Portrait photography is a popular photoshoot idea that contains a variety of photography genres, from self-portraits to lifestyle portraits. That’s why photographers always need creative ideas and techniques to make charming portrait photoshoots.
You are probably looking for the best ideas to make your portrait photos creative and artistic. You are in the right place, then. This content is designed to cover a great number of creative portrait photography ideas with examples, including important tips and tricks.
So, no more talking. Let’s get started.
What you’ll learn in this article
What Is Creative Portrait Photography?
Creative portrait photography is a photography genre that depicts the personality, identity, soul, and emotions of a person utilizing creative techniques and ideas such as using relevant background atmosphere, proper lighting, and engaging poses.
A portrait photo mainly identifies its subject’s character, personality, and branding. When taking portrait shots, a photographer must utilize his inner creativity and use relevant props and equipment to make the portrait engaging.
How Popular is Portrait Photography?
Portrait photography is one of the most popular photography types, and anybody can practice this photography genre with both a camera and a smartphone. Portrait photography includes a wide range of photoshoot activities, from self-portraits to family and group portraits and even still life or lifestyle photoshoots.
Nowadays, People are incredibly active on social media and online platforms where they upload numerous photos, and most of them are portraits. Moreover, people use portrait photos for personal branding and business and professional purposes. So, there is no doubt or query about the huge popularity of portrait photography.
Most Creative Portrait Photography Ideas with Example
Portrait photography contains a variety of types and ideas. Every type requires different techniques and tips to bring a relevant outcome. To become a professional portrait photographer, a person must increase his creativity and gather further unique ideas.
Here are the most unique and creative portrait photography ideas with examples and tips.
Creative Self-Portrait Photography Ideas
Self-portrait photography is a fantastic way to increase creativity and practice skills. But it’s not easy to take the shot correctly when you are a photographer and model at the same time. Here are some ideas to make creative self-portrait photography.
- Use a mirror because it will help you hold and control the camera as you pose.
- Try creative props and costumes to make a whole new persona and build a character with fantastic storytelling.
- Do experiment with shadows and lighting. And give yourself freedom as much as you can during experiments with light.
- Try faceless self-portraits, such as you can take shots of your head, silhouette, or any specific part of your face.
Creative Fashion Portrait Photography
Fashion photography is a combination of product and portrait photoshoots where art meets commerce. To make creative portrait photos, you have to use perfect clothes, models, poses, lighting, background, and more. Here are some creative tips to make subtle fashion portrait photos.
- Try street fashion photoshoots because it’s an easy way to get started with fashion photography.
- Do experiments with editorial fashion for magazines because it helps to tell a good story.
- Work with the model and use appealing clothes to make your fashion photography more creative.
Lifestyle Portrait Photography
Lifestyle photography is a type of portrait photography that mainly captures real-life events, situations, or milestones in an artistic way through candid and unstaged scenes. Here are some ideas for taking lifestyle portrait photography.
- Keep your camera close and try to tell your subject’s story.
- Make sure everyone is comfortable when taking shots.
- Prefer the action to the poses and try to anticipate every movement.
- Give close attention to details and try to be part of the conversation.
Creative Black and White Portrait Photography
Black and white photography always gives a different blaze and feel to your portrait photos. It helps you add some aesthetics to your photos with a glamorous and nostalgic feel. Here are some tips for making creative black-and-white portrait photography.
- Try a wide aperture to grab attention to the subject because it will make your subject stand off a softened background.
- Try to shoot in RAW because it will enable the most manipulation of your portraits.
- Use negative space for a striking portrait to make the image all about the subject.
Creative Fine Art Portrait Photography
Fine art portrait photos provide maximum impact and show emotion in a vivid and distinctive style. This type of photography captures the essence of the subject’s character in a vision that a photographer creates. Here are some ideas for creative portrait photography.
