In photography, a portrait is regarded primarily as visual art with aesthetic and intellectual value. It is considered purely art and the photographer is more an artist than a photographer. Does it make sense to you?
We see photos everywhere nowadays where the purpose is to record a subject within the frame. But portrait photography does not care about recording. Rather, it presents the subject in a form of art. Though work doesn’t end here, post-production service is the end part of the process.
Portrait Photography Ideas
Let’s explore 50+ ideas with lots of tips and tricks-
A Black Background:
A black background helps in popping up the subject more vibrantly. That is why it is often preferred by photographers. If you are making a fine art portrait, go for black background at least once. A black background is great for color contrast as well.
Neutral Color Background:
No wonder in the perfection of a black background. But do you know a neutral color is also incredibly versatile and fit for fine art portraits? Such colors do not interfere with the main subject which makes it excellent for creating a memorable art piece.
Fine art portraits come out better and much attractive if the model is allowed to be in natural poses. So, let the model pose naturally and comfortably. Once she gets used to the camera, you can go for more complex ones.
We all know that makeup is for enhancing beauty. It is true for fine art portraits as well. A slightly unconventional makeup can effectively change the outlook of your artwork. You can emphasise one part or even more. Loud eyes or lips for instance.
Just like the makeup costume can be used creatively for fine art portraits. It can make the photo dramatic or mysterious or quirky. Depending on the purpose of your photo, choose the costumes. You can even use the costumes to tell the entire story or as a medium to show a perspective.
Though portrait photography often includes the model’s face, for the sake of fine art you can go for a faceless one. Instead of showing the face directly, replace it with any object. It can be some flowers, cards, hats or papers. All you need is to fix a certain purpose that you want to present through the presentation.
Colors to Add Drama:
If you want to make the fine art portrait much dramatic, use different shades of colors creatively. For instance, you can paint the model’s face with the colors. In that case, choose bright colors so that they catch the eyes inevitably.
Creativity With Water:
Water is a great element to work with within fine art portrait photography as there are so many different ways you can try with it. You can try a water drop or water splash along with underwater photography. Also, you can go super creative with water reflection portraits.
Lights are another versatile element to use in fine art portrait photography. The light setting along with the model’s pose can make an outstanding fine art piece. But you have to keep in mind that adjusting lights in the portrait is something you have to try from different angles to reach perfection.
Smoke creates mysterious vibes in fine art portrait photography. You have many ways to try with smoke. Try out different elements that create smoke and incorporate them creatively in your art project.
With More than One Model:
If your goal is to create something memorable and out of the box, try out different possibilities with more than one model. This way you can show the perspective and purpose of the art more clearly and extensively.
Try Motion Blur:
If you, as a photographer, love taking challenges, try out motion blur portraits in a fine art form. This technique goes splendidly well with fine art. As motion blur creates surreal, mysterious and thought-provoking images, you can easily get the desired outlook of your art piece through it.
It is very cool to wear the model a peculiar yet eye-catching mask in fine art portraits. This way you can turn any ordinary image into an excellent piece of art. Never hesitate to choose something quirky or crazy when you are selecting the mask.
A visual Illusion:
Visual illusion makes any photo more interesting and memorable. When it is about the fine art portrait, you have just the right option in your hand. Set a certain goal or perspective that you want to present through the art for a better result.
Try Face Painting:
Face painting is another great option for making an outstanding fine art portrait. It is probably one of easiest way to turn any simple photo into an excellent piece of art. You can try out different sort of paintings as the experiment to discover the right one for you.
Add A Mysterious Vibe:
Adding a mysterious vibe in the portrait easily makes an outstanding fine artwork. To do it, not necessarily you need to put so many efforts. Just brainstorm over random objects that can add a mystic touch to the portraits.
A Gothic One:
Another great option of turning a portrait into fine art is to make it gothic-looking. Here you do not even need much complex efforts. You can do it with the lighting only. A bit of light-shadow adjustment can give you the expected result.
Be true to the features:
Here is a lazy idea for lazy photographers. Fine art essentially means something out of the box. To achieve that sometimes you only need the right eye to find out your subject. For example, you can choose an old man who has got wrinkles and fine lines on his face and take a photo of him. Now you can edit it or just leave it in the way it originally looks. Both ways it is perfect.
