5 Steps to Building a Portrait Photo Composition

We spend a lot of time talking about elements of shooting a portrait that revolve around the subject, such as posing and retouching, but of course, a good image has to have a well-balanced composition. This great video tutorial will show you five steps for creating a compelling portrait composition that stands above those we are used to seeing these days.

Coming to you from Pye Jirsa with Adorama TV, this excellent video tutorial will show you five different methods for building an effective portrait composition. We are quite used to seeing portraits shot with a wide aperture that turn the background into a nebulous, blurry blob, and while those are certainly fine for a lot of applications, they can be a bit one-dimensional at times. Adding a bit of context around your subject can really help to elevate the final image. Of course, though Jirsa is shooting on tracks here, remember that this is a park and that you should always stay away from real train tracks, as it is both dangerous and illegal to shoot on them. Check out the video above for the full rundown from Jirsa.

If you would like to continue learning about the art of portraiture, be sure to check out our range of tutorials on the subject in the Fstoppers store.

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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1 Comment

How tempting as it may be, even if they're out of use, never shoot on railroad tracks !! you might give people wrong ideas ...
Otherwise solid advice I think