7 Tips on How to Take Gorgeous Portraits at Home

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While studio photoshoots are optimal, they are by no means the only way to go! Whether you are looking for portraits for your social media, for work, or just for fun, here are some handy tips on how to take stunning portraits at home without any studio gear or professional makeup.

7 Tips on How to Take Gorgeous Portraits at Home

1. Find the Right Location

Location is essential for the resulting photo. What kind of portrait do you have in mind? If it’s a classical Christmas Photo, opt for the fireplace or the Christmas tree with a pile of gift boxes. If you want the portrait to focus on your face, keep the background simple and uncluttered — for example, choose a plain, solid-colored wall without anything on it. However, it’s always good to remember that your home reflects your personality, and you can use it to add some depth to your portraits.

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2. Use Natural Light Smartly

A common misconception is that the more light, the better the picture. But you shouldn’t mix natural light coming from the window and electric lighting. We recommend opting for the former because it’s versatile and flattering. You can play with the window lighting, creating the mood you want: a dramatic backlit silhouette, a mysterious half-lit face, a cozy soft-lit portrait, etc. Standing close to the window gives you a high-contrast look while stepping a few feet back results in more soft and even lighting.

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3. Find a Flattering Pose

The right pose helps you bring out the best in your portraits, while the wrong one can distort your features, adding some years and pounds. Try different poses to see what is optimal for you. On the Internet, there are lots of “posing guides” with dozens of sample poses — look through them to get some inspiration. You can find such guides for women, men, couples, plus size, etc.

4. Mind Your Facial Expression

Facial expression is crucial when it comes to portrait photography. What can be worse than forcing a strained, unnatural smile? Think how you’d like to look in the picture: relaxed and content? Professional and confident? Sensual and provocative? Take a series of pictures with different facial expressions and see what looks better. Turn on the music that helps you get into the right mood.

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5. Place Emphasis on the Eyes

The surefire way to reveal someone’s personality in a portrait is to focus on their eyes. Sometimes it can show the inner conflict when the lips are smiling but in the eyes, we see a secret sorrow. In other cases, the person in the picture may look quite serious, but there definitely is a mischievous twinkle in his eye. Such portraits, especially black-and-white ones, always draw much attention.

6. Shoot from Different Angles

It’s usually recommended to shoot from the model’s eye level or slightly above, but you should try some unconventional angles: looking down from high above, looking up from the ground, oblique shots, etc. The alternative perspective can make your portraits dynamic and offbeat — they will surely stand out against tons of regular pictures.

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7. Don’t Forget about Post-Processing

Sometimes you can turn a mediocre photo into a great one by seamlessly removing unwanted elements or skin blemishes. Even if you are quite satisfied with your portraits, they will become even better after post-processing.

There are quite a lot of graphic editing programs in the market: for example, you can use Photoshop if you have some prior experience.

There is also a more intuitive photo editing tool, PhotoDiva — it’s perfect for novices who would like to beautify their pics without going deep into the nuances of post-processing. This program offers advanced one-click retouch based on AI algorithms: skin smoothing, removal of wrinkles and blemishes, face sculpt, digital makeup, and more. You can even get rid of strangers and unwanted objects that spoil your otherwise perfect picture. PhotoDiva is the portrait editor that will make your photos glamorous in just a few minutes!

Wrapping It Up

Bear these tips in mind when plannin your next home photoshoot, and the result will be worth your efforts. You’ll be able to take wonderful portraits without studio lighting or professional gear — and, more importantly, without leaving the safety of your home.

All photos in this article are of Janet Morais, Founder & CEO of luxury decor brand KOKET, our very own Love Happens Mag, and e-home boutique My Object of Desire. Photos are taken by Sofia Silva, Art Director of KOKET.