Ace your next portrait shoot with these composition tips

May 29, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

Ace your next portrait shoot with these composition tips

May 29, 2023

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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There’s a lot to think about on a portrait shoot. From locations to lighting, posing and directing your subject, it can easily become daunting, especially for anyone new to portraiture. It’s very easy to panic and completely forget basic photography rules like composition.

However, taking a little time to practice and plan ahead can make all the difference. In this video, portrait and fashion photographer Julia Trotti gives you her best tips for making your portrait shoots flow effortlessly.

First of all, you need to pay careful attention to cropping. Specifically, which parts of the body you’re cropping at. The general rule is that you don’t want to crop the body on any joints, for example, ankles, knees, or elbows, as it can give the impression of missing limbs. You definitely don’t want to crop at the neck, either. Instead, if you need to crop, go for the midpoints between joints or another classic at chest level for headshots.

In a similar manner, clothing can also act in a similar way to joints, so you don’t want to crop at hemlines on skirts or dresses. This is obvious for a fashion shoot, but it’s important in portraiture as well.

Negative space is another important composition tool. It can create a dreamy and calming effect, giving your eye and mind literally more space to move around the image. It’s especially effective when using wider apertures or longer lenses.

Shooting angle is also a consideration. Are you shooting from above, below or from eye level? These all make a huge difference to the final image. Above all, you want a wide variety of images to offer your client, and you want to be able to tell a story.

Have a watch of the whole video as Julia goes into some good detail and gives examples of which things work better than others and why.

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Alex Baker

Alex Baker

Alex Baker is a portrait and lifestyle driven photographer based in Valencia, Spain. She works on a range of projects from commercial to fine art and has had work featured in publications such as The Daily Mail, Conde Nast Traveller and El Mundo, and has exhibited work across Europe

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4 responses to “Ace your next portrait shoot with these composition tips”

  1. Sacha Michel Gordon Hayward Avatar
    Sacha Michel Gordon Hayward

    Don’t use the rule of thirds or the golden triangle either there over rated lol

    1. Albert Ma Avatar
      Albert Ma

      Sacha Michel Gordon Hayward no rule of third? 🤣🤣
      Media: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10160002342054915&set=p.10160002342054915&type=3

    2. Albert Ma Avatar
      Albert Ma

      Julia Trotter, pretty face, holds camera all funny, hard to take her seriously

  2. Marco Llanos Avatar
    Marco Llanos

    Don’t cut their heads off