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Thread: Tips for portrait shoots.

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    Tips for portrait shoots.

    I'm doing a photo shoot with my friends this weekend, hoping that my Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 lens comes before then, othawise ill jst be using my 18-200mm lens. But i was just wondering anyone could give me some do's and dont's for portrait shoots. it would be greatly appreciated.

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    I think the most important thing is the light falling on the face. Many people think it's what settings you use and stuff like that - but you could run through the entire spectrum of exposure parameteres and it wouldn't improve your shot. The light is the critical issue.

    If you find the light on the face is a bit harsh or a bit muddy, simply move around to a different angle and see how it works out and/or change location. As you photograph more and more your eyes will be able to detect what is good light and bad light. It's a bit hard at first because our eyes have more DR than the camera, so it's hard to tell what bad light is unless you're specifically looking out for the telltale signs (e.g. harsh shadows, eye sockets that are shaded, "muddy" looking light)

    Check out this page here, the actual page is irrelevant because it's a lens review page, but compare the portraits of the girl about 25% of the way down the page.

    Underneath the portrait of the girl are 8 different links (they may take a few minutes to load). You put your mouse over the links to change the image (again they may take a few minutes to load depending on the speed of your connection).

    Notice as you mouse over the first and second images...it is the same subject, same camera, same lens, same exposure settings, the only thing that is changing is the light and the background - those two factors make a huge difference to the photograph.

    Also watch the background, make sure it's free of clutter or distracting elements is good.

    These are kind of general rules of thumbs, but as you get more advanced you often break even those rules

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    pollen,

    Thanks for the lighting tips, will look out for that. Appreciate you taking the time to help me out.
    Also couldnt see the link to the photos you were talking about?

    Thanks

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    Firstly, you need to direct your subject; but try and make the subject comfortable. If the subject is comfortable, that will come through in the images.

    To me, portraits are about the eyes. Always lock focus on the eyes (especially when shooting with a shallow depth of field), as that's the most engaging part of a portrait.

    Composing using the rule of thirds is generally a good idea, and makes for a pleasing image generally.

    If you're shooting a wider view, allow the subject space into which to look.

    Of course, lighting is very important. Will you be shooting in available light, or using flashes/strobes? Pay attention to the direction of the light, the softness/hardness of the light, any shadows, and the colour of the light.

    Pay attention to what's in the background, and try to compose out any distracting elements. Keep an eye out for tree branches growing out of the subject's head, as well as any ugly elements such as wires, power poles, fences, etc.

    There's plenty of advice to be given; but if you can provide some more details about your shoot, it'll be easier to offer you more specific advice.

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    oops sorry

    It's about 25% of the way down, it's a pic of a girl's head and there's about 8 mouseover links under it. The point of it is to demonstrate changing lens aperture, but even better is that even though pic 1 and pic 2 are using same gear, and same photographer (skill), what is changing is the light, and that imo makes the biggest difference more than anything else

    http://www.the-digital-picture.com/R...ns-Review.aspx

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    thanks pollen, that web page is a great help.
    More details about my shoot: We are shooting at cottesloe beach in the garden area there. I have two 'models'. Taking shoot in the morning most likely. The shoot is just for fun, and practice for me. Not sure what else to tell you.
    But very much appreciate the pointers people offer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ckhidding View Post
    We are shooting at cottesloe beach in the garden area there. I have two 'models'. Taking shoot in the morning most likely. The shoot is just for fun, and practice for me. Not sure what else to tell you.
    If you have access to a reflector dish, take that along.

    You could also make a DIY version using aluminium foil wrapped around a poster-size sheet of cardboard. Inexpensive, but effective.

    You can reflect the warm morning light onto your subject's face, which provides for nice, even lighting.

    Also, try to avoid having your subject facing the sun, as squniting eyes in photos are none too flattering. :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Xenedis View Post
    Also, try to avoid having your subject facing the sun, as squniting eyes in photos are none too flattering. :-)
    so true

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