View Full Version : taking good portrait photos

11-28-2006, 11:39 AM
a friend had requested of me to take pictures of her as an early christmas gift, so she could sent out prints to her family/friends, and being still an amateur, i hesitated, but at the same time, i couldnt pass up such an opportunity! i wanna be a better photographer, and what better than experience like this?!

however, herein lies the dilemma. i dont have any of this kind of photo shoot experience. i'm not sure how to approach this. my initial thoughts were on where i should shoot, and how to compose my shots.

i want a wide variety of shots, head shots, 3/4 shots and other creative compositions. at the same time, i was thinking of maybe a city/metropolitan setting, or garden, or beach, or some evening shots at the local outdoor mall/marketplace.

how should i go about doing this? i feel like im in way over my head... any suggestions/ideas for this would be greatly appreciated!!

11-28-2006, 02:28 PM
Well, from your signature, it looks like you've got a couple of portrait lenses, so that's a start!:)

I'm not much of a portrait 'tog, but I've done a few for friends, enough to learn that the most important thing is lighting (after the obvious, don't use wide angle:D ). Fill in flash can be useful, or a reflector or something to provide some uplighting for the face.

Otherwise, use a wide aperture - you've got the lenses for it - to throw the background out of focus, make your main point of focus on the eyes.

D Thompson
11-28-2006, 02:52 PM
First off, talk to your friend about what kind of shots they are wanting. That may eliminate some of the possibilities. She may be thinking of a specific type of shot and that may make your decisions a lot easier.

Secondly, spend time looking at other people's galleries. Ask yourself what you like/dislike about a particular shot. Study them for ideals and setups/poses.

Focus on the eyes. The ef85 is a great portrait lens. Enjoy the time so she is relaxed and that will come thru in her shots. I hope this helps and I'm sure others will have more suggestions.

11-28-2006, 02:53 PM
Sit down with her and ask her what she wants the portraits to potray;)