ACC Portraiture Photography Tips

Here's some tips for photographing people. They are arranged in no particular order. If you've got more we can add, please contact the webmaster.

General tips for photographing people

  • Set speed to greater than or equal to the focal length. So if using 90mm, use at least 1/90 second. If they are moving moderately, use 1/50 second or higher. For sports, use 1/500 or higher.
  • ISO as high as you dare.
  • Remember that sharp, noisy pictures are better than blurred, clean pictures.
  • Aperture wide enough to blur background but narrow enough to keep everything in focus. Remember that the closer you are, the lower the depth of focus.
  • Wide angle lens for groups, but give space at the edges to minimize distortion.
  • 50mm is ok, but you may have to get uncomfortably close for head shots (and also suffer reduced depth of focus.
  • 90-100mm great for standard portraits.
  • Classic portrait lens is 70-200 f2.8.
  • Expose for the highlights, but avoid burn. If in doubt, underexpose by one stop.
  • Ensure the face is not in shadow. as needed, remove or tilt back hats.
  • Don't have them facing the sun (they will screw up their faces).
  • Ideal angle for light is 45' high, 45' to the side.
  • Avoid distracting backgrounds. Something blurred and contrasting to show edges of people. So don't line them up against a wall.

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