The small size also stands the photographer in good stead for portraits with a proper model. Point a gigantic DSLR to a model, take some shots. Then, do the same thing with a compact. By comparing the photos, you will likely find that the model is more relaxed in the shots taken with a compact. A model at ease makes for half a success for a portrait. The small size will also save photographers from getting dislocated shoulder joints as a friend of mine did after carrying pounds of photographic gears for a day. To the contrary of the common belief, serious compacts are great tools for portraits if you ask me.
Points to Note
2. Picture the shots in mind beforehand. You may think of a theme before the shootouts take place.
3. Avoid shooting portraits in a location where there are lots of passers-by or activities. If you need to shoot in such a location, think of a way so that the model won't feel distracted or embarrassed.
4. Faking similes and posing endlessly are tiresome. Talk to your model about what she or he is proud of or hold an interest in so as to keep the model upbeat and cheerful. Crack some jokes. But never do this as if you were a talk maven.
5. Say less "look up a bit/ down a bit/ head up…" when you shot. Instead, think about what expression or posture you wish the model to give and say something to guide the model to do it naturally.
6. Some models will fake smiles and give a tensed expression at the press of the shutter. In that case, press the shutter half a second before the model expects it to be done. When you use this trick, you don't have to let the model know or feel being fooled. And don't overdo this.
7. To help the model relax further, ask him/ her to pose properly for the first shot, make faces for the second one, and then do an impromptu for the third shot. The third shot is usually the best one. Don't overdo this.
8. Use the foreground as a frame for composition. Trim the excessive background. Compacts have extensive depth of field. The all clear background can be distracting for portraits. So mind your background unless you bother to blur it in post processing.
10. If there is no other way to add catch-light in the model's eyes, fire a soft flash. But as a general rule, don't use flash for wrinkled faces.