From the stiff studio portraits of the 19th century to causal street scenes of the 1960’s, picturing people has always been a popular subject in photography.

But what exactly makes a great portrait? Whether you’re looking to strike a formal pose or snap a candid selfie, keeping in mind a few key ideas will help your photos stand out. Check out the video below to learn more about how to creatively approach photographing people:


Looking for more inspiration? Stop by to check out MOPA’s newest exhibition Beyond Beauty: Irving Penn. Through a career in photography that spanned more than five decades, Penn brought a keen eye for style and detail in his approach to photographing people.

Feeling creative? Share your portrait with us @MOPASD!


Financial support is provided by the Gould Family Foundation and the City of San Diego.

For sponsorship or underwriting opportunities contact a member of the Development Team at or 619-238-7559 x300.