Thursday, July 12

How to shoot portraits | Going beyond your comfort zone

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Lao-tzu

One of the most easily identifying marks of a pro photog vs an amateur's photographs is the apparent distance between the subject and photographer. 

It's not comfortable for some of you to get close to your subject. Maybe you feel awkward. Maybe you think your subject will feel awkward. Maybe you're so confident in your zoom lens, you leave that distance there, afraid you might say the wrong thing or maybe not speak enough. But I promise you one thing, you won't get what you want if you feel you need to get closer to your subject to get THE shot but your feet just stay planted. Never take a photo just to take to it. If your gut says "Eh... that looks awkward..." then by all means, keep moving!

I challenge you to get a 50mm lens and move your feet. Get above your subject. Get below your subject. Move, be it even 2 feet to left or right or forward or back and keep moving, until you stand in that shot where you can gasp and say "That's the moment."

The beauty in using a fixed lens, among scores of other reasons, is the delicious depth of field because of the amount of light let in when you open the aperture to f/2 and lower. Cheap kit zoom lenses cannot do that. I believe in fixed lenses. 

Don't think you're being crippled without a zoom. 
As my hilarious husband once said "My feet is my zoom."

Rather than showing you photos of what not to do, I'll show you examples of the distance that does tell a story in portraits.  

So, my friend, meet Luke and Melissa.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. -Lao-tzu

I believe the Universe has shown them so much more in these few weeks on the open road...


Luke and Melissa, Thank you.

You are a blessing to everyone you meet. 
Your story will be written... and told.

much love,


Lindsey Ramage said...

These pictures are breathtaking!

Jaime Z said...

Lovely Carli. Thanks for the post. Those pics are beautiful and I'm putting a fixed lens on the top of my wish list.