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Common Portrait Mistakes You’ll Want to Avoid

Portrait photography is hard. There’s a lot to think about including:

  • Getting the lighting right
  • What lens to use
  • Composition
  • Posing
  • Working with a model or subject
  • Post-processing (how much is enough or too much)
  • And so on . . .

Common Portrait Mistakes You'll Want to Avoid

So here are three videos with some tips to help you avoid some of the most commonly made mistakes in portrait photography.

5 Portrait Photography Don’ts

In this video, photographer Manny Ortiz shows you five things NOT to do when shooting portraits.

  • Don’t go to your favorite or best location first during a shoot.
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment and take bad photos.
  • Don’t hide behind your camera.
  • Don’t over pose your subject, give them directions.
  • Don’t shoot too conservatively.

7 Common Studio Portrait Lighting Mistakes

Watch as photographer Antti Karppinen walks you through seven of the most common studio portrait lighting mistakes beginners make so you can avoid them. Where you position your main and fill lights, as well as how strong they are can make or break your portrait.

3 More Common Portrait Mistakes

Finally, in this video tip from Adorama TV, Miguel Quiles gives us three more common portrait mistakes.

  1. Not communicating with your model or subject.
  2. Not having the eyes in sharp focus.
  3. Not making sure the subject’s eyes are facing in the right direction.

Over to you. Have you got any other portrait photography mistakes you’d add to the ones mentioned here? Please add your comments below.

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Darlene Hildebrandt
Darlene Hildebrandt

is an educator who teaches aspiring amateurs and hobbyists how to improve their skills through free articles on her website Digital Photo Mentor, online photography classes, and travel tours to exotic places like Peru, Thailand, India, Cuba, Morocco, Bhutan, Vietnam and more. To help you improve and learn she has two email mini-courses. Sign up for her free beginner OR portrait photography email mini-course here. Or get both, no charge!