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3 Creative Ways To Shoot Portraitures


Thanks to accessible cameras, smartphones and apps like Instagram, content in the form of images is king and taking a photo that stands out from the rest is challenging. Learn how these photographers achieved their stunning self-portraits and be inspired to experiment yourself.  


Photo Credit: @mikebecurious 
EOS R, RF50mm f/1.2 L USM, f/1.2, ISO 400, 1/400s, 50mm 

What we love: This shot by photographer @mikebecurious stands out with its vibrant, warm-toned colours, strong visual elements and smart use of props. We’re loving the contrast between the defined l­­ines on the left of the image and the gentle reflections on the right that draws the eye to the middle of the shot, perfectly framing the model.  

How he did it: @mikebecurious cleverly positioned the model’s face towards the neon signage that he chanced upon at a shopping mall to light up her face. Using a prism that he held at the bottom right of the photo, it created the reflections that gave the image its desired softness. The model was styled in a Chinese New Year-themed outfit with colours that complemented the overall colour story of the photo. 

Thinking about your styling will help elevate your image – consider how textures, silhouettes and colours of an outfit can add an extra dimension to your photo. 

Tip: The use of a prism brings a subdued reflection to one side of the image where the prism is placed. When photographing scenes where one side looks slightly lacklustre to the other, use this to your advantage as it adds interest into your shots.   

Where the light refracts in your shot could also help to conceal certain elements you might not want in the outcome. For example, if there’s a bridge in the background that is distracting, angle your prism to have the flare conceal it. 


Photo Credit: @andiesyyap 
EOS 80D, EF-S24mm f/2.8 STM, f/5, ISO12800, 1/125s, 24mm 

What we love: This visually arresting portrait is sure to stop you in your tracks while scrolling your Instagram feed. We love this “mixed media” effect that combines @andiesyyap’s love for the ocean and the resourcefulness to incorporate art from another source (ArtScience Museum, in this case) to create a stunning end product. We also love the almost monochromatic palette that allowed her face (crucial, in portraiture) to pop. The style choice of a simple white top blended in seamlessly, and the waves added enough white space for visual breaks. 

How she did it: @andiesyyap wanted to illustrate her connection to the sea and create an image that made it seem like she was at one with the ocean and waves. Inspired by the exhibit at ArtScience Museum, and the desire to create a portrait shot that allowed the art to “come to life”, she observed the projections for some time. It was crucial to learn the flow of the projections for her to capture an image where not too much of her face would be covered by the blues of the waves – patience is key! After inputting camera settings that would allow her to freeze the waves, her dad helped snap the photo.  

Check out this article for interesting composition tips to up your photography game.

Tip: As demonstrated in this shot, having a clear, defined concept that has been properly researched and planned will reduce potential obstacles during execution. Always take the time to do your pre-shoot prep – getting the right settings, being comfortable with the environment, ensuring you have all the correct equipment or thinking outside the box for resourceful alternatives. 


Photo Credit: @allenlo0809 
EOS R, EF16-35mm f/2.8 II USM, f/2, ISO100, 1/160s, 16mm  

What we love: Simple yet ethereal, we’re loving the symmetry of this shot and the minimalism that produces such a large impact. This is a fine example of working with your surroundings to elevate what would otherwise be a normal shot.  

How they did it: Shot in the Dali Art Center in Taichung, this image was photographed cleverly from knee height to create the impression of added space, which was further emphasised by the mirrors and twinkling infinity reflections. By dressing the model in a colour similar to the lights, the eye is immediately drawn to the model’s face. The use of lines and patterns in your surrounding (think doorframes, tree branches, roads etc.) naturally help to lead your viewer to where you want them to focus, so always pay attention to that when shooting. 

Tip: For locations with a tight space constraint, getting your camera angle and the model’s pose right is crucial. This shot was taken with a low-angle composition (utilise the Vari-angle touchscreen LCD if you’re using an EOS R like the photographer), and thus captured most of the light elements while giving a sense of height (and depth). The accentuated height illusion can also be credited to the reflection on the floor. The complementary seated pose added enough white space to the shot, while highlighting the symmetry lines that cut beautifully right at the middle. 

Standing out in a world where ideas are freely shared is difficult, but as a photographer, you need to continually push the envelope and challenge boundaries to stay on top of your game. How you can create something incredible is to look at things from a different perspective - literally! 


For similar articles: 
5 Fundamental Lighting Patterns for Portrait Photography
Handling Natural Light: A High Key Portrait with Patterned Shadows 
How to Shoot Macro Portraits that Tell a Story