Different types of Portraits

There are so many different types of portraits, but more often than not I find myself falling into a rut and only taking the same portraits over and over again.

Creatively, it’s boring. Plus, my clients don’t love these traditional portraits as much as some of the more candid shots I take.  

I’m going to challenge you to take one of all of these types of portraits over the next week.

But before we get to that…


Self-portraits are one of my favorite different types of portraits because you get to present all sides of your artwork. You’re the photographer, but you’re also the model. You’re controlling the shot and controlling the mood. 

People have also explored such a wide range of self-portraits. One of my favorite self-portrait pieces in recent years was the man who took a photo of himself every day for over a decade.

Candid Portraits

This is an easy to practice portrait because you can snap candid portraits in the middle of traditional portrait shoots.  

The best candid portraits showcase the personalities of your subject.

If your subject is serious, picture them staring off into the distance. If they’re full of joy, grab a pic of them laughing.  

No matter how shy your model might be, they’ll be thrilled to have photos of them that show them what they look like to the outside world. 

Newborn Portraits

If I’m honest, this is one of my least favorite different types of portraits because babies are very difficult to pose, and parents of newborns can be a lot to handle depending upon their personalities.

But, newborn portraits allow photographers to practice a slew of techniques you never otherwise would, including immense patience, creating composite images, and working on a tiny scale. 

Plus, it should be relatively easy for you to find a newborn to photograph.

Environmental Portraits

I don’t love the term “environmental portraits,” but I do love the artform. Calling them “environmental portraits” makes me think that nature somehow needs to be involved in the photos, but that’s not what this means. 

Environmental portraits just allow you to capture your subject in their environment… wherever they feel most comfortable. This can be a cityscape.

The environment that you choose (and really the environment your subject chooses) should highlight something about themselves, whether that’s a particular love they have or something larger about their personality.

Pro Tip: When shooting an environmental portrait, ask your subject questions about themselves before you scout locations. This will prevent any costly, last-minute changes.

No Matter What Portrait You’re Shooting, You Need a Gorgeous Print

One of the easiest upsells I have in my product list is a canvas print from CanvasHQ. Canvas prints are relatively inexpensive, but they last a lifetime. 

And, when you purchase canvases from CanvasHQ, your frame is handcrafted, your portrait is hand-stretched and only the best inks are used to ensure the longevity of your portrait.