Making the Best Use of Your Photo Gear for Portraits


Model: Grace Morales

Model: Grace Morales

If you have fancy new photography gear, the important thing to do now is to get out and shoot with it. This is how you eventually come to justify a purchase to yourself after spending all that money on that new lens or camera. While you’re going to need to go out and find your own creative inspiration, it always helps to have a bit of guidance when it comes to actually shooting better portraits.

We’ve been publishing a lot of roundups on gear and the gear that you may need as the year rounds itself down to a close. But in order to actually do something with that gear, we’re rounding up tutorials and tips that we’ve published this year as well.

And this one will help you shoot better portraits.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lomography Petzval Lens review images samples (11 of 24)ISO 4001-320 sec


Making Eyes Pop More in Portraits Using Lightroom: we’re starting this list off with the single set of tips that requires you to exercise the most restraint. Making eyes pop in an image requires you to specifically work on just those areas using the adjustment tools and brushes.

Again, exercise restraint.

Foolproof Posing Tips for Shooting Portraits: Posing a subject is pretty tough when you’re just getting started. We recommend checking out a variety of portrait poses and also checking this post in order to help make your subject look their best.

How to Get Softer Light in Portraits: Soft light is beautiful to work with and gives everyone a very flattering look. It’s easy to get when working with both natural light and artificial light. We teach you tips on how to get soft light every time during every shoot.

The Introduction to Better Backlit Portraits Using Natural Light: While many professional photographers holding workshops will tell you to not backlight a portrait, we’re going to go ahead and say the opposite. Backlight all that you want because it looks gorgeous. But you’ll need to expose for the shadows and also use spot metering. We teach you all about how to use this method to its fullest potential.

We hate the recommend more gear, but every natural light photographer needs these.

Oh yeah! And we’ve got a list on how to take better advantage of natural light for portraits.

Tips on Getting More Comfortable with Yourself as a Portrait Photographer: Taking portraits can be a bit awkward for some people because they need to get used to the idea of working with someone else. This tutorial is designed for the more shy shooters amongst us.

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Zeiss 85mm f1.4 Otus Alex portrait for review (1 of 1)ISO 1001-125 sec at f - 5.6

What They Won’t Teach You in a Portrait Photography Class: In one of our older posts, we cover the non-technical things that they won’t teach you in a portait photography class. This has to do with having and developing an idea.

Do You Need to Focus on the Eyes in a Portrait?: Get ready for something thought provoking. When shooting portraits, you’ll usually go for focusing on the eyes. But we argue that you only need to do this depending on certain framings. Take a look for yourself, and see what we mean.

The Psychology of Portraiture–Understanding Your Subject: In order to shoot better portraits, you’ll need to understand a bit of where your subject is coming from. Just remember that they’re more intimidated of you than you are of taking their portrait.

Chris Gampat

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