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

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60
votes
10answers
4k views

How can I get my portrait subjects to look natural and drop the cheesy smile?

I am surprised by how many people automatically put on a cheesy smile when I point a camera in their direction. How can I encourage them to act more naturally, and what can I do to get better, more ...
2
votes
1answer
77 views

How can I encourage my friend to be less shy when I take her photo?

My girlfriend is very shy when I want to take a photo of her. When I tell her I'm going to make a shot or when she sees I'm focusing camera on her, first 10-60 seconds she is just hiding her face and ...
18
votes
3answers
2k views

Photographing a waterfall but also have a person in foreground

I was wondering how I take a picture of a waterfall in motion but also have a person as my main subject. I know I have to use a slower shutter speed, and use a tripod to get the water in motion. How ...
3
votes
1answer
426 views

Turning the smaller eye away from the lens?

From "Monte Zucker's Portrait Photography Handbook" ph 3. "The subject" : Eye Size. Always take note when a subject has one eye that is smaller than the other. When you find that, you can make ...
1
vote
2answers
68 views

What setup/gear is needed to get this silhouette low-key effect?

I am trying to get an image such as: https://500px.com/photo/103497551/-by-brett-walker?from=editors&only=Black+and+White My setup is a SB700 speedlight, D7000, and a tripod. When I try this, I ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

How can I take portraits in the style of Shannon Lee Miller?

I'm dying to know how to take photos like this http://www.shannonleemiller.com/. I'm not talking composition. I'm talking exposure, color, style. I know she has a 5D Mark II, and typically uses ...
0
votes
1answer
104 views

Which color for a job interview portrait?

For a job interview portrait, I need to make a picture that reflects leadership, creativity and flexibility. What color or colors should I use? Also, after pick up the color, should I use a tone ...
-1
votes
1answer
65 views

How are “Tele Photography” and “Candid Photography” different for a wedding?

For wedding functions, are "tele photography" and "candid photography" the same? If not, what are all the similarities and dissimilarities?
5
votes
1answer
457 views

What kind of 'guerrilla' background / backdrop is being used in Felipe Dana's Cracklands portraits?

I love the streetwise way of taking portrait photos in the subject's own environment used in Felipe Dana's Portraits from Rio de Janeiro’s ‘Cracklands’ series. But I'm wondering if the white ...
4
votes
2answers
198 views

How can I achieve consistent skin tones in my photographs?

I've been shooting more people recently and have noticed that their skin tones are all over the map depending on the lighting situation. Are there any best practices or tips to ensure consistent and ...
7
votes
3answers
349 views

Why do I meter under the chin with a lightmeter?

Every single tutorial or video has advised to meter for a portrait right under the chin. First of all why? If the face is the most important part, wouldn't you meter right at the face? Secondly, I ...
1
vote
3answers
189 views

How can I get tack-sharp portraits with the focus perfectly on my subject's eye?

How can I consistent achieve tack sharp images, when wanting to focus on eyes in a portrait? I am always using single focus and moving the focus point to the eye and recomposing if necessary. What ...
28
votes
4answers
1k views

Tips for photographing a wedding

I guess this comes up for most of us that are known by friends as "the photographer"... I've been asked to be the official photographer at a wedding. I think I have the equipment sorted. I have my ...
2
votes
2answers
122 views

How to apply the Rule of Thirds with people?

If the subject of the photo is a mother beside her child who just graduated in a graduation ceremony, how would I be able to apply the rule of thirds?
17
votes
3answers
2k views

How should I approach people to take their portrait?

I recently saw a photographer's project on-line, where he takes 1 portrait each day of a total stranger. The project along with countless hours of looking at Steve McCurry's work sparked some interest ...
0
votes
1answer
68 views

How to ask a subject(person) to photograph them? [duplicate]

Even if it is just a friend or family, what are tips to help make a person comfortable being photographed. Of course, not everyone is up for being photographed, but when they agree for a photo or ...
1
vote
1answer
116 views

How can I effectively change the background of a portrait in Photoshop?

