Here's a great photography tip that you should follow. Shooting portraits is pretty vital to have as a skill if you're a photographer. I am even constantly and consistently amazed at the amazing photographers put there who have not practiced the skill of photography for a long time. I have found out that this pretty much boils down to the confidence of the photographer in asking his subject to pose for him.
Now here's a valuable photography tip that I can teach you. Just start shooting and practice shooting photography by asking people. As a photographer you do not have to shy. I promise you and it is not as scary as it seems.
In any photography tip
you must follow a process. Here's what you should do. When you see someone interesting that you would like to capture, just go ahead and ask them. People are more than willing to have their photos taken and at the end of the day they will even be flattered that you have asked them to do so. When you subject asks you why you want their picture, be honest enough and tell them what makes them interesting and why you should photograph them.
When you are taking a photo of the person you need to make them relaxed so that the photo looks natural and nice. There are so many way for you to achieve this.
A portrait is not supposed to be always formal, you know with people looking straight into the lens. Mix up your technique a bit and shoot them while they are not looking or when they are doing something candid. The important thing for you to shoot in a portrait aside from technique is to be able to tell a story through that image.
A great portrait must show small details that describe or allude to the individual you are shooting. Of course the basic of a great portrait photo is always the eyes and having you subject look into the lens. But there are also a lot of alternative ways that you can make a brilliant photograph.