10 More Tips for Stunning Portrait Photography

10 More Tips for Stunning Portrait Photography


Yesterday I shared 10 Ways to take Stunning Portrait Photography. We covered everything from altering your perspective as a photographer, to experimenting with lighting, to shooting candidly.

Today I want to continue on the same train of thought with 10 more tips for adding a little spice to your portraits.

11. Frame Your Subject

Framing is a technique where by you draw attention to one element of an image by framing it with another element of the image.


Image by darkmatter

Framing gives an image depth and draws the eye to a point of interest in the image.

You could do it by placing your subject in a window or doorway, have them look through a small gap or even use their hands around their face. See more examples of framing in photography here.

12. Go with a Wide Angle

Shooting with a wide angle lens attached to your camera can help create some memorable shots when you’re doing portrait photography.

At very wide focal lengths you can create some wonderful distortion. It might not be the type of shot you take of your wife or girlfriend (unless she’s in a playful mood) but using these focal lengths will enlarge parts of the face or body that are on the edge of the frame more than what is in the centre.

It can also give a wide open and dramatic impact when your subject is in an impressive setting.


Image by paulbence

13. Play With Backgrounds

The person in your portrait is the main point of interest – however sometimes when you place them into different contexts with different backgrounds you can dramatically alter the mood in a shot.

Sometimes you want your background to be as minimalistic as possible.


Portrait by akbar1947

While other times a dramatic or colorful background can help your subject really stand out.


Photo by paulbence

The key is to experiment.

14. Change the Format Framing

Many photographers get stuck in a rut of only ever shooting either in ‘landscape’ (when the camera is held horizontally) or ‘portrait’ (when the camera is held vertically) modes. Look back through your images and see which one you use predominantly.

Just because a vertical framing is called ‘portrait’ mode doesn’t mean you always need to use it when shooting portraits. Mix your framing up in each shoot that you do and you’ll add variety to the type of shots you take.


Image by bikeracer

15. Hold Your Camera on an Angle

Horizontal and Vertical framings are not the only options when it comes to shooting portraits. While getting your images straight can be important in when shooting in these formats holding your camera on a more diagonal angle can also inject a little fun into your images.

This type of framing can add a sense of fun and energy into your shots. Just don’t ‘slightly’ do it or you’ll have people asking themselves if you might have mistakenly held your camera crooked.


Photo by puja

16. Take Unfocused Shots

As photographers we have ‘sharp focus’ drummed into us as an ultimate objective to achieve in our work – but sometimes lack of focus can create shots with real emotion, mood and interest.

There are two main strategies for taking unfocused images that work:

1. Focus upon one element of the image and leave your main subject blurred. To do this use a large aperture which will create a narrow depth of field and focus upon something in front of or behind your subject.


Photo by Jeff Kubina

2. Leave the full image out of focus. To do this again choose a wide aperture but focus well in front or behind anything that is in your image (you’ll need to switch to manual focussing to achieve this).

These kinds of shots can be incredibly dreamy and mysterious.


Portrait by peskymac

17. Introduce Movement

Portraits can be so static – but what if you added some movement into them? This can be achieved in a few ways:


Photo by Michael Sarver

  • by making your subject move
  • by keeping your subject still but having an element in the scene around them move
  • by moving your camera (or it’s lens to achieve a zoom burst)


Portrait by philippe leroyer

The key with the above three methods is to use a slow enough shutter speed to capture the movement.

The alternative is to have your subject obviously move fast but to use a shutter speed so fast that it ‘freezes’ their movement.

18. Experiment with Subject Expressions

In some portraits it is the expression on the face of your subject that makes the image.

Get your subject to experiment with different moods and emotions in your image. Play with extreme emotions


Portrait by carf

But also try more sombre or serious type shots

19. Fill the Frame

One way to ensure that your subject captures the attention of the viewer of your portrait is to fill the frame with their face.

It’s not something that you’d do in every shot that you take – but if your subject is the only feature in the shot – there’s really nowhere else to look.