- Use classic backgrounds to highlight the subject
- Get innovative with makeup and costume
- Make use of contrast and include anonymity
- Try mysterious close-up portrait photos
- Be creative with different techniques
Aesthetic Portrait Photography
Aesthetic portrait photography aims to capture the visual beauty within a picture. Aesthetic photos utilize colour, composition, lighting, and subject matter to make visually pleasing photos. Here are some ideas to make creative aesthetic portrait photography.
- Begin with a strong composition
- Experiment with concepts and posing
- Be intentional with lighting
- Know the camera well
- Create styles to shoot aesthetic pictures
Glamour and Boudoir Portrait Photography
Glamour and boudoir photography is a genre of portrait photo session that depicts women’s beauty, glamour, and hotness. In this type of portrait photoshoot, women look more sexy and gorgeous. Here are some ideas to make creative glamour and boudoir photography.
- Put your subject at ease and give good guidance
- Play with different angles and make the session dramatic
- Plan your shoot and pack your camera gear
- Choose the appropriate lighting and the right colour scheme
Conceptual Portrait Photography
Conceptual portrait photos mainly portray a specific idea that could be narrative or hidden in the image. Before taking shots, the photographer thinks of a concept and decides to illustrate it. Here are some ideas for taking creative conceptual portrait photography.
- Define your concept and design the scene.
- Search for inspiration, good ideas, and plans.
- Make your background interact with the subject
- Use everyday objects to symbolize nature
- Share your perception of time with others
- Use motion blur to create surreal photos
Creative Family Portrait Photography
Taking photos of a group or a large number of people, especially for a family, is not easy. Because a photographer needs to maintain different persons with different characters and outfits, here are some ideas for creating portrait photography.
- Take shots standing together
- Choose interesting backgrounds
- Take shots for a Group hug!
- Capture photos when they go for a walk or run
- Showcase the generations and group the genders
- You can also add the pets to the family shots.
Creative Baby Portrait Ideas
A baby is always special for parents and family, and they want to hold a good memory of the baby taking some extraordinary photos. But taking unique and creative baby portrait photos is not easy. Here are some creative baby portrait photography ideas.
- Dress the baby up as an avenger or superhuman
- Take photos with baby’s best ‘Furriend’
- Go doodling with your little wonder
- Add some props for fun
- Capture the baby between parents
- Take photos of the baby’s first steps
Outdoor Portraits Photography Ideas
Outdoor portrait photography is different from indoor and studio photoshoots. This genre of photography requires several props and techniques to make the photo session successful. Here are some ideas for taking creative outdoor portrait photography.
- Don’t select all of the focus points for portraits
- Always make focus on the eyes
- Capture with a wide aperture for a shallow depth of field
- Don’t forget to bring a grey card for a white balance
- Work with a natural reflector
- Try to use a fixed focal length lens
- Shoot during the golden hours
Indoor Portrait Photography Ideas
Indoor portrait photography is considered much easier than outdoor portrait photoshoots because you don’t need to worry about hotspots, finding open shade, etc. In spite of that, you should utilize some unique techniques and tips to make successful indoor portrait photos. Here are some creative indoor portrait photography ideas.
- Select the perfect gear and settings
- Shoot in an organized space
- Exploit a window for natural light
- Utilize artificial lighting sources
- Use the background to frame the subject
- Use a flash or reflector and use a tripod
Creative Portrait Photography Ideas at Home
Home is always a safe and private place to take portrait photos, especially for practice. You can do different types of portrait photography at home to increase your skills and also for your clients. Here are some creative portrait photography ideas to try at home.
- Try natural light portrait photography
- Make food photography at home
- Try family portrait photography
- Make Boudoir or living room photography
- Do still-life photography with flowers, books, etc.
- Make splash or bottle photography
Creative Studio Portrait Photoshoot Ideas
The studio is another popular platform to make enchanting portrait photography because in this place, you will get every prop and equipment required for a good photoshoot. From the modal photoshoot to personal and family photoshoots, the studio is perfect for every kind of photoshoot. Here are some ideas for taking creative studio portrait photography.
- Take some close-up shots to portray the subject in an engaging way.
- Don’t forget to play eye contact with the model.
- Try to capture portraits with colour gels to make the photos more interesting.
