Forget something? The Portrait Photography Checklist

Image of a dark haired man wearing a white shirt with the text "Portrait Photography Checklist"

Have you ever taken a portrait and thought you nailed light, location, and exposure only to realise you’d forgotten one tiny detail that ends up ruining your shot?

Here is my checklist of the main offenders:

( I’ve done all of them. Some are repeat offences)

  1. Check the background to make sure nothing appears to be growing out of the back of people’s heads.
  2. Ensure the hands are relaxed. When models are nervous they tend to clench their fists or place their hands in awkward positions.
  3. Are the eyes in focus? It’s really easy to get so caught up in the moment that you accidentally focus on the nose or part of the background instead of the eyes.
  4. Button it up, tuck it in, smooth it out. Double check for wardrobe malfunctions as these can be a nightmare to retouch and potentially ruin a shot. Also watch out for lipstick on teeth, stray hairs, and general grooming. A quick two minute once over here will save you hours in post production.
  5. Finally is your model’s expression and pose relaxed, connected, and real? This is the most important part of a great portrait. Spending extra time engaging with your model and ensuring they are happy, relaxed, and comfortable will make all the difference in your portraits.

How to direct and pose like a pro

About Gina

About Gina

Gina Milicia is one of the most widely known and respected photographers in Australia. She is the master of capturing that ‘magical moment’... READ MORE

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