8 Tips for Shooting Stunning Creative Portraits [Sponsored]


Find out how to use lighting, props and styling to make your best creative portraits even better. And, enter here now for a chance to win rising industry star Catherine Asanov’s online Craftsy class Behind the Scenes of a Creative Portrait Shoot (a $59.99 value!).

Editor’s Note: This is a sponsored post from Craftsy

1. Preparation


A creative portrait shoot can certainly happen on the fly, but the ones you see in magazines and advertising campaigns do not. These are carefully prepared. The best chance for your success with a creative portrait is to be prepared. Have the equipment you need and have it set up ahead of time. Hire the right number of people to help — just enough to get the job done but not so many that your set is crowded with unnecessary bodies. Know what you want to accomplish and map out how much time it should take. Being well prepared gives your model and crew confidence that the shoot will turn out well.

2. Collaboration

Having others involved is an important part of a creative portrait. You may need to work with a hair stylist, a makeup artist, a wardrobe stylist, a set designer, a digital retoucher or a PR person to see your vision realized. Know when to take criticism and when to stand up for your ideas. Either way, treat your collaborators with respect and they will help you have a successful shoot.

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3. Mood

Set the tone for your shoot by creating an environment that is conducive for the type of photos you want to have. Put on some music that fits the shoot—high in energy or relaxed, sexy or playful. Music will make the shoot more fun for everyone and put your models in a good place. Keep the temperature comfortable and keep people off the set who cause problems.

4. Concept

Having a concept in mind before starting the shoot will focus your efforts and give you a direction to head. Know your ideal audience or client’s tastes before you start shooting. The concept is what will set you apart as a creative mind and not just a technical expert.

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5. Lighting

Once you have your concept nailed down you can work on the lighting. Draw up diagrams, if possible, to pre-visualize the look you are creating. Knowing how your equipment works and what kind of look you can get with the gear you have (or need to rent) will help you stay creative.

6. Positive feedback

Always give positive feedback to your models. You can make suggestions for changing things up, but always keep it positive. A positive attitude on set will keep your models doing what you ask and help them to stay confident. Even if things are not turning out how you would like, keep negative comments to yourself. Change course, but keep it positive.

7. Take breaks


Modeling is harder than it looks. Muscles get tired and keeping focus takes effort. Don’t forget to give your models and your crew breaks to keep things fresh and to make sure that everyone is giving their best.

8. Stay inspired

Bring along an inspiration board or a collection of photos that will help you achieve the look you want. Having imagery handy may help to jog your memory or give you that creative spark to come up with something new.

You’re well on your way to shooting creative portraits clients will love! Ready to enhance your photography further? Enter for a chance to win the online Craftsy class Behind the Scenes of a Creative Portrait Shoot (a $59.99 value)! During class you’ll enjoy a rare behind-the-scenes look at beauty and character shoots as you learn how to showcase your creative vision with exceptional photos! With lifetime access you can get personalized advice and your photos critiqued anytime by expert Catherine Asanov.

What are some of your favorite tricks for taking creative portraits?

Two winners will be randomly selected on August 23, 2014 at 11:59 PM MT and contacted via email the following week. This has been a sponsored post kindly brought to you by Craftsy.

Chris Gampat

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