“LEARN BY PICTURES” – Portraits in 2023


I have been involved in portrait photography for some time (over 20 years), and it appears to me the Studio is becoming less and less important, IF the photographer can make good looking, well posed photos candidly. The above 2 photos is exactly what I mean. These photos above are the new style of portraits, dealing with well posed individuals without making them dress up formally. This seems to become more popular because the one thing that is great about these type of portraits is that it brings out the personality of the person more than a posed portrait in the studio.

Now I realize that if I have some photographers who read this that do all their portraits in a studio, I might get some negative comments, but I am looking at what is being posted around the world, and the increase in “relaxed portraits”, then I don’t think I am off. I would like to mention that I still love a Studio portrait. Because the lighting, the background are so controlled, you will obviously get a more professional photo.


Photo by Pixabay: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-wearing-black-spaghetti-strap-top-415829/

One of the very first photos from my website of “free” photos, is beautifully exposed, but there is some harsh lighting spots on her face, neck, and chest. Good skin tones are important to me. If it was in a controlled studio situation the lighting would be more perfect. The other thing I hope people do as they start these “relaxed portraits” is at least find a pose that is a bit more professional. These straight forward poses make it look like a snapshot, not a portrait. Notice the top two portraits and see them facing at a 45 degree angle. Much nicer photos.

Here is another one that is more of a snapshot than a portrait. Straight head on pose, or in other words, no posing done at all. And then they are standing too close to an ugly backdrop. If you brought them away from the wall, use and Fstop of F5.6 or so, maybe you could get away from all of that. A pretty girl! It’s too bad she had it botched by the photographer.


This above photo is real good. I’m wondering if this was shot actually in a studio (plain white backdrop). Either way, I like the side facing pose and her looking back into the camera. Skin tones are good, but has a few “hot spots” on her face.

Here is the perfect exposure, and it is even outside! Do you want to get a perfect exposure every time outside, then find the shade!!! And with it, no shadows, no hot spots. And I even like the pose.

Photo by Александр Слесарев: https://www.pexels.com/photo/woman-wearing-a-shirt-15568823/

Another perfect photo. Exposure is perfect, nice skin tones (was shot in the shade again), and I like how she was posed. That right arm on a very nice angle, makes this a perfect portrait, yet still relaxed.


I know I am going to go into some really darling photos here, but I hope you are inspired by what the photographers did to get it right!

This adorable photo is very well done. I am thinking it was taken inside by their Christmas Tree. And the excitement of what’s going on around her is amazing. Exposure should always be on the skin tones of the child.

Photo by samer daboul: https://www.pexels.com/photo/photograph-of-happy-children-1815257/

Doing posing of children is not as easy as adults. But if you can get them doing something to bring out their personalities, then do it. I love this photo, and I’m looking at it on my 24 inch computer monitor, and notice that this has the typical problem when doing a group photo: the front children are in focus and the back children are just slightly out of focus. I now generally you have to shoot quick when doing children, but if you know that in advance, you can choose a different Fstop or focus into the middle a little more manually, you could really nail this portrait.

Photo by Andy Kuzma: https://www.pexels.com/photo/girl-sitting-beside-a-teddy-bear-2803979/

Using props with children can be just darling. This photo captures the child doing the thing she loves to do, reading a book, plus she has a partner with her to read to. Well done photo.


Photo by Matheus Bertelli: https://www.pexels.com/photo/girl-leaning-her-head-on-her-hand-while-closing-her-eyes-573253/

Remember in doing “relaxing photos” of children, the best thing to do is to get them to do something that will reflect their personality.


I don’t particularly like the garage door as a backdrop for such a pretty girl, but I like the pose and the exposure.

Ahh, the classic Coat over the shoulder pose for men. Love it, and it looks great outside. The only pose I like where you face your body forward and make it still look good.

Wow! If you have eyes like that, then by all means, get in close. Perfect skin isn’t a bad thing either.

18 Photos today. I hope you learned a lot.

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