Portrait by kkelly2007

20. Find an Interesting Subject

I have a friend who regularly goes out on the streets around Melbourne looking for interesting people to photograph.

When he finds someone that he finds interesting he approaches them, asks if they’d pose for him, he quickly finds a suitable background and then shoots off a handful of shots quickly (if they give him permission of course).

The result is that he has the most wonderful collection of photographs of people of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds.

While many of us spend most of our time photographing our loved ones – perhaps it’d be an interesting exercise to shoot interesting strangers once in a while?


Portrait by .mushi_king

What Did I Miss?

So there you have it. 20 ways to add variety to your portraits (including yesterday’s 10 tips). But what have I missed that you’d add? I’m sure if we put our heads together we could come up with plenty of other techniques and ideas to add a little variety to our portrait photography. Looking forward to reading your suggestions in comments below.

Get more portrait photography tips here.


Read more from our category

Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

Some Older Comments

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  • kistadi June 13, 2013 03:04 pm

    Wow... , Seriously i m thankful to you . worthy sharing this kind of articles for starters like me

    My recent post on love story theme photography http://www.theapbook.com/forum/index.php?threads/love-story-photography-theme-by-sudha-mukesh-traveography.57/#post-67

  • MacKenzie February 7, 2013 04:43 am

    Wow! Thank you for all the helpful tips! I am big into photography but live in a small town where the only thing to take pictures of is scenery and family so I am not experienced in taking portraits but after reading these tips I am more confident! Thanks a Ton!

  • Jack Westhead September 1, 2012 07:04 pm

    Thanks for the tips :) Jack

  • Pam March 21, 2012 02:15 am

    Thanks for sharing. I would have never thought of taking portraits like this. I am just starting out. This is very helpful. Thank you

  • Yucel March 13, 2012 06:21 am

    Another great list... got ideas on how to get people to vary their expressions?

    Sometimes the stiffest are ... the stiffest...???

  • audio January 25, 2012 02:19 am

    Thanks for every other informative web site. The place else may I am getting that type of information written in such an ideal way? I have a project that I'm simply now working on, and I have been at the look out for such information.

  • Jondaar December 30, 2011 04:19 pm

    Great amount of info & tips, very informative.
    Will experiment & see what comes out.

    Great stuff! Cheers

  • White Petal Wedding Photography Devon December 30, 2011 03:29 am

    Good post and good advice, of course there are some really good subjects in there too which helps. Like it +++

  • Yasmine December 21, 2011 12:49 pm

    These are great tips!
    I love them

    Here is another interesting way of taking pictures.

    A picture in a picture or some other lens.

    They usually come out great.

  • John Cordova May 20, 2011 05:53 pm

    Wow! Very good list(s). I was amazed to see that the vast majority of things you mention in the list are things that we are already doing, instinctively. Good to know that our instincts are right on the money. I love your little tidbits and injections of personality. That's what makes a great portrait to us.

    Keep up the good work! We will be reading.

  • Chandira November 17, 2010 04:39 am

    Thank you thank you!! Great ideas. A friend has asked me to take his photo for a website, and this has given me some great ideas! :-)

    He's an 'out of the box' character, and said I can play, so I will have some fun with this now..

  • Sebastien Genet November 12, 2010 08:55 am


  • Sebastien Genet November 12, 2010 08:53 am

    [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/sebastiengenet/4433013720/' title='Look up!!!' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4007/4433013720_d698e83cd2.jpg']

  • Sebastien Genet November 12, 2010 08:52 am

    I often like to shoot from the top and ask the subject to look up. This is an example:

  • Rahel October 4, 2010 07:55 pm

    great tips. am attaching a recently taken shot by me for your review comments. [eimg link='http://www.flickr.com/photos/46464950@N04/5043780060/' title='More of Wife' url='http://farm5.static.flickr.com/4133/5043780060_358455ee95.jpg']

  • Designer Scarves August 24, 2010 10:39 pm

    Another great entry. I have been experimenting with High key and high contrast portrait which seems to produce good results. I sometimes find that asking the model/person you are shooting to "free-style" helps in getting me out of my comfort zone and find new ideas that way.

