Portrait photography seeks to capture people, their being, and their entire personality. However, portrait photography also goes farther than just capturing a person smiling or creating someone’s image. This genre of photography is versatile and uses light, poses, settings, backdrops, and others to develop an excellent artistic representation.
If you’re going to achieve high quality and a professional portrait, learning to capture your subject is highly crucial. Knowing the different portrait photography styles and types will help you craft a sound signature and style for yourself. This article discusses some of the different kinds of portraits that you should know.
- Traditional portraits
This type of portrait is a posed photograph that depicts the subject facing the camera directly. With this portrait type, the subject appears at its best as the pictures are taken in a studio, and it usually involves formal photography backdrops.
This type of photography also favors the traditional portrait composition. So, unlike the full-body portrait, the subject’s head and shoulders crop. However, this isn’t always the case.
When people think about portraits generally, they have in mind because it is the most popular type of portrait and has existed for a very long time. Furthermore, it has maintained its popularity as studio lighting and posing continues to mix.
Formal portraits are a subgenre of this portrait type. It involves studio setting and posing. However, this is done with business or formal attire.
- Lifestyle portraits
Lifestyle portraits offer a near-perfect contrast to the traditional portrait type. It focuses on capturing a person or several people in their typical everyday environment. Most times, these subjects are depicted carrying out their daily activities.
This is one type of photography where the photographers don’t have to go the length to position the subjects. Instead, the images captured are meant to depict authenticity, must be spontaneous, and the location has to be places like a restaurant, a home, or other social sites.
- Environmental portraits
These are a good mix between lifestyle photography and traditional portrait photography. In environmental portraits, the environment (the setting) and the subject of the photography are essential.
Environmental portrait photoshoots often take place in locations that have special meanings to the subject of the photography. This allows the viewers to have a clue about the person’s personality.
The location or environment can be anywhere from office, home, a favorite outdoor location, a ballet studio (if the person is a dancer), etc.
Although the location is of utmost importance, this type of portrait still uses posing techniques. However, it isn’t an informal type of photography like lifestyle portrait photography. Instead, like the traditional picture, the photographer sets the lighting and pose, which all work together with the subject and the background to give the environmental portrait photography.
- Candid and street portraits
This type has to be the purest form because it is usually unplanned, unlike the other types. It’s also one type of photography that doesn’t require posing or uses any posing techniques. Images captured by street photographers are often spontaneous and involve the people they run into or meet on the street.
Also, unlike other types, it doesn’t require any setup, just the camera. Photographers practicing this photography genre often get their inspiration from the poses and styles of their subjects. The uniqueness and spontaneity of the moments that they capture are what make this type of photography different.
There are many other types of portraits out there, in many different mediums. These are just a few of the more common photograph portrait styles. They all have their purposes, and they all serve a specific goal. But it’s up to you to know which captures what you are looking for.