Shooting people... with your camera

Disappointed by your photos of people?

No matter the device (phone or camera), here are my top three tips...

 

 Moving your subjects under some shade will eliminate a lot of ugly shadows on their faces. 

Moving your subjects under some shade will eliminate a lot of ugly shadows on their faces. 

1. Look at the light on your subject - are their eyes in shadows? Is the background too bright or dark? 

Are they looking into the sun and squinting their eyes? Perhaps turn them away from the sun, or have the sun to the side of them. 

 Turning your subject side on to the light makes for great shadow and three dimension on the face but also means they are not squinting into the light.

Turning your subject side on to the light makes for great shadow and three dimension on the face but also means they are not squinting into the light.

Some of the best natural light is in a shaded area where sunlight is gently falling in. Near a window, just under a verandah... 

 Keeping the background out of focus is one way of removing distractions. White paper also reflects beautiful light back onto faces. 

Keeping the background out of focus is one way of removing distractions. White paper also reflects beautiful light back onto faces. 

 

2. Look at the backgrounds - declutter to make sure the attention is on the person. 
Check there are no trees, poles or other things growing out of heads. 

If you have to use the on-camera flash, move your subject away from the walls. That dark, harsh shadow on the wall doesn't add to the photo (in a positive way).

 And of course, you can expose for the background and make silhouette portraits. 

And of course, you can expose for the background and make silhouette portraits. 

 

3. Get them naturally - either by taking candid pics or talking to them when you are taking the photo. A real smile is always going to be better than a tight-lipped fake one. 

 Photographs were the subject isn't looking at the camera are great for story-telling. 

Photographs were the subject isn't looking at the camera are great for story-telling. 

Kids photos will be much better when you allow them to play rather than making them sit stiffly smiling at the camera.

Want to learn more? Check out my Better Pics for Business eCourse... I'll teach you how to get better people, event, product and landscape photos. Easily. With any camera. 

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