  • Sunita July 17, 2010 08:23 am

    those were excellent tips! i can't find anything as easy to understand and simple.
    also, i love that you have accompanying images to demonstrate what you're talking about.
    i'm going to try them out right now!!!
    thank you! :)

  • dennis iannuzzi June 10, 2010 10:27 pm

    I enjoyed your comments and images,I have been a photographer for 40 years and I am still finding much enjoyment in the media. I work mostly in the larger format but also use a digital camera.
    Dennis I

  • Mr. Pekka Kononen June 10, 2010 05:26 pm

    Thank you very much of the very comprehensive and pro like tips for great portraits.
    I suddenly found that taking portraits is an area that interests me a lot. I found it, when I happened to shoot this picture of my youngest grandchild. Happy summer![eimg url='http://www.picman.fi/Vieraat/jemppu.jpg' title='jemppu.jpg']

  • ramandeep May 26, 2010 11:07 pm

    i really love all these pics. good job people. soon i be as good as u guys

  • Meeshell May 13, 2010 12:44 am

    Mimi says Very nice, High Five. [:

  • Josh Warner May 5, 2010 02:42 am

    Wow, I thought I was pretty good at taking portraits that make the subject pop out, but these are just amazing. I will definitely try to employ these tips in future photography. Thanks, I will order a copy of this E-Book the second I get the money. Thanks again.

  • Headshot NYC April 19, 2010 02:28 pm

    Any modification of the color saturation and cropping makes for a better headshot immediately and distinguishes it from a snapshot.

  • LexaRae April 15, 2010 04:21 am

    I love these tips!
    It helped me put words to what i already do, and what I have always wanted to learn.
    Thank you so much! These tips are going to help me be so much more successful in my upcoming business!

  • Photo Editing March 31, 2010 10:16 pm

    It’s really great post, nice blog..I would like to appreciate your work and would like to tell to my friends.

  • Mei Teng January 13, 2010 02:16 pm

    I am not so sure about the unfocused shots. Makes my feel somewhat dizzy looking at those images. But a technique worth experimenting with. Thanks for sharing these tips.

  • shuhan January 7, 2010 03:19 pm

    thanks for tha advise...im a new photographer and after reading these i khow many things.....thanks darren...wish u all the best and keep sending tips.

  • Swiss JHG Photo December 16, 2009 06:31 am

    That's nice addition to the first 10 tips... would be nice to have them into one page for printing it in a friendly way!

  • someone December 14, 2009 09:35 pm

    nice tips only if I had a couple of DSLRs and a bunch of super lenses....

  • lampi October 21, 2009 04:29 pm

    Good piece of advice! I will try some of the suggested techniques :)

  • Mitchell October 20, 2009 03:46 am

    I love your advice! Keep the party goin man!

  • Manish Sanga September 28, 2009 06:56 pm

    Gr8 tips with a stunning vision , they will certainly go a long way wid me, Thanx a ton

  • jennyburger September 27, 2009 04:27 pm

    These are great tips. Useful advice for a photographer who's run dry. All that's needed now?...10 or 20 MORE! Thanks a lot!

  • shar September 26, 2009 03:27 am

    Thanks for great set of tips! I'm a total newbie in DSLR photography. I have one questions: how was the third portrait from the last taken? The one with the little boy in a hat, with blurred farmhouse at the back. Please let me know! thanks!

  • Adit September 6, 2009 10:01 am

    This gives me a new perspective of shooting portraits. Can't wait to start experimenting!

  • Marilyn September 4, 2009 01:01 am

    Thank you!!! for opening my eyes! and teaching me how to break the rules! I love it!

  • Bob Gruetter August 27, 2009 07:40 pm

    I have been photographing for over 40 years, and after reading these 20 tips, I relived some of my past and thought about things I used to do. Thank you for these as I had grown a little locked in on how, rather than enjoy what.


  • stanley August 26, 2009 07:02 pm

    WoW!! great tips!!! I must try the lesson now!! I have learned so much since i became a member of DPS. Thanks a lot.

