Tips For Taking Outdoor Portrait Photography

Portrait photography is a challenging form of photography, as it demands you capture the natural poses of the sitter and stillness of the scene. It also requires you to capture the subject in the right light and against a background that complements the subject’s attire and hair color. The following tips should be followed by anyone who wants to take successful outdoor portrait photos:

The setting.

Select the right location for your outdoor photo session. A sunny day is preferable, so that you can use available light. A landscape with a prominent sky is ideal for outdoor portrait photography. You might need to add a few portable reflectors to the scene to reflect more light onto the subject. Try to find a location where there is not much movement or wind.

The outfit for your subjects.

Select a dress that flatters your subject and enhances their features. You may want to wear something in a bright color such as orange, red, pink or turquoise. Avoid wearing dark clothes as this will cast a shadow on your subject’s face. A skirt and t-shirt is appropriate for a formal photo shoot. If you wish to photograph a child, choose something that does not restrict their movements.

The background.

Find a suitable location for the backdrop. Make sure there are no distracting objects around that might cast unwanted shadows. If there is a tree, place the camera as far away from it as possible. Look for a smooth, flat surface for the backdrop. If you are photographing in front of a wall, ensure that it is clean. Use neutral colors for the backdrop, so that they won’t compete with your subject’s outfit.


Makeup can help your subject look more beautiful and enhance their features. You can apply a little color to the subject’s lips. Choose a matte lipstick to prevent shine. Apply a little bronzer to the cheekbones to make the face look more three-dimensional.

Shoot the right angles.

Use a camera that has a wide angle lens. This will help you capture subjects who are further away or sitting in the shade. Avoid using telephoto lenses, as this will make subjects appear smaller than they really are. Use a high shutter speed to freeze fast-moving subjects. This will allow you to take multiple frames, without moving the subject, and pick out the best shot later.

Be creative.

Incorporate some interesting props into your photos. For example, you might use a bouquet of flowers, a toy, or a hat. Make sure that these do not distract from the subject. You might also use a reflector to catch the light.

Have fun.

Enjoy yourself. You will be capturing memories for your family and friends, and it is important to enjoy the experience. When you are shooting, relax and breathe normally. Take deep breaths to relax your body. If you feel nervous, try taking a few calming breaths.

Always Have A Plan

This is an essential part of photography. Whether you are in a group or individually, having a plan is crucial to producing high quality images.

Think of your location and how you would like the photos to look. Then think about what equipment you will need and what poses you would like to capture.

Be Prepared

It is always best to be prepared for a photo shoot.

Have the following ready:

*Camera with camera bag

*Memory card (with plenty of free space)

*Extra batteries

*Extra chargers

*Extra memory cards

*A tripod, monopod, or other stabilizer (if needed)

*Extra clothing for children – hats, coats, etc.

Lighting Is Key

Even though you may have read many articles about lighting, it can be tricky to understand what you are actually meant to do.

For outdoor photos, it is very important to understand how the light is coming from the sky.

As it is getting dark, the light from the sky will be changing, which can affect your results.

It is vital that you understand the lighting and the way it changes to get the best possible pictures.

Think About The Subject

There are many different types of people, so think about what kind of person you want to photograph.

You may want to shoot a couple together, a group of friends, children, babies, pets, sports people, or even yourself.

Focus On The Eyes

When you take a picture of your child, it is important to focus on the eyes.

Don’t let the background distract from the eyes.

If your child is wearing glasses, it is important to photograph them in the same position as they were when they were at school.

It is also important to check your child’s eyes are open.

If you are shooting a photo of your child in a ‘playful’ pose, ensure they are smiling.

Keep Calm

If you don’t keep calm, the photos will come out blurry. Even if it is your first time, you should still be confident. Don’t worry if you are nervous, just remember that everything will be fine.

Try To Get Comfortable

You may find it easier to relax on a sunny day. It is important to stay in one place and wait for the right moment to take the shot. If you are uncomfortable, the pictures will not be as good.

Also, if you are taking photos of a baby or young child, it is important to make sure they are comfortable.

Wait For The Moment

When you are taking photos of people, try to be patient and wait for the right moment.

Be aware that you might miss the perfect moment.

Doing this will make it easier to produce a better photo.

Take Your Time

Don’t rush into taking your photos and spend too much time trying to achieve the perfect pose.

Try to capture the moment and be happy with what you see.

Make Sure The Background Is Clear

It is important that you don’t have a lot of clutter in the background of your pictures.

Your subject will look more interesting if it is the only thing in the frame.