You can take a lot of spec­tac­u­lar pho­tos in the city. More­over, the loca­tion can be any: near the build­ing, in the park, in the sub­way or in the under­pass. But what is the right way to take a por­trait? We have already pub­lished a detailed guide on how to take a beau­ti­ful pho­to with a pro­fes­sion­al cam­era on our blog. And today we will show you how to take a por­trait of a man and a woman on the street using a smart­phone.

Every­one can make a beau­ti­ful por­trait on a smart­phone. Pho­to: www.pxhere.com

Tak­ing a por­trait on the sub­way
Styl­ish out­door por­trait — how to frame from below
Por­trait of a man on a city street
How to take a panoram­ic por­trait with a tall build­ing in the back­ground
Shoot­ing a por­trait in the under­pass
Por­trait of a girl out­doors in win­ter
Idea for a por­trait in front of a build­ing in the city
Beau­ti­ful por­trait with the moon
Tips for shoot­ing por­traits on a smart­phone in the city

Taking a portrait on the subway

The metro is a very atmos­pher­ic place. No won­der it is used for film­ing by mag­a­zines and famous pho­tog­ra­phers (Walk­er Evans, David Berdeni). And it is in the sub­way that you can make a cin­e­mat­ic shot. It, after min­i­mal pro­cess­ing, will not be ashamed to upload it to your favorite social net­work.

Loca­tion — under­ground.

What you need: only smart­phone.

  • The mod­el must be placed at a dis­tance of a cou­ple of meters from the pho­tog­ra­ph­er. From it to the train car should be about the same dis­tance.
  • To cre­ate a pho­to, you need the Adobe Light­room appli­ca­tion. We have already talked about it in a selec­tion of cool pho­to edit­ing apps.
  • You need to click on the cam­era icon locat­ed in the low­er right cor­ner.
  • The next step is to set the shut­ter speed to 1/40–1/25.
  • It remains to wait for the pass­ing train and take a pho­to.

The result will be a spec­tac­u­lar shot where the mod­el will be in focus, and the train will be “blurred”.

Read also:
TOP 7 best pho­to edit­ing soft­ware for smart­phones

As a result, you will get a pho­to with a sim­i­lar effect. Pho­to: pexels.com

What can be added to the photo

  • To get a more inter­est­ing frame, you can use col­or accents. For exam­ple, mul­ti-col­ored LEDs that can illu­mi­nate the face of the mod­el on one side. The main thing is to place the light source so that it illu­mi­nates the mod­el a lit­tle, but does not blind the dri­ver.
  • After shoot­ing, you can process the appli­ca­tion imme­di­ate­ly in Adobe Light­room. For exam­ple, add an inter­est­ing effect or a styl­ish sig­na­ture.

Stylish outdoor portrait — how to frame from below

You can take a styl­ish pho­to at any time. But how to put the mod­el cor­rect­ly?

Every­thing is sim­ple. To get a cool pho­to, you just need to flip your smart­phone!

Loca­tion — any.

What you need: only smart­phone.

  • You need to ask the mod­el to sit down. In this case, the weight must be trans­ferred to the back leg, and the oth­er should be extend­ed in front of you.
  • The pho­tog­ra­ph­er needs to turn the phone over, bring it ver­ti­cal­ly to the ground. And take a pic­ture.

If your smart­phone has a wide-angle cam­era, it is bet­ter to turn it on. You can do this, for exam­ple, in Set­tings or in Pro mode. Every phone is dif­fer­ent.

Why turn on the wide-angle cam­era?

  • It allows you to fit more objects into the frame.
  • The pho­to looks more pro­fes­sion­al — the main sub­ject is more accen­tu­at­ed in the frame.
  • You can play with scale. Wide-angle optics dis­tort the pro­por­tions of objects. Any­thing close to the cam­era appears larg­er. What is fur­ther away is small­er.
The first pho­to is an exam­ple of how to flip a smart­phone. The sec­ond and third are pos­si­ble out­comes. Illus­tra­tion: Tik­Tok chan­nel danrock777

Portrait of a man on a city street

Loca­tion — a place near a beau­ti­ful wall. Beau­ti­ful brick­work and a mir­ror sur­face look cool from this angle. There­fore, you can choose accord­ing to your taste.

What you need: only smart­phone.

The task is to place the sub­ject in such a way that it leans against the wall, but does not stand right next to it with its entire body. The pose should not be too tight. No need to lean your hip against the wall. Oth­er­wise, you will get an unnat­ur­al and con­strained pose. You need to stand at a dis­tance of about 30–50 cm from the wall and lean on it com­fort­ably.

The mod­el’s gaze should not be direct­ed clear­ly to the cam­era, but to the side. If a per­son looks direct­ly at the pho­tog­ra­ph­er, it will also look not quite nat­ur­al. And the task is to take a nat­ur­al pic­ture.

The smart­phone must be leaned against the wall in order to cap­ture part of it in the frame.

On the left is an exam­ple of how not to shoot. On the right is an exam­ple of a good por­trait. Illus­tra­tion: Tik­Tok chan­nel danrock777

How to take a panoramic portrait with a tall building in the background

Loca­tion — next to a tall build­ing. With the help of this tech­nique, we cap­ture both the mod­el girl and the build­ing itself in the frame.

What you need: smart­phone with the abil­i­ty to take a panoram­ic pic­ture.

What should I do if there is no panoram­ic pho­to in the cam­era set­tings? The iPhone does­n’t have this prob­lem. But own­ers of Android phones may face this. The solu­tion is to use the HD Cam­era app.


