Shoot Better Outdoor Portraits by NOT Making These 5 Basic Photo Mistakes (VIDEO)

Most of us improve our photography skills by studying both the do’s and the don’ts of our craft. In this quick tutorial, you’ll see how to make more creative outdoor portraits by avoiding five common mistakes, 

Manny Ortiz is a Chicago-based pro, and a popular instructor, specializing in street photography and portraiture. His five-minute video below is as much about creative thinking as it is about technique, and you’ll see how to up your portrait game simply by taking a fresh approach.

Ortiz’ first tip is for those of you who are creatures of habit and tend to fall in a rut. It may seem obvious, but Ortiz urges you to avoid beginning a shoot by returning to a favorite location. As comfortable as it may be to shoot in a place you know well, you’ll find that the creative juices start flowing when you confront an unfamiliar scene.

Ortiz also addresses a dilemma that frequently stifles the work of even experienced photographers; namely, a fear of making bad images. He says, “EVERYBODY takes bad photos, trust me,” noting that experimentation often leads to surprising successes—even though it occasionally results in failure. So keep shooting and forget about the duds.

The point of these and other tips in the video is this: If you value great portrait photos and natural poses, you must give yourself an opportunity to do things differently, develop a rapport with your model, and take a few chances. You really have nothing to lose!

There are more helpful tips on Ortiz’ YouTube channel, and in an earlier tutorial of his, explaining how to photograph two models together.