Tips and tricks to nail a perfect portrait on a sub-$500 Oppo Reno 11 Pro and put those $1500 flagships to shame

Tips and tricks to nail a perfect portrait on a sub-$500 Oppo Reno 11 Pro and put those $1500 flagsh
In photography, practice makes perfect, but a little studying never killed nobody. If you’re interested in (mobile) photography, you’ll have to find the fine balance between imitation and innovation. Apart from the prodigy cases out there who take stunning photos just like that, the rest of us need to scan and examine the works of others.

It’s very important to be inspired and imitate, but beware becoming a mere imitator– in theory, one could learn how to take portraits exactly like Helmut Newton, but of what good is that!? At the end of the day, you won’t be Helmut Newton, you’ll be just another copycat in a copycat world.

That’s why it is crucial to learn new photography tips and tricks, but know how and when to twist them or disregard them completely.

Without learning new techniques, you may rock your latest iPhone Pro Max, or your latest Galaxy S Ultra for years and get mediocre, if not pathetic results. Yes, practice makes perfect, and eventually you’ll get better and better with time passing… but why not take a shortcut, learn a couple of things and boost your game?

The best part is that you don’t need a flagship that will cost you an arm and a leg to get better at photography. Nope, in fact, let’s exclude the $500-$1000 category, as well as the devices over $1000.

The Oppo Reno 11 Pro is a sub-$500 handset that will not eclipse a true flagship; it packs a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 chipset, coupled with 12GB of RAM. There’s a 6.74-inch OLED display with 2772 x 1240 pixels resolution. Released at the end of November 2023, the phone is powered by a 4,700 mAh battery that features 80W fast charging support.

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There’s a triple camera setup: a main camera that incorporates the Sony IMX890 sensor (that’s what the Nothing Phone (2) packs as well for its main camera), along with a dedicated 32-megapixel portrait camera with 2x optical zoom (the sensor used here is the Sony IMX709) and an 8-megapixel ultrawide shooter.

Before you go “meh” and disregard this setup, check out what the Oppo Reno 11 Pro can do in professional hands:

These are part of Oppo’s collaboration with several photographers for a project called “The First Portraits in 2024” – they’re all shot after the Lunar New Year in China Towns around the world:

Andreas P. Verrios, also known as mrnycsubway has achieved notoriety for engaging with strangers to create incidental, intimate portraits amidst a New York City backdrop. Here's what he achieved with the help of a beautiful strange and the Reno11 Pro:

The promised tips and tricks

Yes, all of the above examples are extremely well crafted and are made by professionals. The light is perfect, the subject is perfect, everything is polished and refined.

You’ll not get such results right away, and that’s a good thing – the joy of succeeding after the initial failures is far greater than triumphing at the start.

However, there are a number of tips and tricks in portrait photography – it’s up to you to find what works for you, and what doesn’t.

Oppo has a “Shoot Stunning Portraits with Reno11 Pro” guide that’s quite detailed and does not present you with banal, unpractical advices; in contrast, the guide, outlined by three professional photographers, tells you how to get warm and intimate ambient light, or why experimenting with different angles and intensities to find the perfect harmony that tells your story is crucial.

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