Four Tips for Improving Portrait Photography

Do you ever look around at the people you know and think, "Holy Tolito, these guys are blow-me-out-of-the-water amazing?”

I do. Absolutely all the time.

This beautiful life has allowed me the chance to rub shoulders with so many talented activists, artists, movers, shakers, changers and celebrators of life. Hallelujah for other humans.

Today, I’d like to introduce you to just a handful of remarkable folks in my circle. These four women are all talented portrait photographers with an eye for detail and an uncanny ability to make their subjects shine. 

Below is their expert advice on how to improve portrait photography:

Carly Zavala @vivacarly

"Find what you love to photograph the most. I do portraiture because I most love photographing people. Once you’ve found the type of photography you’re drawn to, find the style you love within that realm. Ultimately, your art will be great because it comes from love." 

Emily Hatch @carpediem_portfolio

"Lighting.  Lighting will make or break a picture, and it really does take time and skill to see it. Use lighting that isn't flat, but has a ratio of shadow and highlight to add dimension and interest."

Nneka Salmon @nnekasalmon

"Go for the ‘transition’ when your subject is relaxed and comfortable. After a good laugh comes a smile. I love to photograph people smiling (after they laugh) or in the middle of a good laugh."

Meredith Hutchison @meredithhutch

“Elicit emotion in your subject by asking questions and then find good lighting for the photograph! If you can add in context of place, that will also make the photograph richer."