Portrait Photography Basics | Durham Region Photography

Portrait photography basics doesn’t need to be hard and as a mom, you likely want to document your family’s life in photos. But, how often do those photos just sit on your phone or computer? If you’re looking to take your photography skills up a notch, portrait photography is a great place to start. In this Durham Region Photography post, we’ll go over the portrait photography basics so that you can start taking amazing photos of your loved ones. Many moms are discomforted with only having selfies and candid shots as physical memories of us as our children grow older; before I became a Durham region photographer I  plunged into learning portrait photography with my little point and shoot camera. Since then, it has become not only my favourite way to photograph my kids, but also the most rewarding.

As a mom, you likely want to document your family. Your children grow up so quickly and being able to document them is imperative. Covid 19 in Durham Region photography has prevented many families from being able to visit a portrait photographer and here are my portrait photography basics to preserve those memories on your own during this time.

Portrait Photography Basics | Where to Start |Durham Region Photography

Portrait photography basics is a great place to start. In this post, we’ll go over the basics of portrait photography. There are numerous benefits that come with capturing your children in photos and portrait could be just what you need an amazing way to preserve those memories on your own during this time. Here are some portrait photography basics for capturing that perfect image.

When it comes to portrait photography basics, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Good lighting
  2. Decent equipment
  3. Smiles of course!
portrait photography bascis

Portrait Photography Basics | Lighting

Lighting is key. Make sure you have enough light so that your subject is well-lit. Natural light is always best, but if you need to use artificial light, make sure it is not over top of the subjects (check out best lighting for outdoor portraits for examples) and more to the side to light the faces beautifully. Different artificial lighting has different colour temperatures. Fluorescent will be a tad cooler and have a blue hue and incandescent will have a warmer tone and appear more yellow. If your camera will allow for it, you can change your white balance. This will help correct the colour to more real to life.

Portrait Photography Basics | Equipment

Now that you know about lighting in portrait photography basics, it is time to consider your equipment. A good portrait lens will have a large aperture which allow for more light and less depth of field so that the focus remains on the subject’s face while blurring out everything else in the background. The camera should be light weight, but have the capabilities to focus, change aperture, change white balance, change shutter speed and change ISO. (if this seems like I’m talking complete gibberish check out my blog post on DSLR photography basics) If the equipment you own doesn’t have these capabilities don’t worry you can still take great pictures, just don’t have as much power to manipulate your images.

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portrait photography basics

Portrait Photography Basics | Smile!

Of course smiles, everyone loves a smile. However, make sure you are giving your portrait subject direction when it comes to their facial expression. Don’t try and be too serious because the portrait will not look natural or real if they aren’t allowed to laugh or smile how they want naturally. On thing I see as a photographer over and over an over is parents telling their children to say cheese or a word to get them to smile and this does tend to help but also doesn’t make for genuine smiles and tends to look a tad bit strange in an image

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Portrait Photography Basics | Final Tips Durham Region Photography


Make sure that you have a portrait lens or portrait setting on your camera. You can read more about these features in my blog post “DSLR photography basics” – Don’t be afraid to change up the location and shoot from different angles, even if it is something as slight as changing the height. Try to make it fun to get those genuine smiles. As for lighting try to go outside to get that natural light and try to shoot for a time of day that the sun is lower in the sky such as sunrise or sunset (golden hour)

Photography Tips for Mom’s