  • Milimo Hanyoolo August 21, 2009 06:59 am

    Again amazing tips i'm definate to try in my next shots...!!!Thanx

  • Chiranjib Majumdar August 16, 2009 03:29 pm

    Thank you so much Darren!!! I am an amateur photographer but am trying to do it seriously.... :) Your tips are so encouraging.....

  • Bonii Jo August 3, 2009 09:46 am

    Enjoyed this very much. Am applying it now. Thanks!

  • Ajith August 1, 2009 06:08 pm

    great tips! as a novice to DSLRs, i am still lerning and experimenting. these tips would definitely come handy at some point or another. many thanks for sharing them.

  • Bronx Boy July 22, 2009 07:54 pm

    Some stimulating ideas. Makes me want to getstarted. Where are those grandchildren...my free models. The framing example was especially challenging. Thanks

  • The Nonsense Society July 13, 2009 05:22 am

    Phenomenal Tips! Thank you!

  • Brenda Turton July 7, 2009 11:23 am

    Hi Darren
    I'm extremely pleased and very grateful to receive your helpful tips on portraits which will help me, no end.
    Best Regards, Brenda Turton

  • MARIO NARANJO MOLINA July 1, 2009 03:23 am

    Hi Darren,
    I´m fairly new as a member of DPS. I find it quite interesting but I´ll have to go along finding out in the different tutorials. I´m a painter myself and very fond, in general, of the world of images so if you want to give me your opinion on my works I´ll be so pleased. Hugs, I´ll be in touch.

  • Pssequimages July 1, 2009 02:20 am

    Thank you SO MUCH. This was just a wonderful set of tips, and a great article.

  • Paul Langereis June 20, 2009 09:52 am

    Hi Darren,

    I have learned so much since i became a member of DPS, and these tips on portrait photography have inspired me to try new things. Fantastic tips!

  • Curtis Copeland June 17, 2009 03:16 am

    Fabulous tips on portrait photography. Thanks for the tutorial!

  • SueLucas June 13, 2009 03:34 pm

    Great tips indeed! Each day, I look forward to seeing what's new in DPS - This is by far the best photo site on the net. Darren, you've got me hooked!

  • Norah T June 4, 2009 12:09 am

    Signing up for this is the best move I have made in decades!!! I love to take pictures because I am a scrapbooker....my family history is recorded in my albums and future generations will look back at the photos. I want them to tell the story of my familys life: past,present and future! With your help and generous teaching, I think it is possible!! Thanks for the amazing info and examples!!!

  • jamie wiggins June 1, 2009 06:55 am

    these tips are really great. im starting to really get into photography, so learning new techniques makes me even more excited to go shoot.

    one tip you could add that can really draw the viewer's eye is to use "leading lines"

  • Kim June 1, 2009 12:39 am

    I loved these tips for portrait photography---some I've tried to do, but your explanation gives me better direction. Can't wait to try some of them!

  • Hems Zwier May 22, 2009 09:05 pm

    Great article Darren! Loved it and did a RT on twitter!

  • Jenna May 18, 2009 07:13 pm

    I found this really helpfull.
    I'm doing a photography assignment now on non-traditional portraiture.
    We have to take photographs of people but we cant show their face but they still have to say something about the person.
    Any ideas to help me?

  • Hardeep Singh May 8, 2009 07:29 pm

    Its the first time I have seen your blog, and I have found it interesting. This is definitely a good set of tips to keep in one's mind while doing a portrait.

  • Blasco Fernandes May 4, 2009 05:15 pm

    I am an amateur photographer in Goa, India, and love taking pictures, so I am sure your tips on taking portraits will definitely be useful. Thanks.

  • Aaron April 29, 2009 07:41 am

    Great tips, I like the one where the guy is standing still while everything else is moving

  • athul April 25, 2009 04:52 pm

    hey darren,
    very nice article.. informative 4 a beginner like me... thanks....

