12 Tips for Stunning Portrait Photography

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Diffuse harsh light

If you’re stuck under the sun and unable to find shade, a diffuser is a great way to soften the light. Diffusers are made of translucent material and come in many shapes and sizes, but we recommend collapsible oval diffusers because they are easier to set up and more portable. In the image on the left, the photographer had an assistant hold the diffuser at an angle above the subject’s head. If you don’t have an assistant, try attaching the diffuser to a light stand. You can also make your own diffuser by using a white sheet or some other diaphanous material.

Use a low f-stop

When shooting portraits, it’s good practice to use a low f-stop. This will help blur the background and make your subject pop. Many DSLR and mirrorless cameras let you manually adjust the f-stop. You can acheive a similar effect using Portrait mode on theiPhone 7 Plus, which uses two lenses to create a blurred background. The Samsung Galaxy S8’s Selective Focus mode also performs a similar function. Or, try downloading a third-party camera app that will let you adjust the f-stop.

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