I have often attempted to change the background of a portrait image. But every time I try, the image of a person doesn't gel properly with the new background. It doesn't look seamless. Can some one ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Pros and cons of cheap studio strobes vs. hotshoe/speedlight flash for portraits?

Not so long ago, AC-powered studio lights were the only option for serious studio photography, and low-cost starter sets like this Two Monolight Portrait Studio Kit¹ were a fixture in every ...
1
vote
3answers
125 views

How to achieve sharp focus on two subjects in a portrait with low depth of field? [duplicate]

I prefer to have a very narrow depth of field. Whenever I am focusing for portraits of too people standing near to each other, the focus-point-selected person is sharp, while the person standing next ...
3
votes
3answers
143 views

How do I avoid getting different sized pupils when shading half of the model's face?

When photographing portraits having shaded half of the model's face (for example having him/her stand close to a window casting light on one side of their face) it's almost unavoidable to not ...
0
votes
2answers
104 views

How to improve the low-light image quality of my Canon 350d?

I have a Canon 350d. How do I improve the quality of images in low light? I feel like urgrading the body — but will it really help? I have a Canon 18-55 kit lens, 75-300, and a 50mm 1.8. lens. I have ...
3
votes
5answers
129 views

How do I get regular people to relax and not to overprepare having their portrait taken?

I'm doing a personal project taking portraits of friends, family and acquaintance. Most of them are not used to having their portrait taken and I don't intend to portray them as models either. I show ...
4
votes
2answers
138 views

When shooting one-on-one with a subject, what are some tips and tricks to get into a “photoshoot” mood?

When it's just you and a subject shooting by yourselves, what tips and tricks are there to keep the mood light and friendly, while simultaneously controlling and directing the subject into good poses? ...
1
vote
2answers
204 views

Odd couple photos

I am a tall blonde girl with freckles and my boyfriend is Asian mostly the same height as me. We are an odd couple and we look odd together but I would love to know if you have any tips on helping us ...
2
votes
2answers
80 views

How do I hide unflattering body features in a low key shot with rim lighting?

Low key full body portraits with rim lighting are common in photos of athletes wanting to show of their body features. Having models, thinking some features of their body features are unflattering, ...
1
vote
2answers
67 views

What modifiers and workflow should I use to light a hand-painted muslin background?

I'm taking self-portraits using Yongnuo speedlights as my lighting. I would like to light the background for better separation. I tried using a bare flash at 1⁄32 power at 85mm, but the falloff is too ...
1
vote
2answers
94 views

Large DOF in low light for portrait in front of a landscape?

I am using a Nikon D610 and mostly I can get nice landscape shots with long exposure (with f/8-f/11) range using a 35mm f/1.4 lens. However now my issue is, I want to take pictures of a person in ...
1
vote
3answers
256 views

Will an always-on ring light provide a less annoying option than flash for portraits during events?

Last weekend was my uncle's wedding, it was an outdoor event with great scenery for photography during the day. But when it became dark out lighting was of course more difficult. I do not have a ton ...
5
votes
3answers
699 views

What can I use instead of a human to practice shooting with flash?

Most flash photography videos that I am watching use a model, telling her to turn left, chin up, etc. But I don't have a family or friend around to practice on, and because one of my main goals is to ...
-4
votes
3answers
202 views

Is it possible to photograph the aura of a person? [duplicate]

I have heard that auras can be recorded in photographs, but I don´t know how to do it. Does it have to do with filters?
1
vote
2answers
304 views

What type of lens is more suitable for this type of portrait shot on railroad tracks?

Posted on FaceBook looking for volunteers to model for me for free and I give them the photos for free and some people agreed to that so I want to be prepared and at least take the right gear to the ...
2
votes
2answers
200 views

Will two lights plus octaboxes be a good starter setup for portrait photography, or can I get away with one umbrella?

I want to step into studio lightning for portraits and I'm searching for a good setup. Is it a good option to buy two flashes and octa-boxes (one from left and one from the right) or should one ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What are the 5 basic lighting setups used in studio portrait photography?

In this great answer, the person explains “one of the 5 basic lighting setups used in studio portrait photography”—Rembrandt lighting. What are the other four? Where should they be used? What are ...
4
votes
1answer
117 views

Is there a rule for something like “footroom”?