  • vonda April 21, 2009 11:46 pm

    Never before have I thought of these great tips, Very appreciated, and I will be giving them a "shot".

  • vonda April 21, 2009 11:45 pm

    Never before have I thought these great tips, Very appreciated, and I will be giving them a "shot".

  • Libby4Z-Tune April 10, 2009 12:41 pm

    Thanks for the emphasis on creating creative photos, D! These days, it's rather difficult to find photographers who are like-minded. Who thinks it is in creating the shots that makes the photos, not necessarily the post-production. Or are we the "endangered species"?

  • Matt April 8, 2009 07:31 pm

    Fantastic tips. I've looked quite a lot for advice on portraits because it's an area which I sometimes find difficult and this is probably the best page i've seen on the subject. The examples are fantastic and inspiring. I can't wait to get out there and experiment.

  • Gareng April 8, 2009 12:17 pm

    Nice sharing ... thanks. I'll try this tips ....

  • Paul Fako April 7, 2009 07:14 am

    I hope that Pete ended up with that Tokina 12-24 wide angle. You will find that this range puts you where you want to be with nearly a super close-up combined with the linger 24mm for judging your shots better. Use all the range of this lens for some great stuff. I am must a raw amateur and this lens put in the serious mode rahter than just playing around with my Canon Rebel, Mag body original of course. The glass in this lens is amazing for the price, which is about 1/2 of what a Canon of the same range would have cost me.


  • peter k April 7, 2009 03:44 am

    Know what ? I've seen here a couple of portraites with which not even Nadav Kander wouldn't be ashemed ! Excelent!
    I, personaly, use for portrait the Minolta 50mm f1.7 on my Sony A350, and I like it a lot !

  • vvn April 6, 2009 01:49 am

    Darren... Inspiration is the greatest teacher and you have certainly inspired me. I'm a graphic designer moving back to photography, looking for manual control but also portability as I always want to have the camera with me. Need to get away from the tiny point and shoot tho ; ). If only I could decide on the right camera purchase that will allow for creativity with depth of field etc, while also fitting budget and purse. Any recommendations there will be appreciated.

    These 2 portrait tips are the first newsletters after subscribing and I love them. Will be a regular from here out. Thank you.

  • Thalys April 3, 2009 02:52 pm

    Thanx Darren for sharing your knowledge. If ever I had been hesitating to buy a SLR then I'm no more. I had a point and shot till now and it's so frustrating. I love shooting portraits of my kids and family and even strangers. Now I think I have many ways to vary and have pleasure ! Again, thank you !!

  • Tilak Jaiswal April 3, 2009 06:04 am

    Great tips for the beginners

  • Nicole Alfonzo April 3, 2009 03:55 am

    thanks for the tips, honestly i learn so much from your site :]]

  • Annon April 2, 2009 10:22 pm

    Short and simple, but powerful tips, thanks

  • Janie K April 2, 2009 09:55 am

    Thank you, so well written and the examples are spot on. It's great to be reminded of some of these things and refreshed with some new ideas!

  • Vimal Kumar March 17, 2009 11:49 pm

    I got to learn so much to learn about portrait photography after reading these two articles. I am really thankful to you for the information passed on. I am gearing up to try these options..

    Vimal Kumar

  • lisamona March 17, 2009 04:19 pm

    i really enjoy reading and viewing the photos. i have learned so much just by reading your tips thankyou so much. im hoping maybe one day i will be able to take photos as good as some of the photos i am able to view. thanks to you.

    thanks lisamona

  • Ruel March 12, 2009 04:30 pm

    Seeing these 20 tips - Now, i feel like i'm in trouble.... i need to get rid of my compact camera and go DSLR, but my wife will kill me if she see's me with a new camera and not the one she gave. Hahaha....

  • gopherpoo March 10, 2009 03:26 pm

    I find that at functions, standing back from the crowd and taking pictures of evone interacting with each other works really well. U capture a lot of natural emotions without needing to ask anyone to pose....

    All in all, superb set of tips. Can't wait to try!!! :-)

  • Chris March 4, 2009 12:36 am

    Thanks so much for sharing these techniques..... great fodder for future shoots.

