Photography

Pay Tribute to a Woman You Admire with an
Inspirational Portrait

How to take a portrait, add illustrations and truly capture her greatness.

Three energetic portraits of a diverse group of women with digital illustrations added on top. Three energetic portraits of a diverse group of women with digital illustrations added on top.

A stunning portrait can make your hero look as inspiring to the world as she does to you every day. That’s why, for International Women’s Day, we want to make it easy for you to create a portrait using basic portrait photography tips, illustration tricks and the Galaxy S21 Ultra. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to transform a photo of your favorite lady into an extraordinary portrait—one to frame, give as a gift or share on social media.

1

Choose your hero

To start, we asked New York-based fashion photographer Kristen Walther (@kwaltherphoto) to shoot portraits of three women who inspire her. She immediately embraced the assignment, saying how exciting it was to “not only photograph someone you admire, but to get the chance to let them know that.” Think about the rock star women in your own life—whether they’re close friends, co-workers or even just casual acquaintances you really appreciate. Who do you think deserves a shout-out?

A woman in a gold shirt and jeans poses glamorously in front of a shiny backdrop. A woman in a gold shirt and jeans poses glamorously in front of a shiny backdrop.

Shital, Entrepreneur

“I find Shital so inspiring because of her strength and drive,” Walther says. “She’s not only broken through personal cultural boundaries but also broke into a traditional ‘man’s world’ to become a successful businesswoman.” Walther’s favorite part of this portrait is how Shital’s inner light and strength radiate outward. The color of her top and Portrait Mode (with a blur of 4) amplify that effect.

A woman in a green coat with bright red hair and a black furry hat poses in front of a brick wall. A woman in a green coat with bright red hair and a black furry hat poses in front of a brick wall.

Jennifer, Nurse

“Jennifer is a psych nurse who helps kids who’ve gone through trauma or who have intellectual disabilities,” Walther says. “It’s not an easy job, and every day she tackles it with dedication, compassion and selflessness.” Walther likes how this portrait captures Jennifer’s kindness and strength. “I also love her style, which shows off her playful, bold side.”

A woman in a sweater, jeans, and a bright red cape poses joyfully in front of a turquoise wall. A woman in a sweater, jeans, and a bright red cape poses joyfully in front of a turquoise wall.

Kalae, Model

“Kalae’s confidence, her ability to be her true self and to put it out there for all the world to see, is an inspiration.” Walther says. “As a plus-size model, she’s breaking down archaic fashion boundaries, which is major and so empowering.” Walther had a blast with Kalae and believes it shows in the portraits, saying, “It’s hard not to smile and laugh along with her.”

An up-close view of a photographer's hands taking a picture of a model for a portrait. An up-close view of a photographer's hands taking a picture of a model for a portrait.
Framed by a phone, a man in an all-black outfit jumps in the air. Framed by a phone, a man in an all-black outfit jumps in the air.
8K Video Snap
Pull high-resolution images right from your 8K videos.
2

Capture her essence

From using a favorite article of clothing to capturing a trademark facial expression, there are lots of ways to shoot a portrait that’s uniquely “her.” The turquoise wall in Kalae’s portrait is her favorite color and reminds her of the Caribbean. The background painted brick wall in Jennifer’s portrait alludes to her long history as a New Yorker. Think about the personal details like this that you can include in your portrait.

In general, look for moments that feel uplifting and endearing; ones that draw the viewer into the image. Dynamic poses or motion can add a lot of energy to your shot. And negative space around your model can be super-impactful (and helpful if you want to add illustrations later).

The Galaxy S21’s Portrait Mode can artfully blur the background of an image, so the focus stays on the subject. Want more control? Pro mode lets you adjust every aspect of the image, including shutter speed, exposure and more. If you’re looking for an ultra-natural authentic moment, try 8K Video Snap. It shoots high-def video and lets you pick the perfect image from the footage.

Portrait of a woman in a gold shirt and jeans posing glamorously in front of a shiny backdrop. Illustrated rays and flower designs emanate from her. Portrait of a woman in a gold shirt and jeans posing glamorously in front of a shiny backdrop. Illustrated rays and flower designs emanate from her.
The light blue logo of the PENUP app. The light blue logo of the PENUP app.
PENUP
Paint, color, share and more in this digital art app.¹
3

Add colorful graphics for visual interest

If you completely love the photo portrait you’ve already created, there’s no need to go any further. Good work! But if you’re interested in adding some unique artistic flourishes, there are plenty of creative tools available on the Galaxy S21. On the S21 Ultra, you can even use the S Pen for more precise illustration.²

4
A portrait of a woman in a sweater, jeans, and red cape dancing in front of a turquoise background, with illustrations of a disco ball, map line, and peace sign in the image. A portrait of a woman in a sweater, jeans, and red cape dancing in front of a turquoise background, with illustrations of a disco ball, map line, and peace sign in the image.
4

Share your portrait with the world

Now that is a work of art. Put it out there for others to appreciate by ordering prints on your photo app—maybe in a larger size and with a frame. You can also keep things digital and share your portrait on social media (along with a flattering social media testimonial, of course). Tag your subject and let all of your followers know what a superstar this woman is.

¹PENUP comes preinstalled on many Galaxy phones, and you can also download it from Play Store.
²S Pen sold separately.

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