Home photo studios: how to shoot pro-quality portraits with a basic studio kit

Professional tips for creative portrait photography

Family Portraits: 10 tips for setting up your home photo studio

We've talked here about the practicalities of shooting using a basic studio set-up, but the creative aspects are just as important. Look through magazines, go to art galleries or look at the work of photographers you respect, and make a note of styles, poses, colours, tones and textures that you like the look of to create a mood board. You should take this along with you as a point of reference.

Break the ice
Try and make the time to have a conversation with - or better still, meet - your subject before the day of the shoot. Whether you're attempting a fashion shoot, a family portrait or a corporate headshot, it'll help break the ice so you'll both feeling more comfortable on the day. You could even collaborate on creating your mood board: it'll help manage their expectations too.

Try not to get hung up on preconceived ideas of what a good portrait should look like. For example, a big beaming smile doesn't always create the best image. A more thoughtful, pensive expression can create a more powerful image, as we've done here.