Portrait Photography

Rebel girl and I want to take pictures of people. We bought cards to hand to people after we have built up the courage to even approach them. The dilemma is we have no experience in photographing people, other than family events. We asked our niece Charlie if she would let us take pictures of her for practice. She is a natural in front of the lens, who patiently let us switch lenses ISO, Aperture,and Shutter Speed. I imagine strangers would not be so patient. Overall we tried a 50mm, 40mm, 6.5mm fish-eye, and the 100m macro. We called her last minute and it was overcast, another area we don’t have experience with. I have no idea if my pictures are good, but she is stunning and a good sport for allowing us to do this and post it. So without further ado.

11 comments

  1. Most people rave about an 85mm for portraits, on your cropped frame the 50mm is the equivalent of a 75mm and close enough though I’m sure differing opinions abound, and a lot of opinions are subjective just as mine are.
    Street photography isn’t exactly portraiture and preferences seem to be 50mm and down.
    I have a Laowa 60mm f2.8 macro lens, an all manual lens designed specifically for macro and a killer at it that I’ve taken what would be considered portrait shots with that when viewing them you’d never guess the lens that was used.
    Being a 60mm on a cropped sensor means it’s effectively a 90mm.
    I’ve also have a vintage Pentax Takumar 105mm all manual that’s superb for portraits, so I don’t necessarily believe a person has to restrict themselves to a certain range.
    If you’re in aperture priority mode which I assume you are as you mention setting aperture and ISO you can also set your exposure value to compensate for low light.
    A good external flash can prove invaluable in a variety of settings – built in flashes are worthless in my opinion and if you’re going to devote time to portraits you’ll probably wind up with a light studio style light or two.
    Your editing software should have a “purify” slider that assists in removing color cast if that becomes a problem due to white balance.
    Trial an error are the way of but in time settings etc become intuitive , if you’re going aperture mode you might consider a good light meter………I know, more stuff, but that’s kind of the way of it.
    You should consider too that I’m offering opinions based on what works for me, my “style” – that doesn’t imply they are set in stone or necessarily work for others.

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    1. Thank you Rezinate. As for editing software I have none as of yet . i know my way around photoshop 7 lol . I think it was almost 15 yrs ago I used it mostly to texture 3d props . I still think it kicked butt. I was never too serious to fork out the cash to buy a copy of newer versions . I was overwhelmed with the changes even though they were catering more to the 3d environment.
      I mostly shoot in manual , but a crash course in portrait photography suggested just that . My attention span is that of a 5 Yr old . I take pictures of a bee then I take pictures of my dinner , then the moon. Somewhere in between I remember i’m not set up for this shot ,and change settings. 🙂 I’m getting good at making changes within ten seconds, but not sure if they are correct. I try to see if my settings are lying to me. sometimes the sky is white but i know it’s blue .
      We just bought a speedlite but have yet to use it .
      Mostly I want to take pictures of people in that moment, doing their thing .
      I really appreciate your input, and the time it took for you to reply.

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  2. I feel the dilemma..I also want to photograph people but I feel so insecure…
    In order to improve I ask my friends to suffer my photography abuse on them XD
    I opened a page with portrait photography on Facebook and upload my best photos there, people who see my work will decide whether or not they want me to photograph them:)
    Be the way beautiful girl with beautiful smile! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Photography has been a lifelong passion and I’m self taught. Thank goodness for the digital age lol. When it comes to portrait photography, I like to record moments and a person how they would behave naturally. I refer from staged pictures as they appear unnatural and don’t capture the essence of the person I’m shooting. I’m an artist and paint as well, which allows me to combine my artistic vibes and push the boundaries. You will know what feels right to you and which direction to go. As far as the technical aspects…practice makes perfect. :).
    Keep going, you’re already doing great.

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    1. I couldn’t imagine the cost of developing your images thirty years ago . In the last 2 months I have filled a 64 gig cards three times . With probably ten percent of them being ok. 🙂
      And thanks for the encouragement , it is greatly appreciated.

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      1. Thank you. I also have dabbled in painting. I took 4 years of art in high school in two years . Never felt I was good enough. I did enjoy oil painting, most works I did I gave to my mother, grandmothers,and great aunts. Time flies and I have all those pieces back, hanging in my house now . Music and art ,then animation ,and now photography are things I enjoy. Again I must say thanks for taking the time to comment . I find comments more favorable than likes, I’m still trying to find my way around word press. I hope you have a great weekend .

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      2. You are very welcome. I paint as well, mostly acrylic and self taught again. The beautiful thing with art, there is no right or wrong and beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder. So I just usually go with what feels right and my paintings are often reflections of emotions I’m experiencing in my life.
        I’m also a lover of music and music often conveys where words fail and end. It seems like we have much in common. Keep exploring.
        Have a great weekend.

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