How to make a good portrait - work with the model, lens, parameters

How to make a good portrait? How to work with the model? How to set it to look good in photos? What lens is the best for portraits? What focal length? What aperture Taking a good portrait is not a simple matter, but the number of issues and questions to be answered may be dizzy.

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Your approach

Remember that a man who wants to take pictures does not know how to photograph and pose like you. It is very possible that it is for him one of the first experiences with photos. (As above - I don't count the photo for proof. If we count them, we should try to make the next meeting with the photographer as pleasant as possible;))
The person who wants to take pictures with you is most likely looking for someone to guide her through the process by the hand. He will tell you how to prepare, what to wear, how to paint, DEFENSE, show you how to set up and WHAT TO DO WITH HANDS. :)

Remember to be a confident person.
Your joy, smile and confidence will magically pass over to the person being photographed. If you don't know what to do and how to work yourself, there will be too many uncertain people on the set.
Get ready for the session in advance. Check what relaxes your clients the most. Maybe some specific questions? Jokes? Examine the topic and then remember what makes people relax with you.
Talk to the person you photograph, make a bond.
Rather, do not start a political talk about the socio-economic situation on a whistle, because it can introduce unnecessary embarrassment. ;) Let the model talk about what he likes, what is easy to talk about and what is always what to say: about his work, project, hobby. It will bring a real joy on your face, which you will only be able to capture at the right moment.


If you do not feel very confident in photography, use this soft, delicate light. Of course, the golden hour will prove to be a reliable time (around sunrise and sunset, when the light is not yet on the eye). I'd rather advise avoiding the sharp sun outside at noon - then it's better to hide in the shade. Contrary to appearances, there is no reason to be afraid of a cloudy sky - the clouds act as a natural diffuser and beautifully soften the sharp sunlight.
Inside, position the model face to the window. Later, when you feel more confident, you can combine with photos against the light - I personally love them incredibly. :)

Your portrait can take on a completely different character if you change the lighting, or even just its setting. It is worth experimenting in this matter because you can get really interesting and varied effects. Playing with lighting is especially important when working in a studio. If you have one background, one model and one stylization and one set of lights, your ideas will quickly run out and all photos will be similar.
That is why you have lamps in the studio to use their potential. Initially, during the studio session, when I didn't fully trust all this equipment, I approached it very conservatively. Now I know that it is unnecessary.

The best places to take a good portrait

Take photos in places you know and feel comfortable. Especially if you are photographing someone for the first time. The photo session is often a lot of stress for the model, so it is not the right place for amazing experiments.

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A portrait is not just a face

When we think about the definition of a portrait, a face usually comes to mind. And so much is heard about the eyes - that they are the most important and that focus is always on the eyes. And what if the eyes are not visible, what when the character turns his back to us? Will this not be a portrait anymore? In my opinion, a good portrait does not have to contain the face of the person being photographed. It may also contain only a fragment of it. One of the portraits of Annie Leibovitz from her album "Portraits 2005-2017" does not even contain the person herself - he presents the workshop of Pete Seeger, without Pete himself and is also a portrait - shows his personality. You can also show creativity and try to hide the face of the person photographed so as not to deprive the photo of the character of the portrait - it will certainly give depth to your photographs and make them more diverse.