Artistic Photography: 4 Tips to Showcase Your Inner Beauty

words Al Woods

From artsy black and white portraits to dreamlike shots with blurry backgrounds, there are so many possibilities when it comes to portrait photography.

The way the photographer uses the camera, their perception of the subject, and their creativity in editing, all combine to create the final image. Ever since the invention of the first cameras, portraits have been an incredibly popular branch of photography, and expert photographers are constantly searching for new ways to bring their subject’s image to life. 

For everyone looking to improve their portrait skills, here are four tips to showcase the inner beauty of your subjects.

Artistic Photography

1. Use the Right Camera

These days most photographers use DSLR cameras because they enable you to adjust many different aspects of the shot. Top-of-the-line DSLRs have various settings so that you can manipulate everything from shutter speed to exposure in order to get the perfect shot. With portrait photography, adjusting the depth of field will enable you to focus on the subject’s face while at the same time blurring the background. Alternatively, you can create a shot that highlights a stunning backdrop with a wide-angle lens or a deeper depth of field.

2. Be Creative with Perspective 

The fantastic thing about photographs is that they are a 3D image on a 2D medium so you need to consider the foreground, middle, and background of your photos. Taking the shot through objects or props in the foreground can create a more dynamic photo. Plants, flowers, or interesting architecture are all great for setting the scene and creating depth. The folks at explain that underwater portraits give subjects a whole new perspective. Gravity and movement are altered immeasurably and create dreamlike shots. Similarly, using translucent objects in the foreground of out-of-water portraits will create reflections and help to bring out something interesting and beautiful in your subject.  

3. Setup Additional Lighting 

All cameras have a flash that is used to illuminate your subject but it doesn’t always provide enough light or the optimal light for the shot you want. The flash can often affect the proportions of a close-up subject’s face or blur the definition. If you are taking the photos in a studio, you can set up an additional lighting rig with an external flash to change the dynamics of the overall shot and enable you to create unique photographs. Natural light, especially direct sunlight, can often be overpowering, but with your own lighting setup, you can set the levels just as you want them. 

4. Use Gels to Alter the Mood of the Portrait

Artistic Photography

Gels are great for changing the color temperature and mood of a photo. If you find that the skin tones in your photos look unnatural, or there are odd colors popping up, you may need to look at your lighting temperatures. On grey, foggy days, employing an orange gel will warm the environment and enhance the radiance of your subject. On the other hand, if your portrait’s colors are too warm, employing a blue gel will help to cool the photo down. 

There are so many amazing ways to enhance the beauty of your subject when taking portrait shots. Try out these four tips and you will be able to take your portrait photography to a whole new level.


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