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Top 5 Photography Tips for Better Pictures of Human Subjects

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Five photography tips for better pictures of human subjects.

Better pictures of human subjects can be achieved through knowledge and application of five photography tips that not all photography enthusiasts are aware of.

You may have noticed that there are times your pictures of people are pleasing while at times they do not evoke appeal at all. Those pleasing pictures adhere to some photography principles or techniques that are easy to follow, and of course, work.

To reduce less pleasing pictures especially if you are still a novice in the photography world, you may explore the following techniques using your brand new digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera, a mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera otherwise known as the EVIL camera, or just your simple compact camera for as long as it has the capacity to do the following photography tips. These techniques will work in any of these types of cameras.

1. Use a zoom lens or lenses with at least a focal length of 100 mm or more in taking portraits of chubby subjects.

Tele zoom lenses or zoom lenses used in digital single lens reflex (DSLR) cameras or mirrorless interchangeable-lens cameras (MILCs) with fixed focal length of 100 mm or more tend to compress the face of the subject and make the face more pleasing to look at. This is particularly useful in taking pictures of subjects who have wide or chubby features. You can also do this with your compact camera as long as it has a zooming in feature.

Step back about 4 meters away or more from your subject then zoom in and compose the portrait. You may need a tripod if your camera or lens does not have an integrated optimal image stabilizer (OIS) feature. If you don't have this feature, there is no tripod available, and you have shaky hands, leaning on a post or a sturdy platform can help prevent blurry portraits.

2. Apply a breathing technique when taking pictures.

Complement the above tip in using a zoom lens with a breathing technique that keeps your camera focused on the subject. Take a deep breath and slowly release the air in your lungs as you gradually press the shutter release button of your camera. It's much the technique used in aiming a gun towards a target in a shooting range. Breathing relaxes your body and prevents the jitters.

3. Take pictures of your human subject at breast level.

You may have noticed that your tall friend takes photographs that tend to make you or your group shorter than you really are. You look like dwarves without Snow White. 

stunted people

Image Source

Taking pictures at an angle higher than the person tend to shorten him while taking pictures below the level of the person will make  him appear taller. This is an illusion produced by varying the vertical angles when taking pictures. Unless you want those effects, taking pictures somewhere at breast level of the subject (not above or below it) will result to better pictures.

4. Take portraits in the morning.

It is best to take portraits in the morning when your subject is relaxed. People tend to look refreshed and happy in the morning when the problems of the day have not yet set in. A relaxed person can easily elicit a mirthful smile than one who had a bad been through the preoccupations of the day. 

5. Be happy and smile yourself when taking pictures.

Smiling at your subjects will encourage them to willingly pose at your request. A happy photographer is relaxed, thus is able to compose better and see the beauty of people he wants to photograph.

Apply these photography tips and see the difference in your pictures.

©2011 Patrick A. Regoniel

8 comments

Patrick Regoniel
1
Posted on Dec 14, 2011
Patrick Regoniel
1
Posted on Dec 14, 2011
Jerry Walch
0
Posted on Dec 14, 2011
Jan Reid
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Posted on Dec 14, 2011
carol roach
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Posted on Dec 13, 2011
Mark Feldt
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Posted on Dec 13, 2011
Abdel-moniem El-Shorbagy
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Posted on Dec 13, 2011
M 5446
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Posted on Dec 13, 2011

About This Article

Patrick Regoniel

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