Create A Surreal Atmosphere:
Creating a surreal atmosphere gives you the perfect fine art portrait you want to make. You can do it in your studio by setting up the lights and different props. Or you can turn a simple photo into a surreal one by editing it.
Hide the face:
Now it is another cool yet easy idea for making a fine art portrait. It is a bit similar to hiding the face with an object. But here it is about hiding the entire face with something crazy or mysterious. It can be a full-face mask or something else that resembled it.
Focus on the Eyes:
Taking a photo of eyes is already an artwork of some sort. Now, if you are making a fine art portrait, do not forget to use the eyes as one of your subjects. You can either take a close shot of it or try out taking a full-face portrait.
Show your Lighting Skills:
Your lighting skill is enough for turning any simple looking portrait into a pure piece of fine art. Try out different angles and lighting tools. For instance, you can put the light source in the back of the model and take the photo from the front. This way you will get more interesting and mysterious portraits.
Experiment with Babies:
Taking portraits of babies is tricky but that does not mean impossible. You can even make fine art portraits taking a baby as your subject. Its innocent expression and heart-melting smile will do the job more perfectly than others.
Stick to One Color:
To work on this idea, you have to choose two contrasting colors. Take one for the background and with the other one paint your model’s face. Look at the sample given here. Instead of boring colors, go for a bright one. You can even use glitters in it for a better result.
Creativity With Eyes:
Here is another idea that you can try out with your eyes. But this time it is about using the eyes to make something better. You can paint the eyes with bright colors or peculiar eye makeup. With the right technique of lighting, the portrait will be an outstanding one as a fine art piece.
Flowers and Face!
Anything looks gorgeous and classy with flowers. So why not use it in your fine art portrait making efforts? We say- do not just throw it into the picture. Instead, use it creatively and thoughtfully. In the sample photo, the photographer has been stuck to one color which looks mesmerizing. This way you can also make your artwork with flowers.
Use Hands Creatively:
Like the eyes, hands can tell you stories and can deliver hundreds of messages. Do you wonder how? The answer is simple with the gestures. There are thousands of classic portrait poses which is overwhelmingly perfect in fine art portraits as well. So, along with the other set up, use hands creatively to get the best outcome.
Simple yet Stunning:
Do you believe in the myth that fine art portraits are hard and complex to try out? Well, we are here to bust the myth and inspire you in this field. The rule of thumb is that there is no hard and fast law to stick to for making a fine art portrait. Simply with a peculiar makeup along with the expression and a small prop, you can get fine artwork done.
Use hairs Dramatically:
Long hairs not only add beauty to the person but also it is a great medium for making a fine art portrait. There are so many different creative ways that you can use long hairs in. You can even dye it with various shades of colors for instance.
Use Natural Lights:
There is a misconception that fine art must have to be mysterious and peculiar. We say it is time to break the rule. Work with natural lights and bring out the true color of your subjects. Let them be true to their appearance and nature. After all, there is no art more beautiful than the truth.
Shoot in Outdoor:
We were talking about natural lights and real appearance. But now it is about creating a mysterious fine art portrait in outdoor with natural lights. Yes, it is possible. In that case, you have to choose a certain time when the sun is not too harsh. The golden hour they call it.
Show the Emotion:
Emotion is always abstract and you cannot see the feelings with bare eyes. But you can show it through your fine art portrait photography. There are many signs that we take as a response to a certain emotion. You can take those signs as your photography subject. Thus you can get the perfect fine art portrait that is memorable as well as thought-provoking.
Try Double Exposure:
Double exposure is already fantastic and mind-blowing. Also, it goes incredibly well with fine art portrait photos. Try to set up a certain perspective or goal that you want to show through the photo. This way the photo will remain memorable in people’s heart for a long time.
Close Up Face Shot:
One more simple yet very effective idea of creating a fine art portrait is to take a close shot of the model’s face. The point is to present the face as a piece of art. All human face is beautiful despite its color and look. Try to show the perspective with your photography.
There are so many easier ways to get an excellent fine art portrait. Here is another cool and simple idea for you. Take a photo of the side view of the model. Instead of standing there boringly, make her pose in some classic gestures. This way the photo will come out much better.
