How to Capture a Personality in Portrait Photography

The job of a photographer isn’t an easy one, but working as a portrait photographer is even harder and has its own unique challenges. In order for us to take a good portrait, we need to be capable of capturing a person’s personality while making them looks as natural as possible. To achieve all of this within a photo is a skill that takes practice and patience. Having been in the industry for a number of years, I know that accentuating the unique characteristics of your subject becomes easier with practice, which eventually enables us to finally develop an eye for an excellent portrait shot.

Portrait Photography

I recently stumbled across an article from Mashable Australia in which they encouraged followers to capture personality in portraits for their portrait photography challenge. Inspired by this article, I thought I would share my own tips on how to achieve this.

When it comes to capturing that perfect portrait, it is a lot easier said than done. Although being a portrait photographer is a challenging profession, creating that perfect portrait photo is not impossible to achieve. If you are passionate about photography like I am, have an eye for detail and genuinely care about your subjects like I do, then the end result will be a truly engaging portrait photo that is a perfect composition.

Get to know your Subject Better

This is easier than you probably think; being a good portrait photographer requires one to know at least a small amount about their subject, especially if they are strangers to one-another. You do not need to know a great deal about them, just a few simple things such as their interests, their age, etc. Personally, I make sure that to find out this information ahead of time so I can research and find a location that matches the personality of my subjects. The last thing you want to do for example is to put a subject who loves nature in an isolated studio.

Once you have the right location chosen for the portrait, it’s important to talk to the subject and make them feel relaxed. That way the photos will capture the subject in their most natural state. At Little Orange Photography, I try to make them laugh as this will enable our subject to feel comfortable and allow them to loosen up. If I find that a particular tactic isn’t really working, then I try something else. What you want is for your subject to be unaware that their photo is being taken so the images captured are spontaneous.

Incorporate Added Extras

Using the right background works wonders in portrait photography; it can help tell a story. However, make sure that it doesn’t take over the photo as this will detract from the main subject, which is the person in the picture. It’s important not to allow any distractions and to make sure the subject is kept large in frame.

Props are also a great thing to incorporate into portrait photography, which is something that I like to use and have used within many of my portrait photo-shoots, especially if the props are a natural addition, which can be easily incorporated into the photo-shoot. Props also work wonders with children as they can be used to take their minds off of the pictures being taken. I allow children to use and play with the props, and once they become relaxed that is when I take my pictures. It isn’t always about getting the perfect picture; sometimes the best pictures happen when you least expect them to. Its often a good idea to have the subject/s not look at the camera in order to get that amazing photo.


Although portrait photography is all about capturing ones personality, there is no one tried and tested method for achieving the perfect photo. At Little Orange Photography, I make to focus on my subjects and connect with them; both of us need to feel comfortable with each other. Once this has been achieved, the photos we take will not only flatter the subjects but will also capture them in such a way that the photos will speak for themselves. As long as their true character is captured, the rest will come naturally.

If you are looking for a professional portrait photographer on the Gold Coast or Brisbane, then pick up the phone and call Little Orange Photography on 0449 658 131 to book your session.

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