Time passes by

by clabacchio

submit your photo


Hall of Fame
View past winners from this year

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

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

learn more… | top users | synonyms (1)

111
votes
7answers
18k views

What are the best techniques for photographing overweight people?

I'm not the most lean person on the planet, and many pictures seem to really point this out. While I wish I was simply in better shape, it is simply not the case for me or unfortunately, many ...
58
votes
6answers
12k views

How to make female chest look bigger?

When photographing women they often want the chest to appear as big as possible. I tried with light coming from different positions but was not satisfied with the results. Are there any tricks to ...
55
votes
10answers
3k 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. Please share any tips / techniques / links that might help me get better, more ...
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 ...
32
votes
10answers
8k 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 ...
27
votes
4answers
999 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 ...
26
votes
5answers
1k views

Is there a trick to shooting large group portraits without blinkers?

When shooting large group portraits, is there a trick to getting everyone to not blink (other than taking many shots)?
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 ...
25
votes
4answers
1k views

What portrait posing rules do you recommend for studio photography?

What portrait posing rules could you recommend for studio photography? How to pose (and not to) the head, body, hands, wrists, waist, hips, legs? In what categories can the models can be divided ...
23
votes
10answers
11k views

How can I make short people look taller in photographs?

I was browsing some great shots from Herb Ritts and came across this photo (NSFW). It seems like the legs of the woman appear longer in relation to her body. Is this an effect of the lens used? ...
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?
23
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I take flattering photos of people with acne (scarring)?

Occasionally I'll find myself as the photographer for a professional event at my Alma mater. As a natural consequence of the demographic, there's quite a few people there with severe acne and also ...
21
votes
14answers
15k views

What do I need to get photos with a unifom black background (not with post)?

Often i see portraits such as the one below and like the way they look. I wanted to know can I get this look in my shots. I am sure there are professional materials you can get to outfit a studio ...
21
votes
4answers
1k views

When doing portraits, how to get serious insightful expressions?

Professional models know how to produce such expression at photographer command, normal people don't. Still good photographer are able to get it from famous actors/politicians/sportsmen. I've been ...
20
votes
12answers
18k views

How do you get the eyes extremely sharp in the photo?

I am trying to take pictures of my son (2.5yrs) and my other family members. They come out pretty well and sharp but when I see the portraits posted on Flickr and other sites, I have noticed that many ...
20
votes
6answers
951 views

How do I manage good photos of babies and kids?

Apart from the strain they create by not sitting in one place while in photo shoot, kids do make nice subjects for pictures. I have been trying various scenes, props, etc., to get the best out of my ...
20
votes
4answers
4k views

Tips for taking headshot self-portraits?

I need to do some headshots of myself for a gig I have coming up. My initial thought was to use a plain light background (as you see in many studio shots), but I've had some advice to use a dark ...
19
votes
7answers
17k views

How much should an amateur charge for a portrait session?

I am fairly new to photography and have done a few high-school senior sessions of friends here and there. I have been getting more and more requests to photograph families, seniors, etc. and am ...
19
votes
5answers
834 views

What are some effective techniques for photographing subjects who wear glasses?

What are some effective techniques for photographing subjects who wear glasses? I am sorting out my collection of digital images as I install new software, and find there are many images that would ...
19
votes
5answers
4k views

How do I set up a home portrait studio area in zero space?

I live in a small urban apartment with my wife, two children, two cats, a goat, and a flock of chickens. Or, at least it feels like that sometimes. I'd like to set up an area for basic portrait ...
18
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it worth it to have the 50mm f/1.8 Canon lens?

Is it really useful to have a fast prime lens for portrait photography, considering a low budget? If it is, what about the Canon EF 50mm F1.8 II? I have an entry level 18-55mm lens and a Canon 20D. ...
18
votes
7answers
5k views

What is a great portrait lens for Nikon (under $1000)?

I am currently shooting with a Nikon D90 and use the kit 18-105 lens and a 50mm f/1.8. Mostly I shoot as a hobby but lately I've been asked to do some family and engagement shoots. The 50mm is ...
17
votes
12answers
7k views

What is the best Canon lens (around $500) for taking pictures of my newborn?

I have a Canon T2i, a 50mm f/1.8 and the kit lens (18-55mm). I'm considering buying a new lens for more flexibility with taking pictures of my upcoming newborn. I LOVE the 50mm/1.8 lens, but on the ...
17
votes
5answers
4k views

What equipment is required for a home studio?

