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The Magic of Outdoor Photography. Why Nature Makes the Perfect Backdrop for Your Portraits.

Updated: Nov 21, 2023


a beautiful woman laid on a big tree

In this post, I'm sharing my personal opinions, expert advice, and innovative ideas for capturing stunning outdoor portraits. Whether you're a model, a photographer, or just a lover of outdoor photography, these tips and tricks are sure to take your skills to the next level. Read my answers on the most frequently asked questions!

What are the benefits of outdoor portrait photoshoot?


Outdoor portrait photography offers a rare chance to capture the true essence of human nature against the backdrop of natural beauty. By placing individuals within the context of nature, we can better comprehend our holistic relationship with the world around us. The magic, inspiration, and motivation of outdoor portrait photography are simply unparalleled. Ready for an exciting outdoor adventure with your camera? Keep reading;)

- Variety of subjects for your outdoor portrait compositions and ideas: Outdoor portrait photography offers a wide range of subjects to capture as a part of your composition , from wildlife and landscapes to other people and architecture. It provides endless possibilities for creativity and inspiration, as no two outdoor locations are the same. Vibrant flora and fauna are idyllic elements for desired compositions or original ideas. Outdoor photography provides you with a free natural storage where you can find everything you need from vibrant flowers and towering trees to graceful animals and exotic insects; nature is full of life and diversity.


- Natural lighting and colours:

When it comes to outdoor portrait photography, natural lighting and colours can make all the difference. With no need for batteries or bulky equipment, outdoor photographers can harness the power of free natural light to capture stunning images. From dramatic shadows to vibrant colours, the sun's rays can enhance the beauty of any subject. Plus, the unique lighting during golden and blue hours is impossible to replicate in indoor studios. And with changing colours and lighting throughout the day and seasons, outdoor photography offers a wide range of emotions and moods to convey through your images.


- Adventure and exploration: Outdoor photography offers a unique opportunity to capture stunning images that are full of adventure and excitement. Whether you're hiking to remote locations or waking up early to catch the sunrise, the thrill of exploration adds to the beauty and allure of your photoshoot. Being outdoors also has physical benefits, as the fresh air and exercise can stimulate blood circulation and enhance your appearance. Even a gentle breeze can create a natural, effortless look in your hair, adding a touch of realism to your portraits.


- Storytelling: Outdoor photography has the power to convey a meaningful narrative about the subject, the location, and the photographer's journey. It can capture a moment in time, evoke emotions, and transport the viewer to another place. Utilising your own familiar surroundings, such as your home, city, or local beach or river, can add a personal touch to your life story within your outdoor portrait. - Free perfect backdrops with natural patterns and textures:

The natural world provides free and perfect backdrops with unique patterns and textures, from the detailed intricacy of a leaf to the smooth surfaces of a coastline. Incorporating these natural elements into your composition can provide endless inspiration for artistic ideas and photo techniques.


How to shoot outdoor portraits?


It's important to approach outdoor portrait photography with a unique strategy, distinct from general outdoor or indoor portrait photography. To help you achieve stunning results, I've compiled a list of essential tips and techniques for building your composition, preparing for your session, and capturing breathtaking outdoor portraits: 1. Pay attention to lighting: Choose the best time of day for shooting to utilize the most flattering natural light. The golden or blue hours might be the best time for portraits.


2. Use a shallow depth of field: Blur the background to make the subject stand out.


3. Choose a suitable location: Pick a spot that complements the subject and adds visual interest.


4. Consider the weather: Be prepared for changes in the weather and bring the necessary gear.


5. Communicate with the subject: Establish a good rapport with the subject and give clear directions.


6. Bring props: Props can add visual interest and tell the subject's story.


7. Dress or undress appropriately: Choose appropriate clothing that complements the location and the subject. If you consider outdoor artistic nude photograph, find a secure remote place for shooting.


8. Capturing a genuine facial expression from your subject is key to creating an engaging portrait. Talk to them, make them laugh, and try to capture their personality and spirit in the photo.


9. When capturing outdoor portraits, it is important to direct your subject and encourage them to change poses. To add an element of playfulness, suggest dance moves or other movements that can be mimicked. By doing so, you can capture dynamic and engaging photos that showcase the subject's body, personality and charm.


10. Edit carefully: Take the time to edit the photos carefully, avoiding excessive filters and edits that may make the photos look artificial.


How to build outdoor portrait composition?


When building a composition for outdoor portrait photography, it's important to consider the environment and how it can enhance the subject. Here are some my tips to help you create a stunning composition:


1.Use the rule of thirds: Divide your frame into thirds horizontally and vertically and place your subject at the intersections to create a more visually interesting composition.


2. Look for leading lines: Use natural elements like roads, paths, and fences to guide the viewer's eye towards the subject.


3. Incorporate the environment: Include elements of the environment, such as trees or water, to add depth and interest to the composition.


4. Pay attention to balance: Make sure the elements in the frame are balanced to create a harmonious and pleasing composition.


5. Use framing: Use natural elements like branches or archways to frame the subject and draw the viewer's eye towards them.


6. Experiment with angles: Try shooting from different angles and heights to add variety to the composition.


7. Consider the background: Make sure the background complements the subject and doesn't distract from them.


8. Use negative space: Allow some empty space around the subject to create a more minimalist and impactful composition.


9. Think about colour: Use the colours of the environment and the subject's clothing to create a cohesive and visually appealing composition.


10. Keep it simple: Don't overcomplicate the composition with too many elements or distracting details. Keep it simple and focused on the subject.

My conclusion:


Outdoor portrait photography offers numerous benefits. The natural lighting and surroundings can enhance the beauty and mood of the photo, while also providing a unique and personalised backdrop for the subject. Additionally, outdoor portraits provide a sense of freedom and openness, allowing the subject to relax and be themselves, resulting in more natural and authentic expressions. Lastly, outdoor portraits offer a great opportunity for photographers to experiment with different compositions, poses, and angles, resulting in truly unique and memorable images. Outdoor portrait photography is a great way to capture the beauty and essence of your subject in a natural and compelling way.


If you want a unique natural photography, please contact us. Together we will take great pictures. With each session a whole bunch of great emotions is always guaranteed!


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