Quick Tips To Get More Comfortable With Yourself As A Portrait Photographer


If you have ever played an MMORPG, then you know that there are important lessons it teaches. You get better with experience. There are very few who start off at the top. This is ultimately true in portrait photography. Sometimes people think they can just shoot portraits without sitting for one. They are afraid of being in front of the camera and are either uncomfortable with themselves or with the process. Portrait photography can be its own world in photography. If the photographer can’t make the subject comfortable, it will show in the final image. To truly make your subject comfortable, you as a photographer have to be comfortable. The best way to do this is to get comfortable with yourself.

So we’re going to start out by saying this: do not take selfies. Take self-portraits. If you are not really comfortable with yourself, you are probably taking selfies. However, making self-portraits can teach you a lot.

We have many posts on portrait photography that you can check out. But here are a couple of short and quick tips for you.

Have an Experienced Portrait Photographer Shoot Your Portrait

Taken By Daryl Meek

Taken By Daryl Meek

It’s good to have a great portrait of yourself, so you can know how your subjects feel. You will learn what you are comfortable with and how you want your clients to feel.

Learn to Pose Yourself, so You Can Pose Others


Image by Chris Gampat

Learning how to stand in front of a camera will help you learn how to pose a subject in front of your camera. This makes it easier to walk into a portrait situation and gets your shots faster.

Build Your Confidence

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 55mm f1.4 Otus lens Kita (3 of 3)ISO 1001-80 sec at f - 2.0

Image by Chris Gampat

Get used to looking at yourself as a subject. It will help you be more comfortable with your client. Being a subject is different from being the photographer. Having confidence will make your client more comfortable with your skills. Your body language speaks volumes, and knowing how your clients feel makes things easier.

Know What You are Doing and What Gear You are Using

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

Image by Chris Gampat

Work out all your favorite settings using yourself as a guinea pig. Instead of figuring out your settings in front of your client and/or friends, use yourself. It gives you time to play with ideas and different pieces of gear.

Shoot Portraits at Different Depths of Field

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer CES 2014 Panasonic 42.5mm f1.2 first impressions (7 of 9)ISO 2001-125 sec at f - 1.2

Image by Chris Gampat

Shooting your self-portrait at different depths of field will help you develop your portrait style. By employing different depths of field you learn what your eye likes. By comparing and contrasting the resulting images, you can develop your style.

 Don’t Just Learn Lighting, Understand It

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lulu's Shoot Zeiss 55mm f1.4 Otus lens photos (3 of 9)ISO 1001-60 sec at f - 5.0

Image by Chris Gampat

Not all portraits can be taken with natural light. Sometimes you’ll need a little fill flash. When you are using yourself as a subject you don’t have worry about time. Play with all the different lighting angles you can. When you are setting up lighting for a subject, understanding things will make the whole process more efficient.

Learn How to Use a Remote Trigger

Chris Gampat Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L II USM review photos of Matt (4 of 11)ISO 100

Image by Chris Gampat

Remote triggers can be your best friends while shooting portraits. They can enable you to be your own assistant. When shooting a self-portrait, a remote trigger can help you focus on yourself easier. A remote trigger can be one of your most valuable tools once you understand how it works.

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Gevon Servo

Gevon Servo aka @GServo is an eclectic, NJ/NY Photographer. He’s a Nikon shooter, by choice nevertheless, will always test any piece of photography equipment. He believes that like ‘Photography’, ‘Coffee’,’Beer’ and ‘Comics Books’ and other things ‘Geek’ “You must try everything once to discover what you want to try again.