15 Quick Tips to Getting Better Portraits

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Leica S2 Shoot at the loft redo (4 of 4)ISO 160

Want to take better portraits, but are just getting started? Here’s a quick roundup of 15 random tips to help you do that.

Focus on the Eyes, and Get Them Sharp


It’s All About the Light


Find the Person’s Longer Shoulder, and Position Them to Even it Out

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Impact Quikbox and LiteTrek photos (5 of 17)ISO 160

They Don’t Always Need to Look Straight Into the Camera

Chris Gampat Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L II USM review photos of Matt (11 of 11)ISO 100

Go In With a Vision

Final Umbrella Image of Grace by Chris Gampat (1 of 1)ISO 2001-30 sec at f - 5.6

Play with the Rule of Thirds

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus EM5 Link Cosplay shoot (7 of 23)ISO 200

Don’t Put the Sun in Front of Your Subject


When They’re Backlit, Overexpose Your Image By 2/3rds

Chris Gampat Kathy Supa portraits in the West Village edited (4 of 17)

Look Out For The Color of the Lighting


Use Your Environment to Bounce Light Into the Shadows

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Retouches of Dave Shim (6 of 6)ISO 320

Use Body Language to Convey the Feeling

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer RoundFlash and OCF Gear Cord Test With Jill (3 of 15)_PerfectlyClear_0001

Medium Format Is King for Wide Portraits


Figure Out What Light Modifier You Need

Lighting Infographic_v72

Put Your Subject Into a Specific Mental State to Get the Right Facial Expressions

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 VC headshots (2 of 3)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 5.6

You Can Do Some Cool Things with Fisheye Lenses

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Panasonic GH3 studio fun (4 of 6)ISO 2001-50 sec at f - 4.0

Bonus: And When it Comes to Dogs, Get Low

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Sigma DP3 review images extras (16 of 20)ISO 4001-800 sec at f - 2.8


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Chris Gampat

Chris Gampat is the Editor in Chief, Founder, and Publisher of the Phoblographer. He also likes pizza.