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Portrait Photography Tips

Five photography tips for successful Portrait photographs

Photography tips for Portrait – Camera Settings

Whether you shoot portraits, landscapes or other kinds of photography, camera settings are an essential part of your success. Therefore, each genre requires different camera settings; for example, your camera settings for sport or action photography will differ from those used in landscape photography. In this article, I am going to cover five critical portrait photography tips for camera settings in Natural/Constant Light.

Portrait Photography Tips

Natural Light Portraitures are always very interesting
Natural Light Portraitures are always very interesting

Camera settings for portrait photography

ISO Setting for Portrait Photography

For natural light portraits, I recommend using the lowest possible ISO. The lower ISO settings (100-400) provide a clean and sharp image; additionally, you will have a better Dynamic Range, which means that you can retouch the photo later with more detail.

Shutter Speed in Portrature

Although Shutter Speed may not seem all that relevant in portrait photography, it is crucial to select the shutter speed wisely. We know that in portrait photography, the subject does not move, or do they? People can move, especially when they are in front of a camera, even slightly, which can cause blurred photos; therefore, if you take pictures of kids or people who are not comfortable in front of the camera.  Another point to consider is that fast shutter speed may force you to use a higher ISO.
As a general rule, shutter speed from 1/100s to 1/400s serves you the best because it is fast enough to freeze the slight movement of your subject without pushing the ISO too high

Aperture Settings

Depth of Field is another important key in portrait photography. Although a shallow depth of field is often desirable for portraits, you want to be careful when selecting the f-Stop. Look at the focal length of your lens and set an aperture that provides some depth of field. For example, if you are using an 85mm lens with f1.4, you don’t want to open the aperture all the way to f1.4 because the depth of field is so shallow that the eye may be in focus, but the nose and ears would not! (Unless, of course, you are going for this effect) As a rule of thumb, usually f4.5 to 5.6 will provide excellent over-all depth of field.

Set the White Balance

Our camera’s Auto White Balance can sometimes become confused and create a massive colour cast. One example is when you shoot portraits in the shade, but there is sunshine in the background. In this situation, you usually wind up with an unwanted colour cast. Always try to use Custom White Balance. If you cannot set the custom White Balance, I recommend using one of the White Balance Presets. Using Presets allows for faster and better post-processing

Continuous Drive Mode

Continuous shooting mode is helpful, especially if you’re taking group portraits of people. Set your camera drive for 3 to 4 frames per second and capture more than one photo at a time. Continuous Shooting allows wiggle room for those people who close their eyes or make funny faces when you release the shutter. Having multiple images offers more pictures for you to pick up the best one!

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Photographer used a telephoto to capture a nice soft background and Bokeh effect
Photographer used a telephoto to capture a nice soft background and Bokeh effect

That is all for now. Stay tuned for my next photography Tips. We love to hear from you. Let us know if you have any questions, feel free to send us your questions, and we will be more than happy to answer them. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more Free Tutorials and Tips.

Ted and the Omnilargess Team