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5 Tips to Improve your Outdoor Portraits

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People have been amused and inspired by the ‘captured’ image, since cavemen drew paintings of animals and men hunting animals back in the Stone Age. From there onwards, photography went through a long, revolutionary phase. With this amazing evolution, we have witnessed some of the most beautiful masterpieces of photography. Photography has many different types practiced all over the world. One of these types, gaining noticeable fame in recent years, is Outdoor Portrait Photography.

Outdoor portraits are one of the most famous genres of photography, used by individuals, as well as businesses all around the globe. A large part of portraiture are outdoor portraits and are often misjudged by people as still photography. In outdoor portraits, there might be a little more work involved in controlling the environment. Therefore, most people are not properly familiar with how to master outdoor portraits. Let us talk about some of the most common tips you can use to improve your outdoor portraits.

Depth of Field:

In portrait photography, the depth of field (DOP) is basically the space in front and at the back of the object you have focused on. Using small DOP is basically to sharpen the object you have focused on and is called shallow. In an outdoor portrait, the main aim is to focus on your subject. Hence, it is better to use the Shallow DOP when creating an outdoor portrait.


When focusing on distant objects, you will most probably have a higher DOF as compared to closer objects. Make use of the Aperture Priority Mode for outdoor portraits. This will help you manage the aperture while the camera controls the shutter speed. If you can operate the DOF, it will eventually improve the results. Try using cameras with a longer focal length for outdoor portraits.


The aperture and the DOF are inversely proportional. When you will set your camera for the highest aperture, you will have the lowest DOF.  Decreasing the aperture will increase the DOF. Hence, if you are using a shallow DOF, make sure the aperture is high.

Daylight Camera Settings:

Shooting in natural sunlight might give you a lot of light for your portrait, but it will also produce a lot of flaws in it. When the sun is high it will cast shadows on the subjects face for example, under the eyes or nose. Make sure to find a shaded area for your portraits for example under a tree or you can also wait for the clouds to cover the sun. At night, you can use reflectors to get the sharpest image of the subject.

Focus on the Eyes:

The ideal focal point for most portraits are a person’s eyes. Using a wide aperture and focusing on the eyes is one of the best ways to capture a better portrait. This is a great way to soften other features of your subject and highlight the eyes, and not to mention, capture some beautiful pictures.


The bottom line is that most people are not sure how to obtain a mesmerizing outdoor portrait. However, taking the above mentioned tips in account will surely help you in improving your outdoor portraits.