10 common portrait photography cliches and how to avoid them

6 stellar self-portrait ideas: shoot your reflection

10 common portrait photography cliches and how to avoid them

9. Excessive retouching

Most portrait subjects want to look their best, but they also want to be recognisable and have natural looking skin.

Touching out the odd blemish, subtly smoothing out the odd wrinkle, slightly lightening shadows under the eyes and brightening teeth is one thing, but giving someone a complete makeover with smooth, plastic skin is pretty insulting.

Once you get working on an image it’s easy to get carried away, so keep an eye on the original to monitor how much you’ve done.

10. Heads pressed together in selfies

It’s nice to get a shot of you and your significant other on holiday, but self portraits taken with the camera at arm’s length while you press your heads together is one of the more modern clichés.

If you can’t find a reliable passer-by to take a shot for you put your camera on a wall, table, bench or even a tripod and get a shot using the self-timer.

Shooting from a little further away than the length of your arm will make you look less distorted and allow you to fit more of the background in.


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