5 Tips to Help You Take Great Portraits

Posted on January 2, 2015

Follow these five simple tips to take great portraits of kids, adults and pets.

As a photographer, are you always asked to take portraits? While some photographers are naturals at capturing portraits, others simply freeze when it is time to click a portrait of a person. Photographers are confused about how to make people pose, how to select the perfect flattering light and how to make the subject comfortable for the photo shoot.
Well, shooting a portrait can be easy if you just take a deep breath, relax and read these five simple tips for shooting picture-perfect portraits.

1. Pick out the right lens

It is important to pick out the right lens as it can give you greater flexibility while shooting a portrait. If you are going to shoot a large group, then a wide-angle lens can give you a wider angle of view. A 50mm portrait lens on the other hand can give you sharp images, with lower f-stop ranges. It will also give you more diversity. You could also opt for a telephoto lens that will help you restrict your angle of view.

2. Set your aperture

When shooting a portrait image, it is better to set a wide aperture like f/2.8-f/5.6, as this will give you a shallow depth of field. This way the background will not overtake the subject. With the right aperture, your subject (child, adult or pet) will stand out. Shooting in the aperture priority mode will also help you gain a deeper depth in the image.

3. Think about the exposure

Paying attention to exposure compensation can help you brighten up your subject’s face, if you don’t have enough light directed towards their face. This trick is often used by landscape photographers to lighten/darken skies and is very useful even in portraits. To make this work, simply press the exposure compensation on your camera and choose from the options.

4. Adjust the shutter speed

When you set your camera’s shutter speed, keep in mind your lens’s focal length in order to avoid blurred results from the shake of your camera. Ensure that the shutter speed is faster than or equal to the focal length. For instance, if you have set it at 200mm, then you may want to increase it to 1/250 per second.

5. Increase the ISO

Make sure to adjust your ISO, in order to give your shutter speed and aperture choices a boost. It also helps you take better portraits of wiggly subjects and avoid motion blurs, as kids, pets and adults move around quite a bit while being photographed. Increasing the ISO to ISO400, 800, 1600 or 3200 can help you take better portraits even in low light areas

After you click those portraits, you can make them even better by opting for Portrait Services, which can edit and enhance your images to make it more appealing.

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