Alpha Universe Story Detail
Alpha Universe Story Detail
5 Portrait-focused Photography Tips

By Lauryn Ishak

1. Stay engaged with your subject 

There is more that goes behind a well-captured portrait. A good start is by interacting with the subject such as having a conversation with him or her to ease them into being in front of the camera.  

Talking with your subject establishes a more personal connection for revealing portraits, as shown by this shot captured by Sony's Alpha 7R III.

Alpha 7R III | FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS | 90 mm | 1/500 sec | F5 | ISO 400

2. Take advantage of the Live View

Instead of the viewfinder, I find shooting with the Live View extremely helpful, especially during an informal session. This allows me to keep the subject more engaged and it also keeps them relaxed. The quick focusing and burst mode are also great for catching moments you might miss. 

The Alpha 7R III’s Live View helps to keep subjects relaxed and engaged during shoots.

Alpha 7R III | FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM | 24 mm | 1/40 sec | F2.8 | ISO 6400

3. Don’t underestimate Eye AF

The Eye AF on the Alpha 7R III is powerful and essential. This function has gotten me shots that would have been unusable when I’m shooting under time constraint. I know that I can depend on it.

A pavilion in Vietnam bathed in soft natural light, captured by Sony's Alpha 7R III with SEL2470GM.

Alpha 7R III | FE 24-70mm F2.8 GM | 30 mm | 1/1250 sec | F3.2 | ISO 400

4. Invest in Sony’s FE 90mm F2.8 macro lens

I love using the FE 90mm F2.8 as a portrait lens. It’s a fast and high-performing lens with beautiful bokeh and built-in Optical Steady Shot Image Stabilization. The FE 85mm F1.4 is also an ideal lens that can go even faster. However, I find that I rarely shoot portraits at F2.8, at the very least F3.5 or F4 to ensure focus on my subject. But what I love about the FE 90mm F2.8 the most is its versatility. It is also perfect for close-up shots should one need that option. For me, I use the lens for the bulk of my food photography.

Sony’s FE 90mm F2.8 macro lens is versatile for portraits and close-up shots seen in food photography.

Alpha 7R III | FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS | 90 mm | 1/125 sec | F4 | ISO 400

5. Play around with the APS crop 

At times, I love using the APS crop to get extra length in my portraits. Sometimes, the APS just gets the frame crop exactly the right way, something even some lenses cannot achieve. 

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of Sony Singapore.

Lauryn’s Gear
Alpha 7R III


FE 90mm F2.8 Macro G OSS


FE 85mm F1.4 GM