Photography techniques, for taking pictures of anything.

Tip 1. Focus on the eyes

Eye contact may not always be desirable in a portrait photo, sharp eyes definitely are. If you manually select an AF point over one of your models eyes or central focus point to lock focus on their eyes. Then release half-pressed to keep the setting locked, recompose your picture before taking the shot.

Tip 2. Using a standard or telephoto lens

For portraits, a better choice is either a standard lens or a short telephoto lens. The classic portrait focal lengths for a full-frame camera are 50mm, 85mm prime lenses and a 70-200mm zoom. These will help to compress features and provide a more natural-looking result.

Tip 3. Using window light

You don’t need an expensive home studio lighting kit to take amazing portraits. A window and a reflector can help you achieve stunning natural light portraits without spending much.

Position your model at an angle to the window and use a white or silver reflector to open up any shadows across their face.  Using a silver reflector will give a crisper quality of light than a white one, although the effect won’t be as subtle.

Tip 4. High-key portraits

Deliberately choosing to over-expose a photo to create a ‘high-key’ effect results in a light and delicate look that can enhance feminine portraits and pictures of children.The trick is not to blow the highlights in-camera, but  brighten up the shot later in software such as Photoshop. Shooting RAW files will give you the most editing head-room, as you’ll be able to extract more detail across the tonal range in raw compared to JPEGs.