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Questions relating to portraits: lens choice, lighting, posing, retouching, photographing groups, newborns.

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8
votes
2answers
1k views

What are some typical angles to place the sun at in outdoor portraiture photography?

I know there are few common light positions for studio photography. For example, a key light positioned 45 degrees horizontal and slightly above the subject. I was wondering if there were any common ...
8
votes
4answers
2k views

Is a 50mm f/1.8 or 50mm f/1.4 a good lens for portraits in low light?

I only have one lens right now. It's the Canon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit lens. I think this lens is great when the lighting conditions are right but in low light I usually have to resort to flash. ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

When would one choose a 50mm f/1.4 over 85mm f/1.8 (or vice versa) for portraits?

Say you are using a crop body, and you have both 50mm/1.4 USM and 85mm/1.8 USM lens in your bag. Now, you want to take a portrait where there is adequate light and space, and you have decided to take ...
17
votes
2answers
823 views

How do event photographers balance “spontaneous” snapshots versus well-executed shots?

I am not a professional photographer, but I often play at "event photographer" for family events and sometimes informal work events. I find myself struggling with a desire to capture candid snapshots ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How to take saturated portraits like these (with natural lighting)?

The photographer of these portraits claimed he used a 50mm f/1.8 prime with no special lighting equipment: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5163/5318756409_9f4ec94f5b_z.jpg ...
7
votes
3answers
922 views

Do I need a written model release to enter a street portrait in a competition?

I've taken a street portrait photo (here) that I'd like to enter in a competition (the Sony World Photo Awards). I asked the man in the shop if I could take his photo, and he was more than happy for ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

What are most important accessories for indoor portraiture?

I am brand new to DSLRs, so please bear with me. We just bought a Nikon D3100. Christmas is coming up; what are going to be the most critical "starter" accessories? Most of our shooting is indoor, ...
26
votes
6answers
2k views

Is it practical to shoot portraits by only candlelight?

Is it practical to shoot portraits in candle lights, only, provided there is no flash around? If yes, then for portrait shots, where and how should one place the candles? Are there any specific ...
10
votes
1answer
445 views

Is there a name for the type of portrait composition where the subject is looking out of the frame?

I'm wondering if there's a specific term to describe a portrait where the main subject is looking at something outside the frame that we (the viewer) can't see. I like it as a composition technique: I ...
1
vote
2answers
522 views

How can one manipulate gaze direction in post-processing?

Let's say you have a portrait photo of somebody looking straight in to the camera and you, in retrospect, want to change the gaze so that the person looks, say, to the upper right instead. How would ...
5
votes
4answers
2k views

Is an entry-level DSLR good enough for portrait photography?

I'm looking into starting a small at home portrait photography business mostly as a hobby for now, and I'm wondering if the camera I have now (Nikon D3000) is good enough for portrait photography. ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

What film should I use for black and white outdoor 'formal' shots?

I'm wondering what type of black and white film is best to shoot good-quality outdoor photos that capture the quality of the trees, etc., and still show detail in people's faces. Is there a ...
7
votes
2answers
368 views

How can I make effective use of single portable strobe with direct lighting for an event?

I've been tasked with some event photography this weekend. Although the event will be held inside, the color of the walls prevents me from using bounce flash, so I have to use direct flash with a ...
6
votes
5answers
769 views

How can I hold my face in the same place for a month long daily self-portrait?

I want to take a self-portrait every day over a period of a month. I want to turn these photos into an animation, so it is important that the face is in the exact same position on each shot (the ...
8
votes
4answers
488 views

To take my portrait photography to the next level, should I get a second flashgun or a monolight?

I am a hobbyist and using a Canon 600D with 50mm f/1.8 and 18-135mm lenses. I bought 430EX-II flashgun, and it works great as off-camera flash with the 600D's built in transmitter. I also have a ...
4
votes
3answers
164 views

What should I consider when setting up photo sessions at 3rd party location?

Now that fall is here, I am considering approaching a local farm/apple orchard/pumpkin patch to set up a day of portrait sessions -- where families can come to the farm for a specific time frame and ...
7
votes
2answers
903 views

How to create a sparkle in the eyes of a portrait shot?

