Ep 148: How to create natural looking portraits

These days, everyone wants “natural looking” portraits. The trend in advertising, YouTube, editorial and Instagram is all about the natural look. Even the most traditionally corporate want this feel. But that doesn’t mean it’s super easy to snap. If you want to achieve a natural look that is technically correct, looks amazing, has the right energy AND has the “just turned the corner and spotted you” feel, then you need to understand the right ingredients. In this episode, Gina and Valerie talk about composition, posing, lighting, styling and post-production for this popular look.

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#ginachallenge #natural

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Show notes

Shout outs

Jeri Murphy

“I love finding beauty in the most unlikely places – like this light and color in an old penitentiary,
Shot at 3200 ISO, with Luminance adjusted to 70 in Lightroom”

#ginachallenge #crankitup

Image by Jeri Murphy

Dan Bruno

My Macgyver hack of the night from Dan Bruno

“The plain umbrellas were over powering the fairy lights in my shots even at the lowest setting on my speedlights. This seemed to have helped a bit. Now to fiddle around with my settings to get the exposure right.”

Image by Dan Bruno
Image by Dan Bruno

Why is it important to shoot more natural looking portraits

The trend in popular culture is natural “this just happened look”

There are several factors that influence how natural an image looks


  • Bring “energy” to the shot
  • Distract
  • Anything you can do to keep your model in the moment will have a positive impact on your portraits



  • exposure
  • manual vs auto
  • Lens choice
  • Wide = space or expansion or isolation
  • Long = intimate


Post production: what you need to know

Images by Gina Milicia


Above: By Gina Milicia


Above: By Gina Milicia


Above: By Gina Milicia


Above: By Gina Milicia


Above: Over lit image


Above: Natural lighting


Above: By Gina Milicia


Above: By Gina Milicia

In this image(above) I’ve positioned the fill light in the same position as the window

#ginachallenge #natural


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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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