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  • Foto del escritorHumberto Segura

Portrait Photography, Tips Gear and Advice for Beginners

Actualizado: 24 abr

In this post I'll be sharing my passion for portrait photography and providing you with some tips and advice, based on my experience as a portrait photographer here in Barcelona.

This post is for those of you who are just starting out in this exciting genre of photography.

Whether you're a budding photographer looking to capture stunning portraits of your loved ones, or a hobbyist seeking to improve your skills, this blog is for you.

Let's dive in and explore the wonderful world of portrait photography!


Choosing the right tools for the job

If you're just starting out with portrait photography, there are a few pieces of equipment that are essential to get the right results.

The right gear can greatly impact the quality of your portraits. So here are some of the "must haves":

1. Camera: While there are several camera options available, a digital interchangeable lens camera will provide you with the flexibility to experiment with different lenses and settings. Personally I go with the FUJIFILM XT3, but there are many options, such as Sony and Canon to name the most popular nowadays.

If you are on a limited budget, I strongly recommend that you take a look at the "old" DSLRs, which have dropped significantly in price as mirrorless cameras have taken the market by storm.

2. Lenses: One of the most important pieces of gear that you can acquire for portrait photography, are the lenses.

Due to the distortion that the wide angle lenses can produce, a portrait lens with a focal length between 50-85mm is commonly used for portrait photography as it allows you to capture flattering facial features with a shallow depth of field.

In the the FUJIFILM lineup I would recommend the Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2, equivalent to a 85mm lens on a full frame.

3. Lighting: Whether it's natural light or artificial light, understanding how to use light effectively is crucial in portrait photography.

Consider investing in a basic external flash or a continuous LED light for added versatility, and learn how to use it in your advantage creating natural results.

4. Tripod: Even if it's not a "must have" at first, and you can certainly get along fine without it. It will become an essential part of your equipment along the way.

A sturdy tripod can help you achieve sharp and stable images, especially in low light conditions or when using slower shutter speeds. Look for one that is sturdy, lightweight, and easy to transport.


Time to get started!

For capturing beautiful results, here are my tips:

1. Location, location, location!: Choose a location that complements the mood and style of your portrait. Consider factors such as lighting, background, and composition to create a visually pleasing image.

2. Connect with Your Subject: Establishing a good relationship with your subject is essential in portrait photography. And for that, there is nothing better than being yourself, if you are not relaxed, hardly the subject will be.

So try to create a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere, which will help the subject feel at ease, and therefore more natural and genuine expressions.

3. Pay Attention to Composition: Experiment with different compositions, such as the rule of thirds, leading lines, and framing, to create visually appealing portraits that draw the viewer's eye to your subject.

4. Focus on the Eyes: The eyes are the windows to the soul, and they can make or break a portrait. Ensure that the eyes are in sharp focus and convey emotion, as they are a key element in creating compelling portraits.

5. Experiment with Depth of Field: Playing with depth of field can add a creative touch to your portraits. Use a wide aperture (smaller f-number) to create a shallow depth of field and blur the background, or a narrow aperture (larger f-number) to keep the entire scene in focus.

6. Direct Your Subject: It's your job as the photographer to direct your subject. Give specific instructions on how to pose, expressions, and use body language.

7. Post-Processing: Never be afraid of modifying your portraits to increase their effect. Try playing around with fundamental tweaks like exposure, contrast, and color balance to polish your photos and give them a beautiful appearance.


A interesting subgenre of photography that calls both technical proficiency and aesthetic vision is portraiture. You may take gorgeous photographs that provoke feelings and tell a story with the correct equipment, careful composition, and good communication with your subjects.

Keep in mind to practice, try new things, and enjoy yourself while you explore photography.

I sincerely hope that these pointers and recommendations will be useful to you as you start your portrait photography projects.

Watch this space for future posts on perfecting the craft of portrait photography!

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