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Portrait Ideas for Photography

Did you just run out of portrait ideas for your next photography session? If that is so, you have come to the right place. Below are some of the best portrait ideas for photography along with some ideas for the composition to set you back on your path.

Use Diffusers and Reflectors

Natural light is your greatest ally. Instead of spending thousands of bucks on studio lights, you should try to make sunlight work for you. However, there can be no greater nemesis than direct sunlight for portrait photography. Direct sunlight can mess up the details, that is why you should always use diffusers and reflectors. You do not need specific equipment for this, any white sheet or drapes can be used. Let the light pass through the sheet to soften it. Contrarily, if the sunlight is not enough, use whiteboards as reflectors.

Shoot Through an Object

One of the best portrait ideas for photography is to shoot through an object. You can achieve this by partly covering the lens with the object. You can use lights, your own hands, or even books to cover the lens. This not only makes the image far more creative but also adds a sense of drama to the portrait.

Portrait Photography ideas

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Introduce Props

Adding a simple prop can dramatically change the overall appearance of your image. The prop does not need to be expensive. It can be any of your daily use item which complements the picture. Props can even make a color in the photo more focused and add a flair to the whole portrait.

Take Candid Portraits - Portrait Ideas for Photography

There can be no worse portrait than a forced one. You can create candid portraits by distracting the person by telling a joke or letting them engage in conversation with their friends. Forced images look very unpleasing whereas candid ones add a sense of authenticity.

Use a Wide Lens

Although a 50mm standard lens is a more ideal choice for portrait photographs, a wide-angle lens can also be used to experiment with new styles. A wide lens that is under 50mm can distort things which is a bit of a challenge. In this category, you can even use a fisheye lens to add a bit more creative flair to your portraits.

Wide angle portrait photography

Spin the Color Wheel - Portrait Ideas for Photography

The color wheel basically holds enormous importance in all kinds of photography. It must be familiarized to understand which colors hold true with each other and which colors clash. This is important to know because a single color can either bring a picture together or break it apart. The mood of the whole portrait is dependent on colors; hence they demand your utmost attention. There are a few things to note here. 

You can set the tone and also the mood of the image using colors. Lighter colors portray life and vibrancy whereas darker colors portray mellow mood. Similarly, you can use a single color as the theme of the portrait. This is done by using that color more extensively throughout the composition of the image.

Rainbow Effect

Talking about the color wheel automatically brings the Rainbow effect to the mind. Now, you might know that this is more professionally done through the use of a prism. However, there is also a cheap hack. You just need to find a CD, bring it near the face, and then shine a flashlight on it.

Getting Creative with Silhouettes

Silhouettes are one of the best portrait ideas for photography for adding some mystery to the image. They can also be perfect if your model does not desire to show their face in the images due to some reason. Other than that, silhouettes can be pretty fun to shoot. You can also combine background lights to outline the model with a bokeh effect. You can also utilize double exposure of silhouettes to create stunning portraits. Using motion blur can also make the portrait amazing.

Silhouette portrait ideas for Photography

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Seek New Angles - Portrait Ideas for Photography

All of these portrait ideas for photography are quite creative, however, they are incomplete if you only shoot from a single angle. You need to get both yourself and your model out of your comfort zones and explore new angles. Angles can also tell different stories and even change the whole atmosphere of the portrait. When used in combination with different heights, angles can make truly stunning portraits. For instance, a kid shot from a low height might not look as small. Similarly, when you shoot someone from afar, it adds solitude to the mood.

Rule of Thirds

As we said, it gets pretty boring if you keep shooting a bland face. That is why these portrait ideas for photography should be composed in a way that they portray life and movement. The rule of thirds is a photography method undoubtedly effective for this. The basic idea is not to make the model the center of the photo. Rather divide the frame using the grid, you can do it in settings. After that, keep the model on one side at the intersection of lines. Fill rest of the frame with architecture or even background.

Retouching can do wonders

Post-processing and retouching of the portraits are very important. You can bring the best out of your photos with proper editing. Photoshop is undoubtedly the best editing tool you can use for this purpose. Portrait Editing in Photoshop can be difficult for beginners. However, there is nothing to worry about. Our Photoshop masterclass will teach you all the tools, tips, and also tricks necessary for any kind of editing, and our Skin retouching pack has all the presets you need to make your portraits perfect with just a click.

Adobe Editing course
Portrait Editing

Conclusion - Portrait Ideas for Photography

As a word of caution, always check the backgrounds for any distracting objects or even your pets. You might be disappointed if you set up a shoot and the images get messed up. Otherwise, just maintain a learning attitude and keep practicing to carve your own style.

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Have a nice photoshoot! 

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