How To Take Perfect “People Pictures” In Digital Photography

One of the things people ask me most about digital photography is how to take perfect “people pictures.” Digital photography is great for people because you can simply delete the ones you don’t like, and show them, on the spot, what the digital photo looks like.
In any digital photography session, whether it be portrait photography or photography at a birthday party it takes prior knowledge to getting “perfect people” digital photos.
So here are the digital photography secrets to this type of photography.
People Photography Secret number 1:

Horizontal vs. vertical

Most people who do digital photography of people hold the digital camera horizontal. Not sure why this is; most likely because the digital camera is built that way, but really you can do well with holding the camera vertical as well. Horizontal digital photos of people are ok, but work best when taking a group photo rather than a single photo of someone. A vertical angle for your digital people photo can give you a great composition for close up and it tells you a lot more about that person that a horizontal will. Horizontal angles in digital photography of single people tends to increase the amount of potential clutter and irrelevant objects in the frame.

People Photography Secret Number 2

Where to put your people in the frame

In digital photography, pictures of people work best by creating some interesting composition. Don’t put your person in the center of the frame just because everyone else does their digital photography that way; be unique and creative and you’ll get a much be result. And good digital photography is all about capturing that special moment of someone to last and reflect something positive about that person, right?

People Photography Secret Number 3

Go Candid. Personally, in my experience as someone who does digital photography for a living, I can tell you that candid digital photographs work so much better then staid photos. It’s so much better to capture someone just as they laugh at a funny joke, or see their friend for the first time in a while, or even talking quietly to others, it so much more interesting and creates a positive photo of someone than a shot of them looking into the camera with a posed shot; hey anyone can do that. But do take that digital photo with them laughing and not knowing they’re being photographed captures a side of them that not everyone sees. It’ll show them in good spirits and create a positive image for all those who see that digital photo from now on. Get creative with people photography; try black and white and sepia. And even try taking the digital photo of them doing something they love, like playing an instrument for example.

Good luck!

How to Take Good Pictures of People – Photography Secrets Revealed!

Unlike animals or inanimate objects, we’re very picky when it comes to how our photos come out; which is why it is so important to know how to take good pictures of people. It’s not everyday that someone brings a camera, right?

Usually, we take pictures in order to preserve memories. And who wants to keep a memory of a bad shot in their photo album? No one, right?

As the photographer, you have to know how to take good pictures of people. If you need a little help with that, here are some tips to improve your shots.

1) Find the best angle.

People have different angles. Sometimes, one person looks better from the left or from the right. That person may not know it himself/herself, so it’s up to you to determine the best angle for the picture.

It’s not only about left and right though. It’s also about how high or low you angle your camera. For example, positioning yourself too low will only catch the unflattering view of say… your cousin Leah’s nostrils and your sister Tammy’s double chin. Do that and you’ll never be allowed to touch the camera again.

2) Catch candid moments.

One way on how to take good pictures of people is by catching them during candid moments. Sometimes, people have a hard time smiling naturally in front of the camera. The photo then becomes stiff and boring.

However, by catching them mid-laugh or mid-talk, you’ll have a better chance of scoring beautiful images. Just be sure to time the moment right because candid moments can also make for unflattering pictures.

3) Try different positions.

Old-school photographers like to take pictures of people by lining them up side by side. While there’s nothing really wrong with such a composition, don’t you think that that’s a little too boring?

If you want to take good pictures of people, I suggest trying out different positions. Group them together like a bunch of flowers and take their picture from above so their faces are the ones in focus. Be as fun and as creative as the situation allows you to.

Frankly, it’s easy to learn how to take good pictures of people. You don’t have to buy the latest camera model to come up with fantastic photos. All it takes is a little bit of ingenuity and an understanding of the overall composition of the photo.

Starting Photography – Choosing a Lens For Your SLR Camera

When it comes to choosing photographic lenses there is no secret. In fact it’s simply a matter of thinking about what you want to photograph, how often you photograph it, and what lens you need to do it. You can get quite confused about different manufacturer’s lenses when trying to pick the right one.

Let’s think about someone who takes portrait photographs for a living. This kind of photographer is probably not interested in macro lenses, fisheye lenses or any other very short lens simply because it won’t cut it in the portrait world. It’s no different for you. If you are shooting mainly landscapes, or nature scenes such as waterfalls or even the night sky at dusk, then think about what lens will give you the best clarity.

When I am teaching people photography I often used this analogy; you’ll lens is like your camera’s eye. For example if you are shooting portraits you don’t want a lens that is too close because you don’t want the nose to be too big. On the other hand if you are shooting birds in a tree then you certainly want to be as close as you can. Also if you are shooting general scenes such as your favorite beach or a pretty garden then a ‘standard’ lens will suit you best. Any lens must be able to transport you into the scene as clearly as possible.

It’s true what they say that the more money you spend on a lens the better clarity and sharpness you will get in your photography. Your lens is the thing that gives your photography clarity and sharpness. This does not mean you need the absolute top of the range lens. You can get great results with standard lenses such as an 80 mm to 105 mm.

Here is a simple way of illuminating confusion as to what lens to buy. So let’s look at what lens does what.

Portrait lenses — 105 mm to 200 mm

Landscape or nature scenes – (wide angle lens) 24 mm to 35mm

Astrophotography (wide angle lens) 10 mm to 24 mm

Wildlife photography – (telephoto lens) 100 mm to 600 mm.

So you can see that each lens does a different job.

This is just a rough guide as to what type of lenses does what. If you want ‘expansiveness’ then a wide-angle lens is what you need. If you want to shoot wildlife such as a bird in a tree, then a telephoto lens may just be what you are after. A wide angle lens gives you more peripheral view and a telephoto transports you closer.

You might also want to invest in UV filter for the front of your lens. A UV filter is not a specialized color filter, nor does it give you special effects. It is a clear glass filter that screws onto the front of your lens to give protection from dust, sand etc. It protects your lens from the environment around you.

Don’t be too overwhelmed by the photography brochures or catalogs all salespeople. Do your research before buying anything. I do recommend that you buy your lenses new when you are just starting out photography simply because you may not know what you are buying if you buy second hand. Once you become skilled in photography and buying photographic equipment then you can buy secondhand lenses confidently.

Good luck in choosing your lens and you feel free to e-mail me if you need help. Happy shooting!