Aspiring Photographer 101: Photographing People and Faces

What is typically the most eye grabbing thing about a portrait? Usually, its the face! Yes, and usually the eyes at that.

Tips for shooting subjects faces:

  • My number one trick for shooting subjects faces is to UNTRAIN your child from smiling. Yes, you read correctly; it is ok, and usually rather beneficial if you take photos of your child’s natural faces and expressions. They create stronger emotions that the worlds cheesiest smiles! Of course, those are fun too!
  • Chin up and down. Yes, when you are photographing somebody, have them tip their chin up and then down. When you tell your subject to chin up, out, and down, it could make them look a lot thinner, and also extenuates the neck!
  • Make each arm, leg, hand, foot, etc a little different. I read in an article recently; if they are the same, make them different!
  • Turn womens head towards their highest shoulders, mens heads away from their highest shoulder.
  • If it bends, bend it! Keeping arms and legs totally straight makes a person look stiff!
  • Focus on the eyes; Eyes are the Entrance to Ones Soul, I always say!
  • Along with catching natural expressions comes CANDID! It is ok to shoot candid shots, it is TOTALLY ok if the child is not staring at the camera!
  • Stand back and zoom- this will cause a higher depth of field and photos with higher dept of field tend to be more appealing!
  • DON’T SHOOT SUBJECTS STRAIGHT ON! When you are photographing a subject, it is your job to make them look great! Shoulder to Shoulder tends to be your widest part, so don’t shoot straight on! Angle your subjects body!
  • Tilt your subjects neck: People look stiff when their necks are straight on. Tilt your subjects head, but the trick is to tilt it in several different agles! Your subject will look different if they tilt their neck left vs. right! See what works best for their pose!
  • Shoot straight on or above, when it comes to angle. If you shoot your subject from below, THEY WILL LOOK AWKWARD, almost every time. shoot at their focal point or above!
  • Weight on BACK LEGS. always. Tell your client to put most of their weight on their back leg, it will make them relax!

I will be adding to this list often, so make sure you come back to learn more!

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