One of the most challenging styles of photography is a portrait.  Forever frozen in time, a classic portrait is a memory to share with future generations.  Choosing the perfect camera angle will determine if a portrait photograph is impeccable or just plain mediocre.  If you are trying to capture the essence of a person, it is important to portray your subject at his best.  A successful photography company must know the basics of portrait photography.  There are a few things to keep in mind if you would like to see great results when photographing people.


  1. Adjust the angle of your camera depending on the height of your subject.  Photograph from above if your subject is tall to make them appear shorter.  Shorter people should be photographed from below to make them appear taller.
  2. Determine your subject's body type.   Photograph thin and underweight people straight on to make them appear larger.  Angle your camera at a slant if you are photographing large or overweight figures.
  3. Flatter your subject's face by zooming in.  Thin faces should be photographed straight on to appear larger.  Double chins and full faces should be shot at a slanted angle to appear smaller.
  4. Choose a lighting that sets the mood.  The light source should be on the side of your subject if you want their features to stand out.  Distribute light equally by angling your camera for a flat appearance.
  5. Refract light by angling your camera.  It will improve the quality of the portrait and prevent glare.  Reflections from eyeglasses can be diminished by positioning the camera above or at an angle to the subject.  This can also work with anything else causing a glare, like glass from a car or building. Mirrors may cause a glare in your photos. Use the same techniques for photographing mirrors as you would photograph glass.
  6. Play around with the camera and practice with different angles.  Enroll the help of friends to be a model for the day.  After practicing many times, you will be able to get a perfect portrait every single time.
  7. Change the background to suit the model's personality. If it is supposed to be a fun photo, add bright colors to the background. This can also work well for children. If the photograph is serious, try a solid background or a black and white photo. Artsy photographs can have a piece of art or other props in the background.

Learn new digital photography skills by reading the How to Guide for Digital Photography ebook.