Classic Portrait Ideas: how to take pictures of people from all walks of life

Classic Portrait Ideas: how to take pictures of people from all walks of life

What do we mean by ‘classic portrait ideas’? Well, when you just want a nice sharp photo of someone – or a few people – looking their best, with no fancy extras, that’s what we consider a classic portrait. It may not be exciting but chances are your subjects will love this kind of photograph more than any other, as it shows them at their best! 

In the tutorial below we’ll share some of our best portrait photography tips and essential advice for shooting classic portraits of a wide range of different subjects.

Classic Portrait Ideas: how to take pictures of people from all walks of life

Classic Portrait Ideas for Individuals

You’ve got the camera, you’ve got your subject and you’ve got your location, but there can be so many different approaches to portrait photographer that it can be difficult to know where to start.

First, decide whether you want to shoot a full-length portrait, a head-and-shoulders shot or a tightly-cropped photo where your subject’s face fills the frame.

Classic Portrait Ideas for Individuals

If you’re shooting a full-length shot, you probably want to show your subject in their surroundings, so do give some thought to how to arrange that.

For head and shoulder shots, though, it’s likely the background will be unimportant and out of focus anyway, so try to find a backdrop that’s either neutral and subdued or provides contrasting tones.

And then you should consider whether you want your subject to be looking at the camera, which engages the viewer’s attention directly, or looking away, which can create a subtler, more reflective picture.

Finally, consider the angle of your subject’s face. Head-on shots can work well, but they can also look dull and even faintly confrontational. A three-quarters view is generally more pleasing.

PAGE 1: Classic Portrait Ideas for Individuals
PAGE 2: Classic Portrait Ideas for Men and Women
PAGE 3: Lighting ideas for portraits of men
PAGE 4: Classic Portrait Ideas for Older Subjects
PAGE 5: Classic Portrait Ideas for Couples
PAGE 6: Ideas for Official Portraits

READ MORE

Portrait composition: how to compose a portrait that is classic and timeless
10 portrait photography mistakes every photographer makes (and how to avoid them)
Famous Photographers: 100 things we wish we knew starting out
Free portrait photography cropping guide