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Saturday, May 2, 2009

Advice for Taking People Photos

By SFXsource

It's always fun to photograph people, particularly friends and family. But now you want your portraits to look more professional. Below are tips that will transform your snap-shots into beautiful photographs.

1. Placing your subject in the middle of the frame is generally a bad idea. The reason being is because it makes for a very uninteresting photograph. Try placing your subject in the left side or the right side of the frame, because now you are including some background in your photo, adding context.

2. In regards to lighting, you want a soft light on your subject's face. You will usually want the light source to your back, because if the light source is behind your subject, they will end up being very dark (sometimes you may want this effect) and you will lose detail in their face. Outdoor lighting (natural light) is always best, and that is generally before 10 a.m. and after 4 p.m.

3. On some cameras you will see a "Portrait" setting, and what that does is set a shallow depth of field creating a blurred background. The advantage to this feature is that your subject is clearly the main focus of the photograph. To manually create this effect, set your aperture below 5.6.

4. Move in close to your subject. Zoom in; you can fill most of the frame with the person's face. Try having your subject look in different directions as opposed to directly into the camera. Remember you want your subject to have fun and be comfortable.

5. Portraits are not just about a person's face. Experiment capturing your subject without actually photographing their face. What can you say about someone by photographing their hands, feet, possessions? Can you photograph them in their element, where they work, or where they enjoy spending their free time?

6. Be creative. Try tilting the camera, or have the person move around. In low lighting (and using a tripod), you can use a long shutter speed to create streaking effects.

There are no set rules, so just have fun. Your subject may have some great ideas for specific shots or locations. It is always nice to send your subject a great photo of them after the photo shoot.

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