In this photograph I have been told, that the eyes are looking like "black pools", which I do realize now. What should be an ideal placement of ONE artificial light source (lamp/flash), so that ...
8
votes
6answers
857 views

What's a decent lighting kit for getting started with portraits?

I've done mostly nature photography up to this point but later this month a friend is having a birthday and she just had a daughter so I wanted to take some father/daughter portraits. So now I'm ...
42
votes
6answers
21k views

Why do pro photographers use huge lenses to take portrait shots?

Every time I see a photoshoot video on youtube, the photographers have the biggest lenses I have ever seen in my life to shoot portraits or full-body shots. For example, the Nikon 70-200 f/2.8 ...or ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I take a sun backlight portrait like these examples?

How can I take a photo like the ones below? The problem is that my photos (taken with a bridge, Sony H2) will get blown up at the highlights. Is it because I'm using a weak camera? Is it because I'm ...
4
votes
3answers
6k views

What lens to purchase for my Nikon D5000 for great portrait shots and pictures that are a distance away?

I have the Nikon d5000 camera, and I am looking for some new lenses. I am not quit sure what to get that will service all of my needs, and I would like to know the options before I shell out a lot of ...
3
votes
3answers
404 views

What lenses should I choose for a night boat cruise?

I'm going to a boat cruise tonight in London. With the following kit to choose from: Nikon D7000 Nikkor 35mm f/1.8 Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6 Nikon SB-400 Yongnuo YN-465 I will definitely have both ...
0
votes
3answers
272 views

How to get started with portraits? [closed]

I am about to get into portrait photography and here is my first try: I know, it is has over exposure, but I think that it matches to the person, so it does not matter for me. So, I need some ...
4
votes
5answers
7k views

What lens should I get with a Canon 7D for portrait use?

I am getting a Canon 7D in the next week or so - and I am wondering what, in your opinion, would be the better lens for me to get. I've researched for hours and have come to the conclusion that in ...
1
vote
3answers
888 views

What lighting setup is used to get this skin glow effect?

What lighting setup would need to be used to get the glow on the skin as in the sample linked below? Not in photoshop, pantyhose or heavy oils, but the proper lighting? The skin is very well lit, with ...
8
votes
1answer
292 views

What steps do I need to take to deconstruct the lighting of a portrait?

In general, what steps should I take to deconstruct the lighting on a portrait that somebody else took? Are there certain things I should look for that provide visual clues? What can I look for ...
5
votes
1answer
414 views

What is the “crash course” for taking picture of pregnant woman?

My friends are expecting their first baby. They asked me if I could do the shots of their "expectancy". I'm a hobbyist photographer. I mostly enjoy taking shots of landscape and architecture and I'm ...
5
votes
2answers
622 views

How does one best deal with shaded faces in bright sunlight?

When photographing people in bright sunlight, parts of faces are often shaded by hats or by their own contours. This creates highly-contrasted faces, and either a very bright background or very dark ...
16
votes
7answers
744 views

How can I make nice, professional looking corporate portraits?

I have been asked to shoot a couple of portraits at work for a conference brochure. I am a keen amateur but never really shot corporate portraits. I will use a Nikon D40 and the 50mm 1.4G. I am ...
2
votes
4answers
344 views

What are some interesting things to try with a basic flashgun?

I've just got a relatively cheap, basic flashgun (TTL only) and a TTL cord. What are some interesting/enlightening (pardon the pun) exercises to try in order to illustrate the benefits of off-camera ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I create a photo with vintage look, focused on the lips?

I would really like to be able to take a photo like the one found here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/33008672@N06/5750321813/sizes/z/in/photostream/ Can somebody please help me how I should shoot ...
14
votes
2answers
4k views

How to pose and arrange people in a group shot?

What are good standard poses for group shots of 3 or 4 people and how can I arrange folks so that they don't just look like they're 'standing around'?
6
votes
4answers
11k views

Best portrait lens for canon 7d that gives beautiful bokeh?

I tried using the 70-200mm but I couldn't stand how heavy it was and how far away I had to be from the model! Opinions? I was thinking between 85mm 1.2 or 50mm 1.2 ....or another lens? Any help ...
6
votes
5answers
3k views

How can I capture a really soft-looking baby portrait?

