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Photography Tips - Portraits

One of the best things about travelling is all of the fascinating local people you will meet along the way. It's amazing just how friendly most people can be and you are bound to want to capture some photographs of the new friends you meet. But 'people pictures' can often be one of the hardest types of photographs to take. That's why we've included an 'insider’s guide to portrait photos' by travel photographer Mike Marlowe...

Travel Portraits

Nothing gives a feel or impression of a place more than the people. Capturing the essence of people’s looks and character when travelling is a skill that any budding travel photographer should acquire.

There are two primary types of portraits; the first is the formal type of portrait that requires a ‘sitting’. This concentrates on the person and their connection with the viewer.

Capturing expressions. A formal portrait photo of old man


The second is similar, but is an environmental portrait that includes essential elements of how the subject lives or works.

environmental-portrait - chefs in an open kitchen


There is also candid or street photography which captures people unaware. This is not to be confused with snooping like a paparazzi but more photographing people in busy places or, as is more often, photographing them when they are aware of being photographed but are going about their activities without posing.

candid street shot woman selling bread


Different photographers tend to prefer different methodologies for capturing people; however, for the more direct people-portraits it helps to have a personality that enables you to make quick connections with people and engage them to take their portrait.

The vast majority of people you come across love being photographed but it’s common decency to ask and this can be as simple as just pointing to your camera.

close-up-portrait_young girl

Perfecting your skills at portraits will give your travel photos a greater depth to your storytelling, and practice makes perfect so why not go and hone your skills on friends and family!



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