How to Become a Professional Portrait Photographer: 6 Essential Steps


Portrait photography, as the name suggests, is the photography of a person, or capturing the portrait of the person. It is considered to be the most challenging and difficult form of photography because it reflects one’s personality, the mood of the person, his emotion and expression. Hence, it requires lot of practice for the photographer to become a professional portrait photographer. There are many agencies from where you can hire professional portrait photographer, and it is always best not to hire the amateur ones, as that might ruin your portfolio. The mood, color and precision capturing are the integral parts of photography, and a professional portrait photographer must be able to do so.

Excellent Portrait Photography
Excellent Portrait Photography

1) Bring out the Mood

Portrait photography deals with people. Therefore it is important to bring out the mood of the person in the photography. This form of photography does not mean excellent photographs. These images are simple but the creativity lies in sticking to the subject. A professional portrait photographer needs to understand the expression and represent that in the exact way that the person behaves or look like. There are many people who think that they can do anything with the SLR cameras, but the angle and the mood precision are important factors which must be considered before one clicks a shutter.

2) Patience

A perfect shot is never created, it is captured. A professional portrait photographer captures the perfect shot. Patience is the biggest virtue of any photographer. Many people become conscious in front of the camera. A good photographer makes them feel relaxed and tries to distract them from the camera. A professional portrait photographer knows to conduct case study and subject study, before he clicks on the camera.

Perfect Portrait Photography
Perfect Portrait Photography

3) Capture More Images

This is the basic fundamental to stick to for capturing the perfect shot. Usually professional cameras are digital in nature and hence it becomes easy to click multiple photos. It is a win-win situation for the photographer and the model. Randomly click several photos to actually get a perfect image. On the other hand the model will feel relaxed at one point of time and will not be posing anymore. It is the best time to get a natural picture.

4) Location Matters

• Usually in case of portrait photography a plain background is mostly preferred. This is because the entire focus will be on the subject and the background does not grab attention.
• However many people have different hobbies and interest and express their desire to incorporate the same in their portrait. In such cases a professional photographer can select an outdoor location.
• It is important to keep the background free from distraction and the primary focus is the person and not the background.

Portrait Photography
Portrait Photography

5) Capture Image from a Distance

It is always advisable not to click a portrait photograph very close to the object. This is because the person’s face can be distorted and you may not get the results as expected. It is always better to move away from the object and try to adjust the lenses to get the perfect shot. This will give you the real portrait look.

6) Portrait Lighting

Lights play an important role for any image and the same holds good for portrait photography as well. In a studio there are several lighting options such as reflectors, out of camera light that illuminates the portrait and brings out the expression of the person. Excess lighting or lack of lighting can actually damage the camera aperture, and the professional portrait photographer must know how to regulate the light and bring out the facial expressions very well.

Professional Portrait Photographer
Professional Portrait Photographer

Of course, the fundamentals of photography hold in portrait photography too. The professional portrait photographer also works during occasions like marriage, and in some cases, they also frame collage pictures of individual person after their death.