Portrait photography, or portraiture, is the art of capturing people, placing emphasis on the expression of the subject. There are many ways to shoot portraiture, and selecting the right lens will help you achieve the desired effect.
When selecting a lens to use for portraiture, the most important factor to consider is focal length. If you were to shoot the same subject from a distance, a shorter focal length would allow you to capture more of the scene and background, whereas a longer focal length would bring your subject into focus by filling the whole frame.
Short and medium-telephoto lenses such as the AF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G or AF-S NIKKOR 85mm f/1.8G are the most commonly used to shoot portraits. Lenses in the 50-85mm range allow you to get close to your subject without any distortion to their features. They are also wide enough so that you can fit the entire subject in your shot.
If you need to get closer to your subject, use a lens with a longer focal length, such as the AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II. This is useful in situations when you need to shoot from a distance, like at a concert or sporting event. Using a lens with a wide aperture such as the AF-S NIKKOR 58mm f/1.4G will allow you to isolate your subject against a background with a blur, also known as bokeh.
With a wide variety of NIKKOR lenses, you can select the lens that best suits your portraiture style.