- Make use of contrast and experiment with reflection.
Close Up Portraits Photography
Close-up portrait photography is popular because of highlighting a subject more closely. But it can get awkward if you don’t have proper ideas on how to take the shots. Here are some helpful ideas to make creative close-up portrait photography.
- Make a face beautified with makeup.
- Use a zoom lens to take the face close up
- Choose a large aperture to focus softly.
- Try natural side light for softer shades
- Use direct light to create lighting patterns
- Add diversity with multiple facial expressions
- Try to use foregrounds to create interesting textures
- Try to use creative cropping techniques
Female Portrait Photography
When making portrait photography, women are the best subject for that. Even if you are a beginner, women will help you create extraordinary portrait shots with their beauty and cuteness. Here are some ideas to make creative female portrait photography.
- Try prism photography for creative effect because it will help you enliven portraits.
- Try to show diversity by portraying women of different colours and ages.
- Experiment with different colours and makeup, outfits, and backgrounds.
- Capture shots from different angles and poses, and use relevant props.
Male Portrait Photography Ideas
Men are the world’s most attractive people, and they can make your photo session astonishing when you capture them. Despite that, you have to utilize some techniques and ideas to make creative male portrait photography. Here are some male portrait poses ideas for you.
- Try placing the hands in the pockets pose to capture the best personality.
- Experiment with leaning on a wall or crossing arms pose to look more casual and playful.
- Try adjusting outfits, playing with hair, or sitting poses to make eye-catching men’s portraits.
- Remember to shoot from different angles and express your creativity.
Children’s Portrait Photography
Kids present a different challenge to the photographers to take their portrait shots. Because their responses to the directions vary according to their ages and behaviour. Here are some ideas for taking children’s portrait photography.
- Let kids be kids and take candid shots
- Capture shots when the kids go for a walk
- Let the kids play around and show their personality
- Take a classic headshot and use props
- Start the session with posed photos
- Try to share unusual perspectives
Night Portrait Photography
Night portrait photography is considered one of the most advanced and attractive photography genres. Night portrait photoshoot is tricky but not so difficult. Here are some creative ideas for making unique night portrait photos.
- Use the right aperture and shutter speed
- Choose a high ISO to bring out the background
- Set the auto-white balance system
- Make sure to use artificial light
- Consider styling your subject
Creative Fire Portrait Photography
Fire photography is an attractive photography genre to take powerful photos of fire, people, and landscapes. Though fire photography is exciting, it’s not easy because you have to arrange the fire perfectly with your subject. Here are some creative fire portrait photography ideas for you.
- Try candlelight photography
- Use fire as the primary light source
- Capture some long-exposure photos
- Use fire in portrait photography
- Shoot sparklers or capture a bonfire Atmosphere
- Make a mysterious silhouette standing in front of a fire
- Capture photos of professional fire handlers
Environmental portrait photography is a photographic genre that captures the subjects in their natural surroundings and where the studio or artificial setup is absent. This photograph portrays the subject’s life and personality. Here are some tips for making creative environmental portrait photoshoots.
- Know your subject and location perfectly
- Make a plan before doing photoshoots.
- Adjust your camera settings and use natural light.
- Try to use a wide-angle lens and focus on the essential details
- Consider saying something about your subject
Creative Lighting Portrait Photography
Candle portrait photography is a photographic genre that captures shots of candles conveying emotion. This type of photography is also known as candlelight photography, where you can make a romantic or dream-like scene. Here are some tips to make creative candle portrait photography.
- Use rim light to make the focus directly on the model.
- Try Rembrandt or loop lighting to create a small shadow on the subject’s nose.
- Use backlighting or double-backlighting.
- Experiment with artistic and cinematic lighting setups.
Creative Candle Portrait Photography
Candle portrait photography is a photographic genre that captures shots of candles conveying emotion. This type of photography is also known as candlelight photography where you can make a romantic or dream-like scene. Here are some tips to make creative candle portrait photography.
