Tips for Portrait Photography | Digital Negative Singapore Photography
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Tips for Portrait Photography

Tips for Portrait Photography

Portrait photography is never easy. Ask any photographer around and he will tell you the same thing. Being able to capture a person and their personality is key to taking good portrait photos. After all, as they say a picture paints a thousand words and that’s the purpose of portrait photos: To tell the story about the subject.

Our article today will run through a few tips to help you take better portrait photos when doing portrait photography.

Setting up the shot

Be prepared. This is the basic and most important tip for portrait photography. Knowing where to shoot and preparing the location for the shoot is one of the first things you should do. Regardless If you’re shooting indoors, outdoors or on another location, checking out the location and setting it up beforehand is important. It is a must that you set up the camera and lights before so that you can take a few test shots before your client arrives.

Keeping it simple

Sometimes the simplest setup and shots are the best. Remember that this is a portrait shot and the purpose is to tell the story of your subject and not the background. Fanciful backgrounds can take the spotlight away from the subject and thus defeat the purpose of having a portrait photo taken. Working with natural light is the best, while keeping artificial lights only when necessary.

Be creative

Not all shots have to be the generic ones that you see on company passes or bus passes! It’s about telling the subject’s story and taking stunning ones that are able to portray that are the ones that you should be taking. Being creative like changing angles, playing with eye contact, breaking rules of composition, playing with focuses, using props (But not taking the main subject away from them) are ways that allow you to take striking and stunning portrait photos.

Type of portrait

There are two different types of portrait shoots, Formal & Informal. Knowing which one you are going to take is important as it allows you to prepare your equipment and lighting properly and not throw your subject into something they’re not comfortable with, which may affect the shoot (unless making them uncomfortable is your goal).


In photography, lighting is important. This is especially true for portrait photography. As mentioned earlier on lighting, try not to use your camera’s built in flash. Lighting your subject from the front creates a dull photo and makes it look uninteresting. Using a combination of working with natural light and studio lights allows the portrait to have depth and helps accentuate the facial features.

There are tons of tips out there and here are just some of the ones that we believe are important to taking better portrait photos. For more information you can check out our portfolio of portrait photos and email us at for more information!

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