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  • Writer's pictureMadhu Niranjan

How to master outdoor portrait photography

People who have just started their photography career know that portrait photography is one of the most difficult aspects of it. Yet portraits are very important and very popular among the seekers.

How to master outdoor portrait photography

Now just think of a situation like this. You have decided on a 5 day trip to the Himalayas with your friends and you see a beautiful and picturesque location on your way. You want to click amazing pictures with your friends to remember for your life. And you have a camera with you. Now the only problem is clicking good portraits. How to click good outdoor portraits.

Portraits are a very powerful medium to capture unique and amazing pictures. Especially portraits with human intervention make one of the most interesting pictures to look at. Therefore it's worth learning the art of mastering outdoor portrait photography.

Want to learn about different poses and how you can ace a photo, read our previous blog on " "

Here are the tips. Let's get started

Focus the eyes

Focus on the eyes whenever taking a portrait. They are the most important features and should be the focal point of the photo. So try to use a wide aperture on the eyes of the subject. This will ensure that the focus remains on the eyes and all other features get softened.

Natural light! Oh yes

Now, this is important as well as tricky. So listen carefully. Make the most of the natural sunlight. Natural light gives the best portraits. But we understand that this might not be the case every time. There can be no sun or partial sun in which you would have to use different compositions and techniques.

Some of these techniques are-:

Full sun

Shooting can be daunting in the sun. Harsh shadows, squinting eyes of the subject but at the same time, full sunlight can give you the best portraits of your life. What you have to do is move your subject to a shady region.

Mark your aperture to f/16 in bright sun. Put your ISO or shutter speed at the inverse. Experiment with different angles and different poses to yield better results.

No sun

Without sunlight, your portraits might not come as beautifully as you would want them to. Overcast shadows would require slow shutter sped, high ISO settings. Make the most of the natural light but you would have to use flashes and reflectors to add some light in.

Use a proper lens

Lenses play an imperative role in clicking a good portrait. Long focal lengths are usually the best. It will help in adding sharpness to your object and the background. Short focal lengths can make your subject look distorted. The best range of any focal length should be between 120mm to 200mm.

Take your reflector with you

Now we know that you can't take your entourage with you when you are going for a trip but a reflector. A good reflector can make a real impact on your outdoor portraits. A reflector will not only give your photo a real sun-like light but an illuminating glow on your subject. Reflectors come in shapes and colors. You can buy a white reflector as it gives you good portraits in harsh conditions.

Check your settings

These days cameras come with a wide number of different compositions and techniques. Keep your settings to a wide aperture to keep the subject in focus than the background. Check the lighting conditions depending on your visual style and the pictures you are trying to take.

Choose a good location

The location makes or breaks the pictures. Choose a good background with natural light and a good visual to see. You can try to take pictures in front of a lake, a rustic fence, or a building. Also, make sure that the background you choose is not messy. An unclear background will mess your photograph.


Well, you can't help a picture if the subject is not placed right even if the camera, composition, or light is right. Posing can be a bit awkward if you don't know how to do it. Ask your subject to relax and try poses for a fun photo. You can read our previous blog on how to ace posing for the camera to learn the art of posing.

Summing up

So this is how you take good pictures if you go out on a trip with your friends. Now that you know how to take good outdoor portraits of yourself, enjoy your trip in the beautiful and picturesque locations of the place to remember it forever.

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