Following up on my last post about how to take beautiful portraits every time…I wanted to go over my 4 fav lenses for shooting people. Lenses play an integral part in creating the perfect portrait shot and the 4 below are absolutely fantastic! Each one has its own features which makes it a great choice…so I hope this little post helps you when deciding which lens to add to your kit next.

Sigma 50mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens for Canon 

First up is the classic 50mm. (Sigma 50mm f/1.4 art lens).  If you are looking to ad your first pro lens to your kit, this should be the one. It is incredibly versatile and can work for pretty much any shoot situation. Its neither too wide or too zoomed and sits at the perfect starting point. As it is a 50mm lens, on a full frame camera it will allow you to shoot both full length and mid length portraits very comfortably while still giving you a nice bokeh. I chose to feature the Sigma 50mm art lens (instead of the canon) to show there are some amazing other brands out there creating lenses that can be adapted to use on any camera body. (I am an avid canon shooter but use this sigma lens a lot.) It also is a very sharp lens, focuses fast and creates a beautiful bokeh background.

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM

Next on my list I want to talk about is the Canon 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. This is a GREAT lens to have on your camera. It is a zoom lens so allows you to shoot from 70-200mm focal lengths and everything in between. This can really be beneficial when on shoot as you can get multiple compositions of the same shot without having to change your position. I think this lens is especially fantastic if you want to shoot weddings as its super handy to have that zoom feature and still have great quality glass that takes a beautiful shot. Also when shooting at 200mm you get a super beautiful bokeh and separation of the subject from the background)

Canon EF 85mm f/1.2L II USM Camera Lens

My FAVOURITE portrait lens ever and pièce de résistance of this line up would have to be the Canon 85mm f/1.2 lens! Funnily enough…I don’t actually shoot with this lens much…its kind of like when you buy a super expensive bag or pair of shoes and never wear them because they are just that special. The Bokeh on this lens when shooting wide open at f1.2 is so creamy and beautiful you can’t help but fall in love. Its a true portrait photographers lens and is also amazing for weddings. Its amazing for shooting both mid and close up shots and as long as you focus on the subjects eyes and make sure they are sharp then the rest of the image falls into place in a dreamy cloud around it. Its a beast and but a beautiful one at that

Canon EF 100mm F2.8L IS USM Macro Lens

The ultimate portrait lens for shooting beauty is the 100mm macro lens! Its perfect for those close up shots and because its a macro lens you can get in ultra close for those details. The lens focuses fast, isn’t too heavy and is tack sharp. Its a fantastic lens, and if beauty is what you want to shoot then this is the best one for you to start with. It also takes great shots further from the subject so can be used for more than just beauty work. When shooting with this lens you will usually shoot at a higher F stop so you can bring in more detail when shooting close up on the face.

Sigma 105mm f/1.4 DG HSM Art Lens

I also want to give an honourable mention to the Sigma 105mm f/1.4 art lens! I have only shot with this lens once so far but it is a total beast. Not only its size is impressive but the soft and creamy bokeh is a treat too! I need to shoot with this lens a bit more till I can make my final verdict, as it is definitely a specialty lens and not something you would have on your camera everyday…but if you are a portrait photographer looking for an amazing prime lens on the longer focal length side (and are feeling a little extra haha)…you will not be disappointed with this one!


Beautiful portrait photography is both an skill and art. When done right it can produce stunning imagery. So if you want to stop asking how, and start taking better images today… here are know my top 5 tips for to take beautiful portraits every time.



 First thing to put your mind to when shooting portraits is the Frame of the image…what do you want to capture? What else, besides your subject are you looking to show?!  Where will your subject fit within the frame and what are you going to focus on. Is it a full length shot or a close up?  Search your surroundings for the ideal background then place your subject into the scene and start snapping. 


Lighting is one of the most important factors in creating beautiful portraits. And it is something that you should give a lot of thought to when taking your photo. Search your surroundings and analyse the lighting. From there you can decide on the most flattering light available and utilize it…or get creative and use light in a way to bring drama or a creative twist to your frame. Seek out the light  if you are indoors and bring your models into it. (e.g. using window light) If you are outdoors you need to work with the light depending on your surrounds and time of day. 


Portrait photography is all about the person within the frame. So you want to make them the focus or ‘centre of attention’. To get the best out of your portrait shots you also want to make the subject as comfortable as possible. Be confident and this will make them feel at ease. Have a conversation and even get them laughing. This will help you create a really genuine and natural shot.


It’s all in the eyes as they say, and with portraits this rings true. Decide weather you want your model looking directly into the camera or away and what kind of mood you want to invoke.  Focusing on your models eyes and making sure they are sharp in camera is also extremely important. Even if you are shooting at a shallow depth of field and  have other parts of the image out of focus, as long as the eyes are sharp, the viewer will be drawn in.


Editing and colour toning your final images ads as much to the image as everything I mentioned above. Even just a subtle colour grade on an image can take it from basic to professional. So if you are wanting to take stunning portraits, the power of editing should not be dismissed. You can achieve amazing results editing with professional programs like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. There are also a number of amazing editing apps available right on your phone which give you amazing editing tools at your fingertips.

Example image edited with Professional software Adobe Lightroom with my pro presets CREATIVE COLOUR PRESETS

Example image edited with the app COLOURTONE on iPhone