Smile for the camera

I have found that I learn best from websites that are set up in a list format, for example 14 portrait photography tips you’ll never want to forget, though videos, especially from Skill Share, are helpful and full of information but many are long and not very clear.

This article gives a based understanding of what to do when taking portraits.

To start with portraits, you need asubject, and in this instance, my sister so graciously agreed to be my subject. Next islocation, where are these pictures going to take place. I would recommend going outside since lighting inside can both be difficult to manipulate and can look harsh on the subject’s face. It just so happened that we were camping this weekend so the trees were a great background.

Camera settings, this is very important. When taking portraits, you want the ISO to be as low as possible, for a reference it sound be between 200 and 600. If you shoot with higher ISO there is a greater chance that the results will be grainy, which looks even worse on a person’s face.

The biggest thing when taking any portrait is that the eyes need to be the focus.

There are two basic forms of portraits: action and posed.


With posed photographs you need to decide how close to the face you are shooting, meaning is this going to be a close up or a full body shot.

I started with full/partial body shots. (sorry for the weird poses, but she was singing Waka Waka by Shakira while dancing)

With the first two pictures they were cropped weird. With the first picture, though it does follow the rule of thirds, her leg and arm guide the eye away from the main focus of the picture. The second photo is cropped better but just like the sunset photos; she is right in the middle so the photo is not portioned right. With the third picture, I finally thought to change my levels, so this shot was taken with me sitting on the ground and looking upwards at the subject.

Then we went to close ups and headshots. (and again she was singing)

With these the background does not matter very much because there will be very little of it shown in the photo.  These are the photos where the eyes are so important and need to be showcased.

Action Portraits

These can either be really great or really bad, it is hard to get an in between. I would recommend setting your camera to take multiple shots, also known as burst mode, when you hold down the trigger so you can catch every part of the movement. You have a lot more photographs to sort through but you have better odds of getting the just right shot.



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