Photography Boot Camp Week IX: Portraits

Catching Up? Intro, Week I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII & VIII


I have a love/hate relationship with portraits. I hate really posed photographs (think horrid senior pictures) for the most part. They just don’t work for me. But those amazing pictures that capture a perfect little moment in a portrait? Love them. Absolutely love.

I actually tend not to shoot people, in case you haven’t noticed. My niece & nephew tend to be the exception to that as they both are total hams for the camera. I may or may not have bribed them to eat a certain dish once by telling them I would take their picture eating it (it totally worked).

Then there’s my dog. He’s my little muse.

Anyway, here’s what I learned this week:

  • Focus on your subject’s eyes
  • For individuals, use a low f/stop to create a shallow depth of field
  • For groups, take multiple shots & use at least an f/8 so that everyone is in focus
  • Consider your background – eliminate distractions (my photo above has entirely too much going on in the background, but I loved the moment).

The lesson also contained a lot of great tips for shooting babies, toddlers, kids & adults. I’ll definitely keep it around to refresh myself before shooting any of those subjects.

Next week? Landscapes!

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Devon Stiles


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