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Hey Photographer!

Martina here with this week’s photography tip!

Many of you like photographing people, whether it be casual shots of friends and family or more formal portraits.

Whichever style you prefer, do your best to avoid these 10 common mistakes!

  1. Using the wrong lens: Using a wide angle lens will make people look stretched and distorted. Faces can appear larger than they actually are. Your best bet is to use a prime lens. These work really well in low light, allow you to get close to your subject and allow you to produce a beautiful blurry background. 

2. Harsh Lighting: When taking portraits it is important to have flattering light. You want your subject to be well lit, but not overexposed. If you are using your built-in flash, adjust the flash compensation (or, flash power) to a negative number to soften the light. If the light is shining directly in someone’s eyes they will squint and the photograph won’t be very flattering.

3. Bad angles: Never take shots from too low or too high. You want to be a little higher than your subject’s eye level.

4. Wrong time of the day:  Choose the right time of the day for your shoot. Midday on a sunny day can be really tricky. The sun is right above you and it produces weird shadows and unflattering look. Instead of shooting on super sunny days, try an overcast or cloudy day.

Also, try shooting during golden hour (the hour before the sun fully sets). The light is softer at this time because the sun is pretty low in the sky.

5. Not focusing properly: Make sure you focus on your subject and their eyes. If you are using autofocus, sometimes your camera will focus on your closest part (like the nose or the hand). Adjust your focus manually to keep the eyes sharp.

6. Distracting background:  Portrait photography is about the person, not the landscape. Make sure the background is not too distracting or overwhelming. If you are using a prime lens you will get that blurry background effect which is a great way to guide the viewer’s eye to the subject and not the background.

7. Cropping: Get close to your subject so you don’t have to crop your images afterwards. Cropping can lower the quality of your photographs and you don’t want that happening, especially if you are printing your images.

8. Bad composition: You don’t have to always place your subject right in the middle. To mix things up, frame them off center or use negative space to give them some breathing room in the frame. Try different compositions and see what you like best.

9. Not paying attention to details: If you want your shots to look professional, you have to pay attention to little details like small hairs sticking out, wrinkled clothing, makeup not properly applied, crooked bowtie, ETC.  

10. Not taking enough shots:  Take more shots than you think you need and choose the best ones after!

If you have any questions, let us know!

Happy Shooting!

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