- Choose a wide aperture and a long lens
- Check framing and background before shooting
- Use more candles to add background light
- Use reflectors to add light to the scene
- Turn off your flash and use a tripod
How to Take Portrait Photos? Portrait Photography Tips to Follow
In the above, you learned numerous ideas of portrait photography. Now it’s time to take some important tips to make your portrait photoshoot more creative and unique.
Prepare Your Photography Equipment
To make the best creative portrait photography, first of all, you need to prepare your photography equipment. Whether you are a professional or a beginner, you have to arrange a good camera, lens, aperture, tripod, SD card, and other important props, including a perfect manual setting.
Choose the Best Camera and Lens
The camera and lens are the key elements of photography. To make your portrait photography creative and professional, you need to choose the perfect camera and lens. You will find numerous cameras which are effective for portrait photoshoots.
Here are some recommendations for portrait photography:
- Canon EOS R5
- Canon EOS RP
- Nikon Z7 II
- 85mm Prime Lens
- 50mm Prime f/1.8
- 70-200mm f/2.8 Zoom Lens
- 135mm Prime Lens]
You can choose one of these popular cameras and lenses for your portrait photography purposes.
Set Perfect Location for Interesting Backgrounds
Background plays an important role in a good portrait shot. Becauase it can make your photo more interesting with its behind the scenes. For this purpose, selecting a perfectly good location is useful for your portraiture. Wherever you take the shots, indoors or outdoors, try to set a relevant background that will increase your subject’s beauty and present it in an interesting way.
Use Natural Light or Artificial Light
Lighting in photography is an indispensable fact that you can never ignore. When making portrait photography, try to take shots at golden hours using natural light for day photoshoots. And for night photoshoots, artificial light is necessary. Also, you can try both of them according to the situation demands.
Shoot from the Perfect Height
Many photographers make the common mistake of setting the camera at the same height level for all portraits. And some of them shoot their subjects at eye level, which is also a big mistake. There is no height limitation for portrait shots. You should take every shot from the perfect height using different camera settings. It’s the best way to depict your subject more accurately.
Use a Prop & Thematic Elements
Props and thematic elements are crucial for relevant storytelling in your portrait photos. They create a compilation and bring motivation to the character, helping the model feel more relaxed and natural. Props or thematic elements also help you portray a particular time, culture and social behaviour.
Check Your Background
No doubt, the background must be relevant and perfect in portrait photography. That’s because you need to check out the background before and after taking the shots. Try to make sure your background is clear, and it contains what you want to include in your portraits.
Shoot Unordinary Photos to Tell a Story
Sometimes unordinary photos play an important role in telling a good unique story. It can bring up something new and uncommon to the people. So, you can shoot unordinary photos to tell a good story to your audience.
What are the types of creative portrait photography?
There are several types of portrait photography that you can use when taking shots, such as—
– Traditional portraits
– Candid portraits
– Lifestyle portraits
– Glamour portraits
– Conceptual portraits
– Close up portraits
– Group portraits
How to take self-portraits on iPhone?
Taking a self-portrait on the iPhone is easy. Just open the camera app, swipe to portrait mode, press the front-facing camera button, and snap your selfie by holding the phone in front of you.
What is the best camera for portrait photography?
You will get several cameras that are familiar with portrait photography. Here are some of them for you—
– Canon EOS RP (Editor’s Choice)
– Panasonic Lumix G85.
– Nikon Z5.
– Nikon D850.
– Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark IV.
– Sony ZV-1.
– Nikon D7500.
– Sony Alpha A6400.
How to learn portrait photography?
Learning the best portrait photography is tricky but not difficult. Here are some short tips for —– Learning portrait photoshoots
– Select a better background and compose your shot.
– Lighting your portraits
– Properly expose your photo.
– Play with depth of field.
– Consider colours.
Portrait photography is one of the most popular photography genres that portrays people’s personalities and identities. People use it for numerous purposes like personal branding, business branding, and more. In this content, you get a huge number of creative portrait photography ideas that will help you make your portraits unique and appealing. So, try these ideas and go for success.