Portrait photography is a genre with many creative possibilities. No matter who you're photographing, you can take amazing and meaningful photographs of your model.

Here are 7 tips and tricks you can use to take your portrait photography to the next level brought to you by viewbug member and guest judge Taya Iv.

1. Choose Your Backgrounds Wisely

Backgrounds are very important in portrait photography. If a background is too vibrant or detailed, your model won't stand out in your pictures. This applies to self-portrait photography as well.

Work with simple backdrops that complement your model's outfit, hair colour, and eye colour. Black backgrounds tend to give photographs a mysterious and luxurious feeling. White backgrounds create an air of simplicity. Textured backgrounds fill empty space without making it look distracting. Experiment with different options and don't be afraid to work with new colours.

2. Use a Wide-Angle Lens

Wide-angle lenses aren't useful in landscape and street photography only. They're perfect for portrait photography as well, especially if you're shooting indoors. You can capture a lot of details in a single frame without shooting from a long distance. I love using wide-angle lenses because they help me take cinematic portraits with depth. I use the Yongnuo 35mm f/2 lens, which is a budget-friendly alternative for Canon users.

3. Ask Your Model to Do Something

This might sound simple, but it's something that can significantly improve the quality of your portraits. Your model doesn't have to look directly at your camera all the time. Give them something to do so that they can get lost in the moment. Take photos of them as they ride a bike, play with their pet, hang out with their friends, etc. Even a simple activity, like walking, can make your portraits look authentic and unique.

4. Embrace All Kinds of Light

We're often told to work with soft and even light. This is something I emphasize to my students as well, but it's not the only way to get impressive results. It's important to know what works and doesn't work in portrait photography. However, I believe that you can make any kind of light look flattering in your portraits. Lamplight, torchlight, direct light on a sunny day, etc., can all make your pictures look more creative. Experiment with everything that catches your eye. If it doesn't work the first time, try again later. Be persistent!

5. Take Photos in Black and White Mode

Colours are fun to work with, but why not eliminate them sometimes? Lots of cameras have a black & white mode which allows photographers to take black & white photos only. If you don't have this option then you can convert your photos to black & white in post. This might sound super limiting, but it's a great way to learn something new and take some emotional portraits in the process. Black & white portraits tend to look more soulful in general, so use this as an opportunity to take some meaningful photos of people.

6. Be Silly!

Portrait photography doesn't have to be serious. If you're working with a model for the first time, encourage them to be silly. Pull some faces. Tell a few jokes. Don't take yourself too seriously! You might be able to capture a few expressive portraits in the process.

7. Don't Take Photos in One Location

Don't limit yourself to one location during your portrait sessions. Go to different places. This will keep you feeling inspired and help you take all kinds of unique photographs. This doesn't mean you need to travel far. If you're shooting in a park, go to different corners of that park. You'll be surprised by how many photo opportunities there are in places that most people don't even notice.

I hope these portrait photography tips help you have an amazing experience with your models. Remember, you can use these tips in your self-portrait photography shoots as well. Relax, experiment with everything that comes your way, and be curious. All of these things will help you take amazing photos of people.