Basic Tips for Better Portraits

Some tips and things to practice:

Light

  • Avoid using the flash if possible.
  • Go outside or use a large window for natural light.
  • Watch out for shadows on the face.
  • Avoid strong backlight.
  • Avoid light directly in subject’s eyes.

Background

  • Neutral and simple are best.
  • Position your subject away from the wall. A flash can cause shadows.
  • No poles or trees growing out of her head.

Framing

  • Fill the frame.
  • Think rule of thirds.
  • Get closer.
  • Try different angles.

Positioning

  • Avoid the mugshot.
  • If the person can do something with their hands it often makes them more relaxed.
  • Ask person to do something.
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About Nick DiUlio

My name is Nick DiUlio, a freelance writer and editor from New Jersey. I have been passionate about the craft of writing since I was old enough to spell, and this love has led to a successful career in journalism and creative nonfiction. As a freelancer, I have covered a wide range of topics and personalities, as my published work has focused on everything from profiles of artists and important political figures to hard-news stories with both national and local appeal; from restaurant and beverage reviews to tips on fashion and finance; from health and wellness pieces to celebrity Q&A’s. My work has appeared in several local, regional and national publications—both in print and online—including Philadelphia Magazine, Slate.com, Miller-McCune, New Jersey Monthly, Eating Well, and Delaware Today. Additionally, I am the South Jersey Bureau Chief for New Jersey Monthly and an adjunct journalism professor at Rowan University. To be sure, the broadness of my body of work seems only to be matched by my boundless interest in almost every subject imaginable (except Warren Zevon). Check out some of my most recently published work here.
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2 Responses to Basic Tips for Better Portraits

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