What’s the difference between a quick snapshot and a portrait? For starters, a quick snapshot may document everyday life, but a portrait accentuates a person in ways that only a photograph can. It’s easy to take a picture, it’s not so easy to take a great portrait. We rounded up a handful of excellent portraits to inspire your next project.
This portrait has great lighting—and it didn’t require expensive studio lights either. Andreas Overland took the shot using a sky light as the main light source. The light is soft and even, and doesn’t create any funky chin or nose shadows. That soft window light also makes for some great catchlights, drawing the viewers eyes right to the eyes.
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Most new portrait photographers tend to hang back, taking full body shots or poses from the waist up. But this shot is a great example of how effective filling the frame can be. By getting in close for this photo, Michel Desbiens captured more detail in the eye and curve of the lips. The photo was shot with the Nikon D7000 at f/8, 1/40 sec. and ISO 100.
Great portrait’s don’t necessary require a smile, but they do need sharp eyes that are full of expression. Yoan Carle got the eyes just right in this shot. Yes, her mouth is covered, but that lends a shy feel to the shot. The light works well with no awkward shadows, and there’s nothing within the frame to distract from the subject.