Photography for Beginners – Part 5 -Shooting Portraits

Photography for Beginners -Shooting Portraits:

Portrait Photography – bokeh concept of blurring the background and focus on the subject Source of photo:

Portrait Photography is one of the most interesting and popular shooting modes of most photographers. Portraits as we know , is all about the subject  .One of the most important factors in shooting a great portrait is to have a shallow depth of field, which means set your aperture to the widest aperture value of around f2.8 to f 5.6 .This will make the subject stand out and the background blurred , sometimes also called the ‘bokeh’ concept. The idea is as soon as one views the picture, the eyes settle on the subject .The other factors that also play into effect to make a good portrait are the composition, color and amount of light.

  • To take great portraits , firstly, one should set the camera to the widest aperture that it can be set to. One can also  invest in a camera   that has a wide aperture of at least f/2.0 and focal length 50 mm and 100 mm. The  portrait lens 50mm f/1.8 “Nifty Fifty” is a great choice for clicking great portraits. It is available in Canon and Nikon as well.
  • Set the  camera to Av or Aperture Priority mode (Click here for earlier post on this)  .Set the aperture to a value f/1.8 or the widest value that you can set in your camera for maximum blurring of the background. Aperture is the opening of the lens, so  values like f/1.5 means smaller hole, which in turn means less light being let in and achieving maximum  blurring . Values like f/22 means bigger aperture hole , more light being let in and no blurring .This is used for eg. while taking landscape shots of a scenic view .Here you obviously want the entire picture to have clarity.
  • The shutter speed is automatically set in aperture priority mode .If you are shooting in manual mode ,set the Shutter speed to 1/100 th of a second or faster.
  • ISO value should be 100 or lower .You can increase the ISO value to improve the light and get a brighter picture,  but be mindful of the cons , the  picture  can become too grainy.
  • Shoot the picture by standing as close to the subject as possible.
  • Focus on the eyes of the subject and encourage the subject to be natural .
  • Try to have a considerable distance between the subject and the background to create the depth of field , which helps create a beautiful blurry background.
  • Choose a time of the day early in the morning under a shady tree or late evening  when shooting out doors.
  • Change the AWB (auto white balance) and set the value to shady, sunlight etc depending on the climatic conditions.
  • Use reflectors as needed to reflect light on the subject.
  • Use rule of thirds while photographing the subject , which means the subject is on the third of the picture if the picture was divided into 3 parts ,although it is not a must.
  • Post processing the pictures using photoshop or other editing softwares can also add the final touches to make a great final portrait.
Portrait Photography

Portrait Photography -It’s all about the subject – Source of the Photo :

Rule of Thirds

Capturing the subject in the rule of thirds : Source of photo :

Disclaimer: I am not a photography tutor or professional .This is only an effort to share the lessons and tips I learnt , refresh the concepts from the class I attended and compile my experiences using the digital camera .

You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    July 27, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Very useful post for me, I am just learning photography! Thanks a lot!

    • Reply
      July 28, 2017 at 8:47 am

      That’s great you are learning photography Megala! I’m glad this post is useful to you.Thank you!

  • Reply
    July 31, 2017 at 7:24 am

    Great photography tips, you know what.? you have exactly my style of posts..! Even we are using same theme…I felt like my mirror is here! Great going!

    • Reply
      July 31, 2017 at 2:15 pm

      Thank you Raj,That’s nice to know you have the same style of posts and theme !! I will definitely check it out.Thanks again for stopping by 🙂

  • Reply
    August 4, 2017 at 12:56 am

    Thank you for sharing! Lovely tips ✨

    • Reply
      August 5, 2017 at 8:24 pm

      Thank you very much for the comments and stopping by!

  • Reply
    October 22, 2017 at 9:27 am

    Thanks for all the valuable tips. Keep up the amazing work.

    • Reply
      October 22, 2017 at 10:48 am

      Thank you so much ! appreciate your kind words.

  • Reply
    May 10, 2018 at 4:06 pm

    You need to photograph my food!!! Lol

  • Leave a Reply

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    %d bloggers like this: