where they came from! Check out this free eBook and find out for yourselves!