View Full Version : Photographing people......

2nd of September 2004 (Thu), 19:04
I have a friend who would like me to take some photos of her both indoors and outdoors. Most likely portrait or Glamour type photos.
I have little to no experience in this area (I mentioned that several times but she is still willing to try) I am looking for any helpful hints to make this a painless operation.
A little background - I mostly shoot Landscapes, wildlife and aircraft. I have very little experience photographing people.
I will be using a Canon 10D w/ a 28-70 2.8 lens, 75 -300 4-5.6is. and and a 550EX flash.
Again any advise would be appreciated -lighting, filters, exposure etc.
Thank you

2nd of September 2004 (Thu), 19:37
The key is in getting rid of any major shadows.

---Bob Gross---

2nd of September 2004 (Thu), 19:39
The key is in getting rid of any major shadows.

---Bob Gross---

That really is it in a nutshell, isn't it. :idea:

2nd of September 2004 (Thu), 19:43
Portrait photographers argue about putting the key light here and putting the key light there, using a 2:1 ratio, using a 3:1 ratio, facing right, facing left, chin up, chin down, putting the hair light on the same side as the key light, putting it ...

All of those arguments are defendable, and on any given day, each one will work. However, if you have harsh shadows, it tends to be awkward.

A few really artsy shots can use harsh shadows. But for the rest of us mere mortals, it doesn't.

---Bob Gross---

3rd of September 2004 (Fri), 12:26
The key is in getting rid of any major shadows.

---Bob Gross---
Perhaps the key is getting the light and shadows to work with the subject. (soft lighting, strong lighting, light shadows, harsh shadows....)

4th of September 2004 (Sat), 00:02
I would use a small reflector and a light meter if possible. You want to get the best exposure possible. Also, watch your background carefully, you don't want a busy background.

Do some test shots at first, don't try and start the actual session until you feel comfortable with her and she with you. Since you are new, you might be afraid to ask her to move, so take it slow and feel your way around. Perhaps if she is a pro she will know how to move.

What type of shots do she need? Portraits for what? Is she a model or actor?

If she is a model is a model then she would want body shots if she has something to wear. Ask her what she wants from the shots and what she plans on doing with them.

If she is an actor then she might want head shots. Take shots from her shoulders up. Have her wear solid colors, not pastels and no busy patterns if she doesn't have anything solid.

Stay away from white as it tends to get overblown and sometimes doesn't photograph well in bright light.

Use darker colors, grey, blue & blacks.

Also, stay away from a lot of flashy jewelry.

Her makeup should be dependent on the type of shot:

***Headshot for actor: Very simple makeup, no loud colors she should look natural.

***Model shot: She should have makeup appropriate for what she is wearing.

Please note, that most portraits shots in order to look real professional require at least a makeup artist. That would be good for a portrait shot for personal use. For a model you must have makeup artist, hairstylist and clothing stylist in order to have a professional looking shoot and get good results. Can you do the shoot without all of this? Yes. Do you want to only if you have no other choice.

This is the hard part...

Try and relax and have a good time. Don't expect that every shot you get will be great, you make shoot an hour and get one good shot and that is all you need sometimes.

I know for me, the hardest part was directing the person. It will come to you in time.

Make sure that her back is straight at all times, that will kill a shot. No slouching!!

Most important have fun, relax and notice your background.

Post some of the results after the shoot.

Hope this helps...Best of luck!!


7th of September 2004 (Tue), 09:52
Thank you all for your great advice. Now it is time to practice.

27th of September 2004 (Mon), 04:40
I would make sure you use between a 70mm-100mm with a large appature (I like the 85mm f1.8 canon lens) for those kind of shots as your depth of field will be better. You want the focus to be on the model not the background so a shallow depth of field is good. NEVER BE AFRAID OF FILL FLASH as it adds pizaze and punch to the picture. A quick trick you can use is to focus on the eye then recompose the picture. The eyes are very important...

Here are some examples.






27th of November 2004 (Sat), 20:51
Very interesting comment about focus on the eyes and then recompose the picture, what does that mean? How do you do that?

28th of November 2004 (Sun), 00:53
Very interesting comment about focus on the eyes and then recompose the picture, what does that mean? How do you do that?

Standard trick. Basically set AF to always use the center point. Then put that point over the eyes and use the autofocus. While holding your finger half way down to keep the autofocus, recompose and shoot. You could always use manual focus too ;-)