What techniques/lenses/settings can be used to achieve really soft-looking photographs like this: http://christieadamsphotography.com/blog/?p=2711 I've got an older Canon Rebel XT with a few ...
4
votes
1answer
690 views

What are the best posing props and furniture for a new/hobbyist photographer?

I'm going to be doing some studio-style portrait shots soon. What objects (props, furniture, etc) should I be looking to get to assist in posing? I'm looking for things that are: Useful: they'll ...
11
votes
5answers
2k views

What is a portrait lens?

I hear this term used pretty often. Does it refer to a specific focal length? Or very low F-number? What does a lens need to have in order to be considered "portrait lens"?
1
vote
3answers
1k views

Nude photography, any advice?

Currently I'm very interested in nude photography. I did a little session in the past and I'm going to start a new one in less than a month. Do you have any advice? I'm interested in photographic ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Portrait lens for Canon T1i [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is a good Canon lens to take portraits? I have a Canon Rebel T1i camera. I am thinking of buying a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II lens for portraits. Is it the right lens ...
8
votes
4answers
840 views

Why buy an intentionally soft lens?

While reading some reviews of older lenses, I keep reading "It's soft wide open, but that's not always a problem with portraits." Over my rather short time in photography thus far, I've come to ...
5
votes
2answers
683 views

What are good exercises for learning Portrait Photography?

I am a fairly experienced photographer, but I haven't done any portraits yet. So I am looking for exercises to get up and running in that topic. What I am looking for are ideas for little photography ...
12
votes
10answers
2k views

What lenses to bring while traveling? One good wide-telephoto or several smaller ones?

I have a Canon 7D and often take my camera on the road while traveling. In the past I've taken my Sigma 17-70 f/2.8-4 and my Canon 70-300 f/4-5.6, which means that I must switch out lenses quite a ...
6
votes
1answer
351 views

How do they shoot wide television-show cast photos?

For large ensemble TV show casts, the typical promo photo tend to be a wide shot with everyone standing, with minimal body overlap. It seems like you would need a wide angle to get the whole scene if ...
0
votes
4answers
459 views

What is a good starter camera considering price and value [closed]

I like to take photos especially when I'm traveling.Also would shoot a lot of scenery and buildings and friends in front of scenery. Some options I found include the Panasonic Lumix G2, Panasonic GH2 ...
12
votes
6answers
17k views

Should I use a 100mm Macro lens as a portrait lens?

I am specifically considering using the Canon 100mm Macro as a portrait lens. If I want to have a macro in my bag, but not carry around a 70-200 2.8 due to weight, size, white color, or price if it ...
3
votes
4answers
740 views

What limitations does Lightroom have for portraiture? Why might I need/want additional software?

I do have Lightroom 3. I do not have any Photoshop products. I do shoot in RAW. I do plan to shoot portraits professionally (studio & outdoors).
4
votes
2answers
306 views

What's a Typical “In-Focus” Rate for Portraits with an 85mm?

I have a lot of experience doing travel, landscape, product, ... in short, things that don't move much. Models? Not so much. I have a beautiful 85mm portrait lens for my Canon 1Ds Mk III DSLR, and at ...
5
votes
2answers
6k views

What are the advantages of using a ring flash for portraits?

I have a Ray Flash ring flash that I got for macro work. Whenever I mention it to a photographer, they often say that they really like it for portrait work. What are the advantages of using a ring ...
7
votes
4answers
842 views

What should be considered for employee photos to put on company's website?

I work in the entertainment industry and am looking to produce friendly looking images of our employees (sales managers, customer support people, and so on) to put on our company's website. What ...
23
votes
4answers
3k views

In portrait photography, what is a “catchlight”?

In portrait photography, what is a "catch light"? Is it good or bad? How do I produce or avoid them? Are some kinds better than others?
8
votes
5answers
4k views

Will a lens with a low aperture value give me better portrait photos?

I want to take pictures of people from 5-20 feet away. I attend lots of group events and am free to walk around and snap photos. I just purchased a Canon t3i and it comes with a 18-55mm kit lens. The ...