If you are looking for some quick and easy portrait photography tips to improve your portrait photos you may just have stumbled across the right post. Below are 6 quick and simple tips that will instantly transform your portrait photos.
1. Basic portrait photography tips – Don’t use a lens that is too sharp
Most of the time we want the sharpest photos possible, and in order to do this we use the sharpest lens we have. There are times when sharper isn’t better and a softer lens produces better results, and portrait photography is one of these times. Sharp lenses record too much detail and will show every blemish, spot, pimple, variation in skin tone and other imperfections – which is not flattering. A softer lens doesn’t necessarily hide the imperfections but it won’t highlight them in as much detail, leading to a more pleasing photo and a happy model as well.
I use a few lenses for portrait photography including:
Canon 35mm f2 IS. It was only recently I discovered this lens and just how good it is. This lens is small, it is light, it is perfectly balanced on my Canon 6d, it has image stabilization (which is great for low light portraits), it is sharp but not too sharp and the image quality is superb. With theCanon 35mm f2 IS lens I can get in nice and close to the models to direct them, and the lens is not too intimidating for them. All in all it is a great lens for portraits, and it isn’t mega expensive either.
Canon 16 – 35 f4L IS. This is my got to lens when I am taking outdoor group photos or portraits of individuals and want to include some background for context. This lens is tough, durable and bombproof. The Image stabilization is great to ensure sharp hand held shots at slower shutter speeds. This lens is bigger than the 35mm prime, but it is still fairly small, light and isn’t intimidating. The image quality of this lens is awesome, and whilst some people may consider the f4 maximum aperture too narrow I can assure you it is perfect for group shots and any wider (using a narrower depth of field) would lead to problems with softness. The Canon 16 – 35 f4L IS lens isn’t cheap but it is good value for money and will provide years of trouble free service.
Canon 24 – 70 f2.8L. This lens is my workhorse for studio portraits. It is a big and heavy lens and some models do find it intimidating, so I don’t use it all the time. Like all L series lenses this lens is made from the materials and contains superior optics. The build quality is second to none, the image quality is superb and it is a top lens for portrait photography. The lens is well balanced on my Canon 6d when I use the battery grip but when the camera isn’t fully gripped it is a little heavy. The Canon 24 – 70 f2.8L is best used on larger cameras (gripped 6d, Canon 5d, Canon 7d etc.) where it will feel more at home. It isn’t a cheap lens but it is worth every penny and I wouldn’t be without mine.
Keen photographer addicted to cameras, lenses and everything photography related. Feel free to follow me in my photography ramblings, and if you have any thoughts, comments, queries or anything else to add I would love to hear from you.