Want to add some drama to your next portrait shoot? If you’re shooting indoors, a great way to make this happen is to use a window as a physical frame for your subject.

It doesn’t have to be directly behind them, and the final image doesn’t have to be a silhouette, but this simple idea (assuming the conditions are right) can make for some beautiful portraits that have that something extra that a studio backdrop or outdoor portrait can’t quite capture.

The window does triple duty:

1. It acts as a source of natural light that can be softened beautifully using a set of curtains.

2. It frames your subject using an actual… well… frame. Whether it’s multiple window panes or a single massive window, the window immediately draws your viewer’s eye in.

3. It acts as either a background or something your subject can interact with. In the first case, the ‘backdrop’ is as varied whatever happens to be out the window, and the texture of a scratched-up window can add something too; in the second, you can do some wonderful things with reflections!

Here are some awesome portraits captured by 500px photographers that show some of these possibilities in action:

Of course, this is just a small selection of examples. The possibilities are pretty much endless! Get creative and experiment with it.

If you already have your own window-pane portrait to share, upload it to 500px and leave a link in the comments down below. And if you want to see more window portraits for inspiration before you go out and shoot your own, click here.