14 portrait photography tips you'll never want to forget

Essential advice to shoot your best portraits

11. Using fill flash on sunny days

Fill in flash portraits

Although it may seem odd to use flash when the sun's out, that's precisely the time when you should use it!

The sun can cause all sorts of problems for portrait photographers: harsh shadows across faces, unbalanced exposures and burnt-out highlights.

Use a bit of 'fill flash' and you'll instantly improve your portraits; your camera will capture a much more balanced exposure, because your flash will light up your subject while the camera exposes for the background.

12. Get a dedicated flashgun

dedicated flashgun

A dedicated flashgun (or often referred to as a speedlight or speedlite) is much more powerful than the built-in one that's on your camera, which means a brighter burst of light, enabling you to set smaller apertures to capture more depth of field, or to light up a group of people.

You also have more control over its settings, and you can angle it up or sideways to bounce the light off ceilings and walls.

13. Fire your flashgun remotely

Off camera flash

A flashgun is detachable and can be fired via a cable, wirelessly using a remote control attached to your hotshoe or many camera systems let you trigger a compatible flashgun via your camera's built-in flash.

Taking your flash off you camera can transform your results, allowing you to sculpt the light for much more professional results.

You can also use two flashes in unison for more complex lighting set-ups. Using a remote trigger will enable you to fire one flash, to act at the 'master', which in turn will fire the second 'slave' flash unit at the same time.

14. Get artistic with flash lighting

Off camera flash

Equipped with a flashgun, remote triggers and a good-sized diffuser, you open up the possibility of a vast array of clever and cool lighting set-ups.

Light your subjects from the side to add drama to your portraits, and get creative by under-exposing the sky or background, dialling in -2 stops of Exposure Compensation to capture a moody backdrop behind your subjects.