Mirrors create reflections and add a fascinating look to the photos. If you are going to make a fine art portrait, consider using mirrors creatively in it. It does not require much effort in doing so. It opens up many creative ways for you to try.
Experiment with Different Location:
As a professional fine art portrait creator, you should not stick to studio photography. Instead, go outside and explore a vast area of workings. The combination is simple. Find an eye-catching location and put your model there with certain makeup and costume. Remember, there is no rule that you must follow. It is all about your imagination and point of view.
Experiment with poses:
Along with experimenting with different locations, you can experiment with different poses as well. In portrait photography, the model’s pose is one of the many important matters. Solely it can change the outlook of a photo. A meaningful pose says a lot about the perspective, purpose and goal of the entire photo. Expression and body language are to handle carefully in that case.
They say a person looks more beautiful while sleeping. And who does not know the story of sleeping beauty? So there is already a great resemblance between sleeping beauty with art. Why not using it in portrait form? Yes, you can create such outstanding fine art portraits with the model’s sleeping pose.
Make a Colored Shadow:
Creating a shadowy effect is nothing new in portrait photography. But if you want to create something different and interesting, try out creating the effect with a color. Any intriguing shade of color you can use here. For a more stunning look, keep the model’s face half dark and half in shadow.
Flow With the Wind:
It looks way too beautiful when the wind blows up the hair or the dresses. You can take the still photo of the wind blowing in the form of a fine art portrait. The task is not that hand like it is sounding. You can even make artificial airflow in your studio.
Creative Color Contrasting:
In photography, there is ample chance to play with colors. If you can use color contrasting creatively, your fine art portrait will be magical and extraordinary. Begin with those strikingly contrasting colors as black and white or red and white. Eventually, play around with more than two colors.
Tilt Back the Head:
Tilting the head slightly backwards gives a finer shape to the model’s face and neck. The pose is amazingly suitable for portraits. For creating a fine art portrait, you can use the technique as well.
Using confetti in fine art portrait gives the photo a dynamic and playful vibe. It relaxes the rigidity of the photo and gives it an easy feel. So consider using it in your portrait photos in the form of fine art.
A classic Portrait Pose:
The sample photo given here is showing you one of the classic poses for portraits. There are many more such poses that are perfect and stunning for fine art portraits as well. Sticking to old school portrait poses gives your photos a timeless feel and creates a nostalgic vibe.
Twist the Body:
This idea points towards the body language of the model in the fine art portrait photos. Just like the expression, body language is another important aspect of the photo. The gesture of your head, hands and legs can be meaningful and thought-provoking if it is done perfectly. You can try out different angles in body twisting to show your perspective thoroughly.
In the Sea Shore:
If you choose the seashore as your photography location, you are already one step ahead in creating marvellous photos. But we are here to tell you that it is equally suitable for fine art portraits too. Avoid taking photos in the harsh sun. Instead, go there when the light is the softest and sweetest to get the perfect lighting.
Hide Behind a Partner:
When you are running out of creative ideas for fine art portrait photography, try out this one. It is effortless yet effective for creating memorable artwork. Simply hide a model’s full body behind the second model’s body. For more clarity, follow the sample photo given here.
In fine art portrait photos, you can go as bold as you want. It can be through the expression or with the makeup or costume. Only keep in mind that you are creating an art and there is no judgment for an art.
A fine art portrait is always something more than an ordinary portrait photo. That is why if you want to show craziness in your photos, feel free to go exaggerated with it. There is nothing right or wrong in the art after all.
Concentrate on Expression:
Expression is crucial. The perfect expression can change the entire mood of the photo. When you are creating a fine art portrait consider stretching on expression more than anything else. Make sure it is relevant to your perspective of the fine art project.
Tattoos are an amazing photography subject. It is suitable for fine art portrait photography too. Show it creatively through your photography skill to turn it into an art piece.
Choose Versatile Subjects:
If you do not like to put hard efforts into your photography, try to choose versatile subjects. It will make your photo memorable even without any special effect or editing. For example, take real-life pictures of different sorts of people. It can be a street singer or a local vendor in your area. Show their true appearance, dresses, accessories and body languages. This way you can have your fine art portrait without much turmoil.
Here ends the list of ideas and tips for fine art portrait photos. Now it is your turn to execute these ideas for your next project.