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Tips for Taking Great Photos of People

Posted in [Photography] By Church Hill Classics
With the nice spring weather, you will probably have the opportunity to take many great pictures of your family and loved ones as reminder and keepsake of the time you spent together. To make your special occasions even more memorable we have come up with some tips to help you take better photos of the people around you.


PLACEMENT

  1. In order to feel the emotion in photographs, focus on the eyes and mouth of the subject.

  2. For children or pets, get down to their level to really capture facial expressions.  Fill the frame with your subject for a truly intimate portrait.

  3. Eye-level Photography

  4. Instead of taking an entire shot of a person's body, place emphasis on their upper body and face.  Unless you are photographing the subject's outfit or uniform, avoid taking whole body pictures when trying to focus on facial expression. These tend to be very distracting because background images are a larger part of the photograph and take away from the emotion of the moment.


  5. Stand far enough back.  By zooming in with the camera, the subject's face becomes more flattering. Step back and zoom in; the background will become blurry which draws more attention to the subject in the photograph.


  6. Turn the camera and shoot some photos vertically.  This makes it easier to zoom-in on faces.

  7. For shooting groups of family members, Kagoo offers great ideas on positioning, orientation, background, how to add some creative flair to the composition, and more.

LIGHTING


  1. Keep in mind that cameras do not handle very bright areas, direct sunlight and/or dark shadows very well. A tip for this is for the photographer to position themselves so the sun is behind them and to one side. This will create light to shine directly on the subject’s face. If this causes the sun to shine in the subject’s eyes, have them keep their eyes closed, count to three and have them open their eyes as you take the shot.

  2. Correct Lighting Example


  3. For portraits, overcast days are usually the best. Set your camera to fill-flash or daylight flash to fill in shadows and add light to the subject’s face.

  4. More times than not, use the flash. A common misconception in photography is that the flash should only be used at night. However, by adding the flash during day photographs, unattractive dark shadows can be eliminated. Use “slow-sync” or “fill light” mode on the camera to avoid unwanted shadows.

  5. At night, also use “slow-sync” or “fill light” mode to capture subject’s faces along with background images. Cameras with a normal full flash tend to create solid black backgrounds that are very unflattering to the subject’s facial expressions.

EMOTION

  1. Steer away from primarily focusing on portraits or posed pictures.  Candid pictures capture true emotion because they are unexpected. At an event, snap away when people are engaged in conversation, dancing, etc.

  2. There is nothing worse than spotting a fake smile. As the photographer, tell a joke or story that can help stir up emotion right before photographing.

  3. Surprise yourself! Take candid pictures of laughing, crying, yelling, playing, etc. You'll get a variety of true emotions that could turn out to be one of the greatest photographs in your collection.


Kodak offers a terrific list of "Top 10 Tips" with visuals that are really useful.  Check it out. For more professional tips on candid photography, visit Digital Photography School’s tip list.



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