Jeff Jacobson Photography


Capturing Beauty in the Great Outdoors: Portrait Photography Techniques for Outdoor Settings

Outdoor portrait photography offers a canvas of endless possibilities, with natural light, stunning landscapes, and a vibrant backdrop. Whether you’re a seasoned photographer or just starting, mastering the art of outdoor portrait photography can take your skills to new heights. This article will explore some essential techniques to help you create captivating outdoor portraits.

1. Find the Perfect Lighting

When it comes to outdoor portraits, lighting is critical. The golden hours provide soft, warm, and flattering light shortly after sunrise and before sunset. Avoid the harsh midday sun, which can create unflattering shadows.

2. Choose the Right Location

Selecting the right outdoor setting can make or break your portrait. Consider the backdrop and its relevance to your subject.

3. Use a Wide Aperture (Low f-number)

A wide aperture, such as f/2.8 or lower, helps you achieve a beautiful background blur (bokeh) that separates your subject from the surroundings. This technique draws the viewer’s attention to the person you’re photographing, creating a captivating effect.

4. Mind the Composition

Compose your shot carefully. Follow the rule of thirds, experiment with framing, and consider the angle at which you shoot. Incorporating elements of the environment, like leading lines or natural frames, can add depth and interest to your portraits.

5. Interact with Your Subject

Communication is crucial in portrait photography. Establish a connection with your subject to capture genuine emotions and expressions. Encourage them to relax and be themselves and be prepared to take candid shots in between posed ones.


Outdoor portrait photography provides a dynamic and ever-changing backdrop for your subjects. By mastering lighting, choosing the right location, using a wide aperture, paying attention to composition, and building a rapport with your subject, you can create stunning outdoor portraits that tell unique and compelling stories.