I'm familiar with headroom concept. Is there rule of thumb for "footroom" (how much space to leave beneath the subject)? I suppose the answer may differ depend on shooting style/purpose, so I limit ...
11
votes
4answers
2k views

How to take this group portrait with faces in profile only lit from the side they're facing?

I found this photo on this web site and I would like to try and reproduce it using my family. I have a decent camera EOS 70D but I am unsure of how to go about setting up this shot. I am assuming ...
13
votes
7answers
22k 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 ...
4
votes
5answers
616 views

How can I achieve this “golden” effect?

I see a lot of portraits taken using this, what I would call "golden" looking effect. I have never been able to figure out how to achieve this kind of effect. The image is quite warm but that's not ...
1
vote
3answers
533 views

How does the Nikkor 35mm prime compare to the Nikkor 40mm Micro for portraits?

I have a D5200. I'm planning on to buy a prime lens and I'm also interested in macro photography. I had chosen to buy the Nikkor 35mm prime lens. But, I came across the 40mm Nikkor Macro lens. Now I ...
34
votes
11answers
11k views

Which focal-length lens is usually used for portrait photography, and why?

What focal length or range of focal lengths are usually used for portraits? What is used by professionals? Why would one select a certain focal length? What are the advantages and disadvantages of ...
5
votes
2answers
184 views

Is cropping out someone's ear a no-no in a portrait?

I know limbs have their compositional rules. I'm working on a self-portrait where I'm contemplatively looking left. To emphasize the effect, I want to crop my right ear off (hey, no Van Gough jokes!). ...
11
votes
4answers
17k views

How do I take a good portrait for a CV or resume?

I would like to do a photo for my CV, and I was wondering of what I can do to make it look the best. What are the important aspects to keep in mind? Specifically: Focal length Lighting Background ...
1
vote
4answers
1k views

Will a short focal length cut it for indoor event photography? (Context: It's Crowded, Dark, Has Mixed Lighting, and Requires Walking Around.)

Short version: What primes are good walk-around lenses for an indoor, dark, crowded environment where you'll be taking pictures of individuals or small groups ad-hoc, walking around and stopping in ...
1
vote
1answer
134 views

22-inch Beauty Dish with speedlight?

I've seen 22-inch beauty dishes used with Canon speedlights for portraits. However I'm not sure if a single speedlight is powerful enough for a large beauty dish. Should I be using it with a monolight ...
9
votes
6answers
842 views

How can I take portraits which seem to capture the essence of a subject I've just met?

I'm pretty good at taking portraits of my family and friends; I know who they are and what they "really" look like. But if I'm asked to make a portrait of someone I don't know so well, I'm often ...
1
vote
2answers
1k views

How do I take good portraits with a bridge camera and superzoom?

I'm an absolute beginner with regards to photography. I did some research on portrait photography today. From what I learned, a long-telephoto lens (70mm-135mm or more focal length (35mm ...
10
votes
6answers
1k views

Is it possible to photograph me without reflections on my glasses?

(I have no experience with photography.) I went to a professional photographer to get a few portraits (primarily for identification documents). The photographer made various test shots, tried ...
6
votes
2answers
132 views

Who shaped portraiture pre 1960, and how?

Preamble Ansel Adams was an astounding photographer who influenced many aspiring landscape photographers and became a household name amongst photographers. However he seldom stepped out of his ...
0
votes
2answers
137 views

Night portrait photography problem in lightning [duplicate]

i have canon slr 1200d. i have problem with night portrait photography . with flash it focus only the subject and background become very dark. and without flash all are same lightning but subject not ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

How to illuminate an outdoor night time portrait with a cityscape background?

I encountered this problem the other day at one of the many skybars in Bangkok. I wanted to take some photos of my friends enjoying their drinks, but the situation had a few challenges; the only light ...
3
votes
9answers
459 views

How can I improve portraits when shooting in low light without flash?

I see a lot of questions about low light, and one of them which stood out to me was How can I improve my exposure in low-light situations? All my flash pictures tend to turn out great, but my shots ...