  • Alejandro February 21, 2009 01:55 am

    Gorgeous concepts!!...Thanks you very much!

  • MODZ February 17, 2009 11:35 am

    thanks alot. i really learned some techniques! :D

  • Jasmine February 13, 2009 04:19 am

    I think holding your camera at some sort of angle is a great way to capture peoples attention and to make it look a little more interesting in some way and form. Also with the lighting it makes it pop out.

  • Bind Rathore February 6, 2009 02:52 pm

    Great Tips, very much useful. Thanks a Lot for sharing such valuable inputs.

  • christos January 31, 2009 12:10 pm

    inspiring tips and stunning effects..thank you from an aspiring photographer..

  • Rizwan January 30, 2009 02:28 am

    thanks a lot ! this is exactly what i was looking for.can't wait to try these

  • Ali January 28, 2009 11:29 pm

    Perfect tips

  • JOHNNY January 23, 2009 01:27 am


  • rod fermin January 22, 2009 07:43 pm

    terrific! you've just loaded my imagination with very useful cues that i feel like applying them soonest!

    thanks a lot & MORE tips, huh!

  • Lenard January 17, 2009 10:34 pm

    Thank you and thank you again. Really learn a lot from you... Please keep them coming as it is very useful. Can't wait to try it out....

  • Mohamed Ghuloom January 1, 2009 11:56 pm

    Very good tips, actually better than the first part.. I always try to go creative with my portraits.. Not creative by reading these tips (coz many others will follow them as well) but the rule is whenever some unique idea comes up, just apply it.. You gave me inspiration for many other ideas that I can apply to LENS Photography clients in Bahrain.

  • James December 13, 2008 07:18 am

    This is a great help for portrait photographers. I really like this site.

  • Mik December 2, 2008 08:07 am

    Some of those shots are spectacular.

  • Millard December 2, 2008 07:14 am

    I am in absolute awe of some of these shots!! I am going to need to practice and study much more!!

  • s-telios a.k.a.==> s-perfect November 18, 2008 09:49 pm

    very interesting especially the moving people!!!!!!!!
    very usefull tips!! :D:D:D:D

  • Yogeesh October 26, 2008 04:50 am

    Thanks a lot. I never thought that portrait photography could be so interesting! I'll try these out..

  • Chris Morin October 10, 2008 12:38 am

    WOW.. What great shots, makes me wish my kids were little again so I could take more pictures of them... guess I'll thinghave to wait for grand kids!...

    My niece did something that I'd never thought of since I live in Colorado... (She was from Texas and had never seen snow) She was staying with us with her kids and we had one of those unexpected snow falls mid October. It was the kind with huge fluffy flakes and she woke her kids up in their PJ's put giant winter coats on over the pj's and took them outside where she proceeded to take loads of pictures of them playing in the snow. This was a non-digital camera so after running to the 1 hour developing to get them back... the shots were AWESOME with the big fluffy flakes all around the kids some in focus some out of focus it added all this movement and excitement to the usual "lets take pictures of the kids playing" shots. I'd never thought of it since I'd always waited until AFTER the snow to take pictures.

    So I guess that's a tip... take photo's WHILE it's snowing....

  • tania October 4, 2008 02:54 am

    thanks a lot for the many examples and simple writing. now let s go and try it out!

  • Maeve August 26, 2008 04:03 am

    Oh,such wonderful explanation!And great ideas!
    I love doing portraits but I usually just experiment with the angle of my camera!
    These tips can be used in nature photography as well,so thanks very much for such a amazing article :) !!!!!

  • Ali August 6, 2008 07:26 am

    Great tips! I'm a fan of portrait photography and am always excited to learn how to improve the craft.

    One tip I'd like to share is the usage of black and white. We've all taken a shot which we had high hopes for but the moment we've uploaded it onto our computers and viewed them in full size, we were sorely let down. It's amazing how using a photo editing software to convert the photo into b/w can often save the photo and perhaps even make it a great photo! Grainy shots--when turned to b/w--can look ultra dramatic and the same goes for blurry and unfocused shots.

