5 Portrait Photography Tips

How do you make an image tell a story? Be willing to break a few rules. See more pictures of cool camera stuff.
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If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a good portrait should read like an intimate biography. But how do you make a flat, static image tell a story? How do you infuse life into a frozen moment in time? What are the professional techniques that separate the drab awkwardness of a grade-school headshot from the power and beauty of a "National Geographic" cover?

The good news is that you don't need a lot expensive equipment to take great portrait photos. Many of the following photography tips that we've culled from experts and professionals are more about attitude than technique. How do you get your subject to relax and smile naturally? How do you choose a setting that adds depth and meaning to the image? The best tip of all is to be creative and experiment. The most memorable portraits are more than straight documentation, but expressive works of art.

Let's start with a classic portrait photography conundrum: To pose or not to pose?