  • launch the appli­ca­tion;
  • click on the cam­era icon in the low­er left cor­ner;
  • choose a curved pic­ture;
  • to start panoram­ic shoot­ing, you need to press the big blue but­ton in the cen­ter.
How to use the HD Cam­era app. Illus­tra­tion: Eliza­ve­ta Chupiko­va, Photostore.Expert

What is the hack

How to shoot such a por­trait on a city street? The phone must be rotat­ed hor­i­zon­tal­ly. This will help to shoot a panora­ma not hor­i­zon­tal­ly, but ver­ti­cal­ly. Now from the bot­tom up you need to smooth­ly raise the cam­era to cap­ture both the mod­el and the entire build­ing that ris­es behind it.

The first pho­to is an exam­ple of how not to shoot. The sec­ond is how to deploy the cam­era. The third is an exam­ple of a fin­ished pho­to. Illus­tra­tion: Tik­Tok chan­nel nikazen

Shooting a portrait in the underpass

There is an opin­ion that in cities with monot­o­nous archi­tec­ture it is dif­fi­cult to take a non-stan­dard por­trait. This is not true. Much depends on the imag­i­na­tion of the pho­tog­ra­ph­er. Indeed, even in an ordi­nary under­ground pas­sage, you can take a pic­ture that you are not ashamed to post on social net­works.

Loca­tion — under­ground cross­ing.

What you need: smart­phone and a round lamp on the ceil­ing.

  • Posi­tion the mod­el direct­ly under the light source.
  • Now you need to lock the expo­sure focus and drag the slid­er down to make the pho­to as dark as pos­si­ble. The light source should stand out bright­ly and illu­mi­nate the face of the mod­el.

You can make a pho­to more inter­est­ing by apply­ing your favorite fil­ter to it.

The first pho­to is an exam­ple of how not to shoot. The sec­ond is how you can adjust the expo­sure. The third is an exam­ple of a fin­ished pho­to. Illus­tra­tion: Tik­Tok chan­nel danrock777

Portrait of a girl outdoors in winter

You can take such a por­trait not only in win­ter. But we will show an exam­ple of win­ter pho­tog­ra­phy.

Loca­tion — a park.

What you need: smart­phone, tree with beau­ti­ful branch­es. A spruce with fluffy beau­ti­ful “paws” or a flow­er­ing tree is suit­able.


  • put the mod­el behind a tree, at a dis­tance of 2–3 meters;
  • in the fore­ground there should be branch­es that frame the mod­el itself.

This pho­to can also be tak­en by turn­ing on the wide-angle cam­era. In this case, more objects will fall into the frame and it will look more dynam­ic.

The first pho­to is an exam­ple of how not to shoot. The sec­ond is an exam­ple of how the mod­el can be posi­tioned. The third is an exam­ple of a fin­ished pho­to. Illus­tra­tion: Tik­Tok chan­nel danrock777

Idea for a portrait in front of a building in the city

Now we will show anoth­er life hack that will help you take an inter­est­ing pho­to against the back­ground of the build­ing.

Loca­tion — city, area in front of the build­ing.

What you need: smart­phone.

A famil­iar tech­nique is used here. You need to turn on the widescreen cam­era, rotate the phone 180 degrees. Now it needs to be placed on the floor.

The dif­fer­ence from the method described ear­li­er is that the smart­phone must not be held strict­ly ver­ti­cal­ly. It should be tilt­ed away from the sub­ject so that the entire build­ing is in the frame. The angle of incli­na­tion depends on the height of the build­ing.

The first pho­to is an exam­ple of how not to shoot. The sec­ond is how to deploy the cam­era. The third is an exam­ple of a fin­ished pho­to. Illus­tra­tion: Tik­Tok chan­nel danrock777

Beautiful portrait with the moon

Loca­tion — sub­urb, high ground above the city.

What you need: smart­phone, lamp in the form of the moon.

The task is to place the mod­el so that it is on a hill. It is bet­ter to use an addi­tion­al light source. You can put it next to the pho­tog­ra­ph­er. But if it is not there, then you can get by with the light from the moon-lamp.

Mod­els need to take the lamp in their hands. It can be lift­ed so that it seems that she takes the moon out of the sky. You will get a spec­tac­u­lar and non-stan­dard por­trait against the back­drop of a burn­ing city at night.

A lamp in the shape of the moon is an unusu­al and spec­tac­u­lar prop. Illus­tra­tion: YouTube chan­nel Kan­bokeh

Tips for shooting portraits on a smartphone in the city

  • por­trait mode. An option for the lazy — if you don’t want to delve into the set­tings. With this mode, the back­ground will turn out a lit­tle blur­ry. And all atten­tion will be focused on the mod­el.
  • Grid tool. It divides the frame into 9 parts (3 hor­i­zon­tal­ly and 3 ver­ti­cal­ly). Mod­els are best placed on the lines (which divide the frame) and their inter­sec­tions. It is on these points that the view­er focus­es, and not on the cen­ter of the pho­to. The grid is super­im­posed on the image and it is eas­i­er for the pho­tog­ra­ph­er to choose the best angle for the frame.
  • por­trait lens. An addi­tion­al lens on a smart­phone is a more bud­get solu­tion than a new phone with a good cam­era. And it will great­ly improve the qual­i­ty of the shoot­ing.
  • Use addi­tion­al equip­ment. LED bulbs, flash­lights, gar­lands. All this will make the pho­to more unusu­al.
  • Non-stan­dard angles. You can take pic­tures not only direct­ly. This can be done from below, from above, from the side.

You can take a beau­ti­ful por­trait pho­to in any city. It is enough to turn on the fan­ta­sy and find a spec­tac­u­lar angle. We hope the arti­cle was help­ful. And the described ideas will help you make beau­ti­ful and non-stan­dard pho­tos.


От Yara

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