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What Makes a Good Portrait Photo?
 

Folk sometimes send me photos that aren’t suitable for portraits. Some of the common problems are:

-the photo is a passport photo
 
-it’s a large size photo but the people in it are too small
 
-the composition is poor
 

-the person has a toothy ‘say cheese’ grin

So what makes a good portrait photo?

Although it’s best to use a photo taken by a professional photographer, it’s not always necessary if you take the following advice into consideration. The photo needs to show the subjects face correctly exposed with good lighting, too much lighting or sunlight and the subject is washed out, too little and the subject is too dark. Try not to photo someone in bright sunlight as they are likely to squint and the subject will be washed out. The photo should be in clear focus not blurry or fuzzy. The subject should fill the photo and be in the pose that you want in the portrait. For a head and shoulders portrait the standard pose is for the person to be slightly off centre with their body at a slight angle and their head turned towards the camera.

Think about the clothes as you don’t want bright plaids or stripes in your portrait. Choose clothes with simple, flattering shapes. Pay attention to the background. Generally I advise people to choose a studio background as it’s simple, doesn’t compete with the subject and therefore focuses the eye on the subject (it’s cheaper too!). Although I’ve done them, busy backgrounds tend to be distracting.

Generally, the better photo I get, the better the final portrait will be. If you can’t decide, then send me a few photos and I’ll advise you.

Examples of good photos for an oil portrait


  

Good photo for an oil painting portrait Good photo for an oil painting portrait
  
Good photo for an oil painting portrait Good photo for an oil painting portrait
  
Good photo for an oil painting portrait Good photo for an oil painting portrait
  
Good photo for an oil painting portrait Good photo for an oil painting portrait
  
Good photo for an oil painting portrait Good photo for an oil painting portrait
   
Good photo for a pet oil painting portrait Good photo for a pet oil painting portrait
   
Good photo for an automobile painting portrait Good photo for a motorcycle oil painting portrait

 
Child portrait
Dog portrait
Group portrait

Pet portrait good photo

Car portrait good photo

Wedding portrait good photo

Wedding portrait good photo

Group portrait good photo

Good photo

Good photo

Good photo

Good photo

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