Portrait Dos and Don’ts – Professional Level

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From an agency test shoot yesterday (more on that next week). That’s me on the left.

Dos and Don’ts for nice portraits:

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DO use a nice camera, for proper exposure and decent image resolution.
DON’T use a crappy 2.1 megapixel cellphone camera.

DO pay attention to proper lighting. Make sure your face will be evenly and pleasantly lit.
DON’T shoot outdoors in the noon sun.

DO consider your background as well as your foreground. Look for things like trees, poles etc that appear to stick out from your head.
DON’T strap a pole to your back. It will look like it’s sticking out of your head, no matter where you stand.

DO carry a sweater in case you get cold (right).
DON’T carry 40 pounds of camera equipment up a steep hiking trail. You will definitely not be cold afterward. (left)

DO wear clothing that will be comfortable, is color-coordinated and is flattering to your physique.
DON’T wear 40 pounds of camera equipment.

DO choose a proper camera angle and lens length for pleasing results.
DON’T use a wide angle lens and shoot from above. It makes normal guys look like stumpy trolls, and tall, gorgeous models look like normal-sized gorgeous models.

DO give thoughtful consideration to the types of people who will be in the shot with you.
DON’T stand next to a gorgeous model. It adds a distracting compositional element.

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