5 Easy Ways to Get Great Portraits with a 50mm Lens (VIDEO)

There's a reason they call a 50mm lens the "nifty fifty." A 50 mil is just an incredibly versatile prime lens that's easy to use and, often, affordably priced.

But are you getting the most out of your 50mm lens, especially when you're using it to shoot portraits? If not, portrait pro Julia Trotti has some great advice in the video below that features her "five easy 50mm portrait photography composition tips."

#1 Tell a Story

"It's super easy to take a couple of steps forwards and back to capture a set of images to tell a story," Trotti explains. "While I'm shooting, I barely need to pause the shoot to be able to go from close up to a full body shot while using a 50mm lens. When you're getting movement photos, I think it's really important not to stop or distract from the flow of the shoot and a 50 prime can really help achieve that while still capturing a variety of photos."

#2 Utilize Angles in Your Location

"Something I really like about the 50mm, in particular, is that you don't need a huge location to be able to capture a variety of portraits with interesting backgrounds. I like to start by finding one spot and then making the most of shooting from different angles to make each shot look different."

#3 Experiment with Busy Backgrounds

"My next composition tip is that with a 50mm focal length you can make use of busy looking backgrounds for interesting portraits. This works especially well with a fast 50. For these portraits I'm shooting wide open at f/1.4."

#4 Switch Orientation

"On a 50mm lens I also like switching from portrait to landscape orientation really often while I'm shooting, which you can already see me doing a lot throughout this photo shoot. "

#5 Make Use of Light

"In the portrait photos I've taken with and without negative space the background looks really busy and I make use of light to help the subject stand out. "

Check out the video below and if you're looking for more ways to get the most out of a 50mm lens, watch our own Shutterbug video with seven reasons why a 50mm lens is all you need for great photography.