I’ve been into photography for quite a few years now but it wasn’t until recently that I started getting into photographing actual people! At first there wasn’t much of an opportunity as I was mainly just taking photos for the blog, but slowly some things started to pop up and it’s been a fun change. I love shooting interiors and things around the city, but there’s something really wonderful about capturing the interactions and emotions between people.
Today I wanted to share some recent couple and family shoots that I’ve done, and at the end of the post I’ll also be sharing a few tips I’ve picked up for photographing people!
I had a great time photographing Emily and Zach’s engagement party near Lincoln Center. Aren’t they such a stylish couple? I love Emily’s dress. They had the best chemistry and were super comfortable in front of the camera – lucky me!
You guys probably know Roxy from Society Social. She and her husband Alan are seriously the sweetest, most friendly people on the planet and baby Austen is beyond adorable. Roxy wanted to take some family photos around the city ahead of their move to North Carolina, so we had a great time shooting in Washington Square Park and later, Gramercy Park – two of their favorite NYC family spots.
I seriously cannot with Austen…look at that face!
Next I had the opportunity to photograph adorable couple Sandi and Matt (and their super cute puppy!) down in the West Village. It was such a fun morning of shooting and they are just the cutest, sweetest couple. It was an absolute pleasure to hang out with them.
I’ve had such a great time working with these families and couples and am excited to currently be taking bookings! You can check out my portfolio here. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re looking for family photos, engagement photos, newborn photos, or anything similar. I’m also available for other types of photography so just drop me a line if you have a project you’d like to inquire about!
Lastly, I wanted to share a few very basic tips for photographing people. Hopefully some of these might be helpful for any of you out there who are looking transition from shooting landscapes or still lifes to photographing friends or family!
Basic Tips for Photographing People
f-stop (or aperture) is of the utmost importance when photographing people. Here are some easy guidelines that I utilize:
For 1-2 people: f2.0-2.8.
For 3-4 people: f4.0.
For 5 or more people: f5.6 or above.
Use Single Point Focus
I use single point focus all the time. When you use multi-point focus you’re letting the camera choose where to focus (within the range of points you choose), whereas with single point you’re telling it exactly where to focus. This will give you more precise control so it’s the preferable option!
Focus on The Eyes
When shooting a portrait, focus on the person’s eye (whichever eye is closest to the camera). Whatever else is going on in the photo, if the subject’s eyes are out of focus, the image is useless.
Focus on the person closest to the camera
Whose eye should you focus on when there’s more than one person in the shot? Focus on the person closest to the camera.
Get People on the Same Focal Plane
Keeping in mind my point above about focusing on the person closest to the camera, remember that your best shot of getting everyone in focus is to make sure their faces are on the same focal plane (meaning no one is further back or further forward than anyone else). So try to get people to line up as best as possible! Groups always tend to want to curl in on the edges, so tell them to line up their feet (that can be a more understandable direction than “get in a line.”).
Get People Close Together
When shooting a group of people or a couple, get them to stand closer together than necessarily feels natural. Things somehow always look farther away from each other in photos, so while it might feel weird and unnatural, it winds up looking better in the photo when people are standing closer together.
Fast Shutters for Babies and Kids
Use the fastest shutter speed you can when it comes to photographing babies and children. They’re clearly not very good at staying still, so this gives you the best chance of freezing their action and getting crisp shots!
Look at Each Other
People tend to automatically look at the camera when they’re getting their picture taken, but it looks a lot better and more natural when they’re looking at each other or interacting in some way. Rather than telling couples “ignore me, pretend I’m not here!” which is kind of impossible when someone’s sticking a camera in their face, tell people to look at each other. That creates a feeling of connectedness in the photo. Then of course there are lots of strategies you can use to get them to laugh and interact with each other, thus hopefully creating some great intimate and fun moments you can capture for them!
These are obviously very basic tips for photographing people with a DSLR, but hopefully you find them useful! Clearly there are only about a million more things that go into it and I could talk/write on the subject for hours, but I’ll stop myself there and just mention that if you have any further questions or would like clarification on any of the things covered in the post, leave a comment below! And feel free to let me know if you’d like more posts about photography and/or photography tips.