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  • Writer's pictureKorinna Duke

Tips for the Portrait Beginner

Hey friends! I get questions all the time about what camera to get in order to take photos of your precious children in every day life. Obviously, it's not practical or possible to hire a photographer for all the baby smiles or your son's graduation from preschool (even though you KNOW I would be there if you asked me).

To help, let me offer a few tips in order for you to capture those "photographer-less" moments!


You do not need to spend $3000 on your camera! Leave that to the professionals (ME!) to have when you need it the most and invest in a cheaper camera body for those every day moments. Then get one fixed lens (a 35mm 1.8f, 50mm 1.4f or an 85mm 1.4f). These can be fairly inexpensive, but will make all the difference for pics of your kiddos.

For example: Here are two shots where I stood on the same bucket above the model. For pic #1 I used a 35mm and for pic #2 I used an 85mm.

Nikon D810, 35mm, 1/200 at ƒ1.8, ISO64

Nikon D810, 85mm, 1/200 at ƒ1.8, ISO64

TIP #2

Lighting is key! You think having a great camera is all you need? Nope! It's a start, but actually it's all about the lighting. Do you ever notice some days your iPhone takes awesome photos and then other days your pictures look not so great? That's most likely the lighting. If shooting inside, a window is your friend, but NOT if the window (or light source) is behind the person (unless you are going for the super dramatic light shot).

For example: Pic #1 has great lighting. The light source (window) is to the left of the camera. Where as in Pic #2, the light source (window) is behind the subjects, therefore causing a weird bright and over exposed background. Sometimes you just gotta take the picture, but be aware of what your light is doing.

Pic #1

Pic #2

**I've just scratched the surface on lighting!! Being able to adjust your camera in different settings is a step up in the lighting world too!

TIP #3

Leave yourself some time to get to know your camera! Shooting on auto is totally acceptable at the beginning- you gotta start somewhere. Adjust the settings and see what works!

**I'd be happy to teach you how to switch from Auto to Manual!!

Like I said, these are just beginning tips for those wanting to get better photos of your family and friends! Let me know if you tried any of these tips!!


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