8 tips for an original portrait

Step out of your comfort zone with these creative portrait ideas

You can probably think of several ideas for a portrait: indoors, outdoors, coloured background or with bokeh effect; you name it. We would like to challenge you, so we have collected eight different and creative portrait ideas to inspire you.


1. Write with light

For portrait photography, you usually need sufficient light, but what if you don't have it at hand and it's already dark outside? Then you create beautiful situations yourself! After all, you can also write with light . With a starlight, a tubelight or just your phone's torch, you can create cool effects. By setting your camera with a slow shutter speed and a low ISO, you can capture the light well in images. For example, you can pass behind someone or even draw a heart around a couple.

View our tubelights here


2. Shoot a monochrome portrait for a change

Clothes, colours and backgrounds often coordinate. If you wear bright colours, the background is often a light colour or vice versa. But you can also give everything the same colour. Have your model wear a pink shirt in front of a pink background with pink props and make-up. You can make it even more monochrome by also using light of the same colour. It sounds bold, it is, but it can turn out very cool.

View our backgrounds


3. Put an object in front of your lens

It may sound crazy, but by putting an object in front of your lens, you can create cool effects. So you can use a prism, to create a so-called 'disco glow' on a portrait. Tights can also come in handy: stretching beige tights over your lens will give your portraits a vintage look and feel. You can also use gobos , or light templates. With such a gobo, you can drop light in specific lines and figures on your model's face to create a cool effect. Don't have a gobo? Then try using a comb, this also spreads the light in lines across your model.

View our gobos


4. Use various props

When you get started with portrait photography, you can choose to use props. For example, flowers. The person you photograph can hold the flowers, lie in the flowers or you can incorporate flowers into the make-up. Besides flowers, you can also choose balloons, food, bubbles, feathers or fans, for example; above all, let your imagination run wild!


5. Go for colour

When you shoot a portrait, you can play with the colours even more. For example, you can put a coloured ring light on the background or just point a colour light at your model's face. You can create fantastic effects as a result. For example, also use a colour filter . This will give your photo a completely new mood within seconds. It's great fun to experiment with surprising colours on your portrait!

Check out our colour filters


6. Play with the light

Besides using coloured light, you can also play around with daylight or continuous lighting . Take a so-called low key portrait, for example. Here, the light falls mainly on the person and not on the dark-coloured background. The result is often a dark photo, where the light highlights the face or parts of the face. You can also choose to experiment with the opposite: a high key portrait. This is a photo with no shadows and just a lot of light. In both high and low key photography, you can experiment a lot with the light to see what effect it has on the photo.

View our continuous light sets


7. Photograph with backlighting  

Photographing a portrait with backlighting is a bit trickier, as your model's face will soon become a bit darker. Still, we'd like to challenge you to take a stab at this. For example, you can take a photo of a silhouette. Less detail will be visible, but if the background is for instance a sunset, this is not necessarily disturbing. You can also choose to make the backlighting work to your advantage by using a reflection screen. When you shoot with backlighting, there is a chance of lens flare, again you can use this to your advantage. These flares, which look like coloured spheres, can be a cool element in your portrait photo. Experiment with it!

View our reflector screens


8. Edit your photos

Sometimes, you want to keep your portrait photo as natural as possible, but you can also get started with post-processing. For example, you can photoshop portraits of several people together, or you can choose to reflect a landscape in the silhouette of a portrait. You name it and you can edit it.

View all our editing software here

Share your result

Did you also shoot a beautiful portrait? Then share your photo with us for a feature on our Instagram account. Just use the hashtag #KameraExpress or tag Kamera Express in your message. Don't forget to follow us for the required inspiration.