A great portrait captures not just the way a person looks, but the essence of who they are. But how do you capture something you can’t see, like personality, with a camera? Taking a great portrait isn’t a matter having one element just right. It’s about making every aspect of the photo work together for the final image. Want to take better portraits? Here are ten things every great portrait involves.
#1. The right gear.
Do you need the biggest, fanciest camera on the market to take a great portrait? Not at all. But, the best camera to take a portrait with will allow you to control elements like the exposure and the focal point. Usually, that means a DSLR or mirrorless camera. Since you don’t need as much speed as a sports photographer, you can take a great portrait with an entry-level DSLR. The higher resolution and better focusing systems of more advanced models may come in handy, but they’re certainly not a necessity.
Of course, you’ll need a good lens to go with that DSLR or mirrorless body. The best portrait lenses are rather affordable, since you won’t need zoom. A 50mm f/1.8 prime lens is a great portrait lens and typically costs under $300. Of course, you can use the kit lens that came with your DSLR, but if you’ll be taking lots of portraits in the future, that “niffy fifty” lens is a great investment. While it’s the photographer that creates a great portrait, having the right gear can be a big help.