Dodge these 6 Portrait Photography Mistakes, and Achieve Perfection

Do you always have the perfect subject and the best camera but still your portrait photographs fall short of perfection?


There is a great chance you are making one of these common mistakes.

Portrait photography is capturing a person or a group of people in a photograph. The picture speaks of the subject’s personality in the most effective way. Photographers use the lighting, backdrops, and poses to make the portrait perfect.

The thing now is that there are so many photographers extending the service to people, and you cannot be anything less than perfect to garner clients. Take the West Coast for example, there are so many photographers extending the services of portrait photography in Perth itself.

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So, if you you want to leave a mark and be the best in the business, you cannot afford to leave a scope for any mistake.

Here are 6 most common mistakes portrait photographers make.

  1. Overly editing the photographs: Editing is no doubt a boon for photographers; and photoshop is a blessing. The correct editing brings the best in a photograph. But many photographers end up highly modifying the picture and that ruins it. Portrait photography is about the keeping the essence of the subject’s personality intact. You have to understand that it is not fashion photography.

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  1. Not realising the importance of eyes: Just as eyes are the window to one’s soul, they are also the key to get a portrait right. They are the most important thing when it comes to portrait photography. To get the eyes right, use the single point autofocus mode of your camera and fix the cursor on the subject’s eyes. This will get you a sharply focused portrait.

  1. Imperfect depth of field: The depth of field (DOF) can make or break you portrait; if the DOF is perfect, the photograph turns out to be perfect and if it is too much or too less, the picture loses its appeal. DOF is important to get the focus on the desired part of a picture. There are no set rules for how much the DOF should be and totally depends on the kind of outcome you are expecting; you perfect it with practice.

  1. Not using the frame properly: Filling up the frame properly is another thing of utmost importance in portrait photography. Standing too close or too far from the subject can be fatal for the photograph. So, choose how you want to fill up your frame very wisely. If the subject is too close it becomes really uncomfortable for the viewer as well as the subject. Same is the case if the camera is placed too far.

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  1. Waiting for the shots to happen: A photographer’s job is not just to click the pictures but also to create them. Yes, opportunities for perfect shots provide themselves but you have to put in efforts too. Say if a subject is too shy and conscious, it is your job to make her/him comfortable. You have to make them pose in a way you think will look best.

  1. Using the shadows wrong: Shadows, again a very essential variable of portrait photography, is as important as the lighting. Photographers use them to enhance the portrait and add a certain appeal to it; but like any other ingredient, if not used properly, it attracts undue attention. The best way to tackle this is by using diffusers to diffuse and level the lighting.

Portrait photography is one of the most beautiful sub genre of photography. It captures the true spirit of the human emotions and beauty.

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Just make sure you don’t make these silly mistakes while taking a photo and you will be on your way to becoming one of the best portrait photographer.