    I've gone through some old pics of mine that I didn't particularly like but ended up being quite satisfied with them after turning them to black and white.

    Of course, if you want to be REALLY old-school, you can always pick up a 35mm camera, slot in a b/w film and away you go. :)

  • Sonny Parlin July 31, 2008 11:41 pm


    It's easy... most camera's have auto exposure bracketing and continuous shooting, so you can just hold down the shutter button and get three quick exposures.


    Also, you can use software like Photomatix to tonemap single RAW files, so you can get HDR like results from one image.


  • dude July 31, 2008 12:50 am

    I don't know how you would make various exposures of the same person without them moving, so HDR I don't think so. Lots of channels/saturation/contrast/curves tweaking though !

  • phazeless July 30, 2008 01:16 am

    Good tips, but what you didn't tell them was most of these portraits were taken with extremely good optics and very well processed, a couple I suspected even were HDRs. Regardless, thanks for the tips.

  • James July 24, 2008 11:38 am

    It appears tip #21 is to have good photo editing software

  • The Baldchemist July 18, 2008 04:21 pm

    Thank you so very much for a truly great article. While some of the tips are well known you have made a very pertinent reminder of what we need to think about.
    Very readable and interesting. Well done. Thanks again. The Baldchemist

  • PS Website Design July 17, 2008 06:22 am

    Brilliant. Thanks for pulling them into a really useful list. Very inspirational.

  • Ally July 16, 2008 06:54 am

    I've always wanted to ask interesting people to take their photos, but I'm always too nervous. I don't know what to say. Any suggestions?

  • Anastasia July 16, 2008 01:23 am

    Thank you for the tips! I will be applying them in my next shoot. I cannot wait to see the results!

  • Dave July 15, 2008 03:20 pm

    Great set of tips!

    In our business, we get customers who want the setting, or the background changed in their photos or they just give us their pictures and ask us to make it look much better. And they aren't clear about what the want - except say be creative, surprise me! This set definitely gives us some creative direction when we get requests like that.



  • James July 15, 2008 02:29 pm

    Thanks very much!

  • Mik July 15, 2008 12:48 pm

    Great article and I need to get out and use my camera more, seeing as I pestered the wife to let me get a new Canon!

  • Jon July 14, 2008 08:54 am

    Great tip. I can't wait to try the tilt the camera suggestion.

  • Enrique Villa July 12, 2008 07:10 pm

    Use the rules as a guideline, and break every single one of them. I believe that is one very effective way to learn about possibilities and how to get to interesting results. No matter what, always try something new.

  • Christian July 12, 2008 04:21 pm

    Wow, I really enjoyed both of the posts - awesome work, thanks. I am really motivated now, I am gonna go and shoot my wife (no matter how much she tries to resist).

  • kathaclysm July 12, 2008 09:40 am

    I know this is about portraits, but I think I'd add to this: have the subject interact with the environment. People are most often taking pictures at events and/or points of interest, so many pictures are of people just standing in front of points/objects of interest, but it's always nice if you catch your subjects interacting with the environment. Wear the Eiffel tower as a hat, stick your head next to Mt. Rushmore, spread your arms before the NY city skyline, cut the birthday cake, kiss in front of the church, act like you're catching a ball at the stadium; point at, get in, or play with the environment whenever possible.

  • Janet Giacoma July 12, 2008 05:15 am

    Excellent! Such a departure from your traditional "stand still while I take your picture!" :)

  • Cinnamon July 12, 2008 04:37 am

    I really LOVE these tips...and will apply them to my photography! As a newbie...there's so much to take in...thank you ALL for your tips, too!

    Happy shooting, all! :)

  • Cinnamon July 12, 2008 04:37 am

    I really LOVE these tips...and will apply them to my photography! As a newbie...there's so much to take in...thank you ALL for your tips, too!

