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How to Take a Woman's Portrait

Taking a woman’s portrait isn’t just about photographic skill, it’s about flattery.


  • Step 1: Find her good side While introducing yourself to your subject, take a good look at her facial characteristics from all sides – identify her 'good side.'
  • Step 2: Flatter her Flatter her. Anything works – even ridiculous compliments. The goal is to keep her relaxed and bring out sincere smiles.
  • Step 3: Decide which features to minimize Quickly decide on what features you want to minimize or enhance.
  • Step 4: Promise the subject that it will go fast Inform your subject that you only want to do a few distinct setups and you won’t take up much of her time.
  • Step 5: Select backdrop Select your backdrop.
  • TIP: To isolate the subject from the background, use a long telephoto lens at the widest aperture possible, and stand a minimum of 10 to 15 feet in front of the subject making sure she fills the frame.
  • Step 6: Flatter her more Flatter her some more. Ask her about something, and agree enthusiastically with her reply.
  • Step 7: Give a quick explanation Pick your camera up and explain to your subject how you intend to work.
  • Step 8: Set up camera Select the appropriate film, aperture and shutter speed for your lighting conditions.
  • Step 9: Compose and meter your shot Compose and meter your shot. Keep up a friendly, flattering banter to relax her.
  • Step 10: Shoot quickly Shoot as fast as humanly possible, from a variety of distances and angles. Start at a greater distance from your subject, letting her, 'warm up to the camera,' then gradually work your way in closer.
  • Step 11: Flatter her even more Make sure you add on a few more compliments. If you can get a normal woman to feel like a supermodel, just imagine how easy it’ll be when you get a subject who’s actually gorgeous.
  • FACT: Women spend almost twice as much on average annually as men do on clothing, beauty and grooming products, and accessories.

You Will Need

  • A single-lens reflex camera
  • A female subject
  • And a hurricane of compliments
  • Backdrop

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