I like taking photos of still life and landscapes for fun. It gives me the opportunity to use my creative talents. But I think photos of people are the best type of photos. Unfortunately people also make some of the worst subjects.
In the last couple of weeks I have scanned hundreds of old family photographs for my slide show projects. The photos of people fascinate me more than photos of any other subject. What makes a good photo of a person? I think capturing the person’s personality, character and emotion gives the viewer of the photo a connection to the person in the photo.
Here are a few tips for taking better photos of the important people in your life:
Get close to your subject and focus on their face. Most people want to take full head to toe body shots. Avoid taking full body shots unless the clothes are your subject. For example the person is wearing a costume or uniform take a full body shot otherwise stay focused on the face. Make the person the center of your photo by getting up close and personal.
Avoid lighting extremes. Very dark or very bright light will cause your camera to over adjust for the light. Outdoors in shade or overcast days are best for capturing accurate flesh tones. Don’t forget to use your fill flash to brighten shadowy areas on the face.
Use the right lenses for taking photos of people. A high powered zoom will allow you to get up close features without getting into your subjects personal space. Avoid wide-angle lenses they will distort facial features. When kids are your subject get down to their level to take the photo. Focus the camera on the eyes of your subject.
Photograph your subjects while they are engaged in other activities. For example do you have a self proclaimed chef in the family? Photograph them making their world famous lasagna. Have a little one in the family that is learning to read? Photograph them with their nose tucked into a book.
Capturing the personality of the person in a still photo is truly an art form. The more photos you take you will become more confident and increase your chances of taking that awesome photograph.