How to take BETTER PORTRAITS NOW!! A quick guide to better photos!

Capturing beautiful and captivating portraits can often seem like a daunting task, but with the right tips and techniques, you can take your photography skills to the next level! In this blog, we will explore a quick guide to help you take better portraits now. Whether you’re a beginner looking to improve your skills or a seasoned photographer wanting to refine your craft, we’ve got you covered. From understanding lighting and composition to connecting with your subject and editing techniques, we will provide you with all the tools you need to create stunning portraits that truly stand out. Say goodbye to mediocre photos and hello to stunning portraits that will impress and inspire!

How to take BETTER PORTRAITS NOW!! A quick guide to better photos!


What’s up, everybody? Peter McKinnon here, and today we’re talking about how you can start taking better portraits immediately. Well, after you watch this video, and then you can start taking better, you get it, intro. Okay, so, today, first thing’s first, you might be wondering why, why are you sitting on the opposite side of the couch? Why aren’t you in the middle? What happened to symmetry? Well, I am joined by my friend Adam. That’s Adam. Say hi, Adam.

Getting to Know Your Subject

“Hey, Adam,” – And Adam’s gonna help us. We go way back. We used to do videos way, way, like, the beginning of Peter McKinnon in videos was me and this guy. So we’re gonna show you guys how you can start taking better portraits right away. Okay, just give me a normal smile. Give me an exaggerated smile. Just give me a straight, kind of emotionless realtor. Like, “I’ll sell your house” kind of confident smirk, if you will.

Adding Personality to Portraits

Most people, when they think about portraits, or they hear, “I’m doing portraits today,” the misconception is that it’s just gonna be A singular photo of someone in a nice dress shirt or a suit, what have you, just sitting there nicely, getting their portrait taken. We’ve seen this in presidential portraits, we’ve seen this in school portraits. When you’re at school through a public school, a high school, and you get your photos taken, You just sit on a couple apple boxes or whatever, and they snap your photo, you try to put on something nice and comb your hair, and you are gone. That’s the problem that portraits have. If you’re doing corporate portraits, if people are doing real estate photos, they all look the same. You go to any corporate site, you look up an about page, you see the list of the staff, all the portraits. It just looks like a LinkedIn profile. It looks just like some kind of stock website. Even if you go to a stock website and type in portraits, They’re pretty much exactly the same all the time. So when people say, “Oh, I need to take my portrait,” the people that really stand out, the portraits that really stand out are those creative individuals, those artists that go out on a limb and infuse their style into a portrait To make it more than someone just, hi, oh, okay, a little to the right, yeah.

Adding Personal Touches

So what I think portraits are missing is the personality of the subject. Usually that’s not anywhere to be seen in a photo. It’s just another generic shot. Now, granted, you can’t always implement what I’m talking about When you are hired or you are just shooting corporate head shots. Some of these people don’t wanna be portrayed in a way that makes them look less powerful, or makes them look vulnerable, or brings out their personalities. They just want it to be the professional Corporate head shot that goes on the about page and doesn’t really say much about them. There’s a time and place for that. That kind of photography, those head shots, portraits, that’s not for me. What I’m more interested in is how can I adapt and how can I use my creative skills To pull out this individual’s personality and make it really shine through this photo, so that when everybody that knows that person sees that photo, they’re like, “100%, that’s totally Adam, nailed it.” Versus someone just sitting there and a picture of Adam sitting there very blankly Like when we went over and he was wearing that dress shirt. If someone had sent me that picture of Adam and was like, “Yo, check it out, “he got his portraits done.” I’d be like, “What is this? “That’s not you at all. “Were they holding you at gunpoint?” So, how do we pull out someone’s personality to use that for the photo?

Getting Creative with Props

You gotta get to know the subject. So, in this instance, Adam loves gaming. He’s a gamer, he used to work for a company that created video games and apps, he’s on Twitch all the time, So obviously, we need to incorporate some sort of aspect of video games into this photo to make it represent Adam the best that we can. So let’s get rid of that black dress shirt. He needs to be in a colorful hoodie, something that he’d be casually wearing at home Whilst playing and streaming his video games online. Beyond that, obviously, we need to put a headset on him, throw a controller in his hands, throw some Xbox games next to him. And now we need to bring out that personality. Instead of just standing there and smiling, give me some exaggeration, Give me a really exaggerated smile. He just got a game on launch day, he’s super pumped, his elbows are up a little awkward, he’s playing the game. These are the portraits we want, okay? So, look at me like that, hold the pose, snap. Number one, got it.


You gotta work with people. You can’t just expect people to stand in front of a camera and be completely comfortable. We might be used to it. I’m in front of a camera every day, but, for some people who are getting their portraits taken, this staring you straight in the face is incredibly intimidating. So we need to work. We need to peel those layers back like an onion to get to that core that is very unique, because there is excellence behind that. There is incredible photos waiting to happen, but you gotta work to get there. You can just expect to pull out the camera, snap, and get something. You gotta work for it. You gotta put your homework in. Is the person that you’re shooting, do you know anything about them? What are their hobbies? Have you met them before? What do they like to do? You don’t know any of that stuff, find out, talk with them before you start shooting. Don’t just sit down and begin. Maybe sit down and have a coffee. Get to know them. Don’t talk about the project, don’t talk about the shoot. Just talk about them. What do you guys, like, how’s your day going? What’s up? What do you even do again? What is it? Just get to know them. Those things you can use to make better photos.


  1. Q: What tips can you provide for taking better portraits?
    A: To take better portraits, consider using natural lighting, framing your subject well, and adjusting your exposure settings accordingly.
  2. Q: Should I use a professional camera for portrait photography?
    A: While a professional camera can certainly improve the quality of your portraits, you can still take great photos with a smartphone or point-and-shoot camera by following basic photography principles.
  3. Q: How can I make my portraits stand out?
    A: Experiment with different angles, backgrounds, and poses to create unique and eye-catching portraits. Additionally, consider using editing tools to enhance your photos.
  4. Q: Do I need to have a lot of photography experience to take better portraits?
    A: While experience can certainly help improve your photography skills, anyone can take better portraits by practicing regularly and learning from resources such as tutorials and online courses.

I hope you find useful my article How to take BETTER PORTRAITS NOW!! A quick guide to better photos!, I also recommend you to read my other posts in my blog at this link.

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