I'd like to convert a room downstairs into a home studio to do mostly portrait/fashion/pet photography. I have a few strobes, softboxes, and stands, but that's it. What are the bare basics needed to ...
17
votes
3answers
4k views

How to photograph people with a prominent (wide, big) nose?

One of my friends wants me to take pictures of her but she is very self-conscious about her nose (which is relatively wide, Monty Python anyone?). She wants me to take pictures in such a way as to ...
17
votes
2answers
816 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 ...
16
votes
7answers
736 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 ...
16
votes
3answers
2k views

What goes into making smooth, crisp, fashion magazine worthy shots?

I bought an SLR, a Nikon D70, several years ago with the intension of eventually reproducing the smooth but crisp effect I had seen from my favorite portrait shots like this one from Declan McCullagh: ...
15
votes
3answers
630 views

What are good techniques for photographing newborns?

As the proud parent of a new baby, I am eager to take beautiful pictures of my newborn daughter. However, I've found that although it is easy to get stunning pictures of older babies, the charm of ...
15
votes
3answers
1k views

How do you shoot still motion portraits?

Occasionally I see shots that have motion blur around the subject ... yet the subject is in focus. They are usually shot at very slow speeds, sometimes they even have a 1 second exposure, yet the ...
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 ...
14
votes
3answers
648 views

Use a shot list or not?

When planning a portrait shoot, should I use a shot list (a preplanned list of shots) or focus on letting creativity take over rather than planned shots? A hybrid approach? What do most pros use?
14
votes
2answers
7k views

What's the difference between a regular lens and a macro lens? [duplicate]

What is the difference between a 100mm lens and 100mm macro, or 50mm and 50mm macro? Can we use a macro lens to shot portraits? If yes, what focal length is the best? Please suggest a Canon macro ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

How do I achieve smooth light falloff in portraits?

I'm having trouble getting a nice, smooth light falloff when shooting portraits. If you look at the left side of David Hobby's beautiful portrait, thats the effect I am trying to achieve. I have ...
14
votes
1answer
881 views

How do I create a (good) Hair Light?

My attempts at creating a hair light have been less than successful; I can get a hint of highlight but nothing like I see in the pro shots. What are the things that I should be adjusting in terms of ...
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'?
14
votes
1answer
8k views

What is split portrait lighting?

Ok, so I got interested enough in the other lighting setups, what is split portrait lighting and when is it appropriate to use?
13
votes
3answers
4k views

What are the different kind of light modifiers and their uses?

Particularly with an emphasis on studio setups and portraits, what are the different kind of light modifiers (softboxes, umbrellas, etc) and what are they used for? For bonus points, what kinds of ...
13
votes
3answers
700 views

How to light spontaneous portraits?

I currently am in Singapore for an exchange year. The architecture here is impressive, the lights at night are wonderful, but what I find to be the most interesting are the people. You can find people ...
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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
5answers
1k views

What is the best techinque to smooth skin?

I am toning a senior portrait right now and am wondering what the best skin smoothing technique is. Think glamor. I know how to take care of blemishes, but I'm looking to enhance that silky skin look. ...
12
votes
1answer
8k views

What are standard lighting setups for 2-3 people?

What are some standard lighting setups for two or three people in a group? I just can't think of non-complicated setups that would apply some previously discussed (short, broad, butterfly, split, ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Where can I find posing guides & resources online?

What resources are available online to give ideas for poses. Is there some type of catalogue of common poses?
11
votes
4answers
12k 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 ...
11
votes
5answers
563 views

What features would cause a portrait photographer to choose a DSLR over Mirrorless?

With the new line of mirrorless cameras being announced this fall, the gap between DSLR and mirrorless cameras continue to close. There are many generic discussions comparing the two, but as a ...
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"?
11
votes
4answers
1k views

How to avoid tired eyes in a portrait?

I noticed some portraits I took had heavy shadows under eyes: It turned out the model had experienced some sleep deprivation, though the eyes didn't look that bad in real life. I suspect lighting ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

What lighting equipment do I need for a high contrast portrait photo?

I am an amateur photographer, and I have little to no experience in shooting studio photos. There is one subject in particular that interests me more than others in that area - high contrast portrait ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

Is there a “bible” for portrait photography like “Light, Science and Magic” is for lighting?

Can anyone recommend a good book on portrait photography, covering gear, lighting setups, posing and so forth? More interested in the setup and shooting than post processing and retouching. Would ...