    Happy shooting all! :)

  • Chandoo July 12, 2008 04:21 am

    Thanks for sharing these tips, I liked both the sets very much, will try some of these things when shooting next

  • Just Kelly July 11, 2008 11:17 pm

    Hey, another great bunch of tips. And I like the examples here even better :)

    If I could add just one thing, though, these tips are great if you're comfortable enough with the basic rules of photography that you understand not only what works, but *why* it works and *when* it doesn't. Make sure you can reliably get the right exposure, understand the rule of thirds, etc, before you start moving off the beaten track like in some of these examples. It's like my old supervisor in the 'service used to say: "First you get to where you know the rules. Then you get to where you understand the rules. THEN you get to where you break the rules." :)

    But once you've got a solid foundation under your feet (so to speak), these are some excellent techniques to take your work in different directions. Some of course (11, 18 and 20 in particular) are always great ideas.

    Anyway, enjoyed this series very much. Can't wait to see all the great portraits that are gonna come out of it!

  • dimaks July 11, 2008 11:02 pm

    hmn, shoot the non-traditional way. anyway, these are great line up of tips. thanks for sharing.

  • Olivia Bell July 11, 2008 10:00 pm

    I've recently been exploring photography with the help of my sisters (they're my models ;)).

    These tips are great, especially the story of your friend who asks strangers to pose for him/her.

    Thank you :)

  • AminoSC July 11, 2008 07:58 pm

    Nice set of guidelines everyone should follow.

  • c3l5o July 11, 2008 01:37 pm

    Simple advices are simple to remember! This makes me love the concept of these two posts.

    I have to say that this is very inspiring indeed, I'm eager to go and do some experiences tomorrow! And I think I'm going to do a post on my blog about these two articles.

    Best Regards and thanks for the tips!

  • rahmad July 11, 2008 12:27 pm

    Thanks, I'll try with wide angles

  • Scott Bourne July 11, 2008 10:39 am

    Wow this was well thought-out and written. Thanks.

    The only tip I could add I learned while shooting fashion in New York City in the old days. . .try using a super-telephoto lens. Back in the day, long lenses were all the rage for fashion work since they tend to help flatter the models and minimize backgrounds.

    I use 300, 400 and even 500mm lenses for portraits.

  • Megapixelicious July 11, 2008 08:43 am

    This is again another great post and I even think that it tops the first post. Again, I really like the simplicity of the advices and how well they are put into context thanks to great examples!

  • Julia July 11, 2008 07:16 am

    as someone who is just starting out, thank you so much for the tips. super helpful.

  • Mandy July 11, 2008 04:04 am

    Wow I thought yesterday's were good, these really make me think outside of the box...

    I might have to start doing some more portrait work!

  • Anurag July 11, 2008 03:26 am

    Great tips.

  • Jason July 11, 2008 02:59 am

    Great tips indeed, nice to see I'm on the right track with some of them!

  • AC July 11, 2008 01:50 am

    Great tips. Now only if I did something with them....

  • Seim Effects July 11, 2008 01:34 am

    Good tips. It's always good to think on your feet and and be ready to take on a new challenge even if it's outside the comfort zone.

    Gavin Seim

  • Pete Langlois July 11, 2008 01:13 am

    Another great set of tips.

    I am thinking of picking up a 12-24 Tokina to experiment with wide angles.


  • Scott Fillmer July 11, 2008 01:10 am

    Wow, great list... I love the last shot, so crisp and sharp. I like movement but it has to be done carefully (which I usually am not). I like it when there is at least a point of sharp focus if there is movement in the rest of the image. Great shots.

  • Sonny Parlin July 11, 2008 01:04 am

    Thank you for sharing, these are great tips, can't wait to start experimenting!

  • Rosh July 11, 2008 12:54 am

    This is an even more interesting group compared to the first ten. I believe when thinking of new ideas throw out at least the first five because you've seen them before. The creativity really starts after that.

    The motion and focus images are fun.


  • john piercy July 11, 2008 12:42 am

    Excellent Article Darren
    I dont shoot much in the way of portraits , this will give me some more inspiration to get out there look people in the face .