Portrait photography is a photograph of a person or a group of people that captures the personality of the subject. Whether you’re an amateur or a professional there are always new things to learn when it comes to photographing people. As you can see in our gallery of free portrait stock photos, there are many different aspects that you can approach your subject by.
I have selected 20 portrait stock photos from our site that you can check out and get inspiration for your next portrait series.
There are homeless people in most larger cities in the world. Homeless people are often a good subject when showing the darker side of live, the despair or even hope.
Hobby portraits are very popular nowadays, you can shoot them outside or in the studio. Shoot your family and friends doing what they love to do and you’ll get great photos.
Don’t have a model? Use yourself to create great portraits. The possibilities are endless with a steady tripod, timer or a remote trigger.
Visiting people at work and photographing what they do for a living is a great way to showcase and document that person. Countless photographers all over the world have done this with great success.
Stop! Let me out
Emotional portraits can be jaw-dropping, don’t be afraid to ask your model to improvise. Models don’t have to smile all the time, ask them to scream or be angry and I’ll promise you that you’ll get great shots.
Thoughtful Woman on the Mountain Face
Photomanipulation will open up a whole new world for photographers. Install Photoshop or a similar graphic app and start learning how to manipulate photos. Youtube has thousands of tutorials on almost everything Photoshop related.
Portraits of old people are my favorite. You can see their life experience, struggles and happiness in their faces and eyes. Black and white works well with this kind of portraiture as well.
Romantic couple watching the stars
Who sais you have to have light to shoot great portraits. Buy a sturdy tripod and hit outside with your friends and start playing around with long exposure photography. Here’s a good place to start.
Get in close and make use of “depth of field”. Macro lenses are great for other things than photographing flowers and insects. Use your macro lens (or borrow one) to photograph portraits and you won’t regret it.
Another form of selfies is to incorporate mirrors, phones and other props to create an interesting frame. Get creative and point your camera away from you to shoot that self portrait.
Portrait of a Girl with Closed Eyes
White (negative) space in photography can play a large part in evoking emotion in the viewer. Negative space when used properly gives the image more dynamic and if you are shooting stock photos, they open up possibilities for designers to add text and other elements to the photo.
A great example of street photography where the photographer creates a very dramatic frame when the model is cooling down under a stream of water. As said before, get in close or crop your images afterwards to create a more effective photo.
Multiple exposure are two or more exposures that you combine into one image. But be sure to use it right because you can either elevate your photo or ruin it completely. More info on multiple exposure can be found here.
A relationship with a talented makeup artist can be beneficial to both parties. Makeup artists and hairdressers also need photographs for their portfolios, and working with either one will bring your work to the next level.
Use your surroundings to create magnificent portraits. Take your models into the woods and don’t be afraid to ask them to lie down or climb a tree. That’s what creates that different perspective and a great photograph.
Introduce props into your portraits. Having the model interact with various items can bring you new poses and postures that you would not get otherwise. It might also help the model to relax and be more playful.
Studio lighting does not have to be difficult. In fact, it’s easier than you’d think. You only need just one light to start practicing with. There are countless online tutorials on how to set up studio lights.
Father and Newborn
Take your family photos to a new level by getting up close and really focus on the persons. Post production can also make a good image really great, sometimes just by making it black & white or by cropping it in the right way.
Girl in Red Costume
Playfulness with a purpose can really make a photograph useful and interesting. Although not for the family photo album, these images are created with a purpose to act as portrait stock photos.
Girl with a Camera
Spontaneous moments often produce the best photos. Keep your camera with you when you are out with friends and try to sneak in a few shots when no one is watching. You’ll be amazed how different people look when not posing for the camera directly.
That’s all 20 images featured in this post. We have hundreds more free portrait stock photos waiting to be downloaded in our main portrait stock photos category. Check them out and share your own portraits.