My 10+1 Basic Secrets to Good Portrait Shoots

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35mm, f/7,1, 1/125, ISO100

In this post I’ll show you last set (4/4) of portraits of my friend. Here I’ll also share my 10+1 basic secrets to a good portrait. If you like my photos and these tips, feel free click like and share my tips with your friends and link them to your blog. I would love to hear your top secrets and feedback of my photos and tips! 🙂


21mm, f/3,5, 1/30, ISO320

Can you find a little thing that I could have done better? (hint: focus point, is it closer or further eye?) I still like this picture a lot and at least my photography teacher told me the focus of this is acceptable but it’s not perfect though.

My 10+1 Basic Secrets to Good Portrait Shoots

  1. Focus point should on person’s eyes if they are in picture (focus to closest eye if the distance from camera is not equal)
  2. Use a simple background if you want to just shoot the person / use background that supports the story you want to tell with your photo
  3. Composing! Think about it and train it! Use surprising perspective, don’t centralize, use nature to create frames around your model
  4. Have fun with light
  5. Don’t use flash or use smooth portrait flash
  6. Make sure you and you’re model have fun and feel confortable! If toes are freezing or you’re shooting your friend after huge fight you should not expect to get happy face photos if your friend is not professional model
  7. Try super close-ups, different shaped photos and all creative
  8. Take a lot of shoots and catch all the facial expressions and little changes in your model (especially with children)
  9. Use low F-spot if you want blurry background
  10. Read, try, ask! Read your cameras manual if you have extra time, see YouTube tutorials and take a lot of photos. In my opinion taking photos and analyzing them is the best way to learn – and if possible don’t just analyze alone but with friend, teacher, model or someone who’s as passionate as you are.

+ 1. Don’t focus only on your own photos and own camera! Analyze other people’s photos: what do you like them? What you don’t like? How they could have been shot to make them better? Could those be Photoshopped to look better? What you can learn from them? Give attention to composition, colors, contrasts, lights and background (Is it sharp or soft? Colors? Objects?). Of course there are plenty of other things to think about but I think without understanding the importance of basics like composition it’s very hard to shoot great photos.


Left: 18mm, f/8, 1/160, ISO100. Right: 55mm, f/10, 1/250, ISO100


55mm, f/9, 1/200, ISO100

Have fun with your camera and feel free to ask me any additional information or gibe my feedback by leaving me a reply by comment, Facebook or email!

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