How You Can Learn to Take Pictures of People?


Has the thought of photographing other people ever frightened you? Believe it or not, all you have to do is overcome your insecurities and people will be the easiest subjects to photograph. All the elements of good photography are in your hands. You are surrounded by potential subjects: friends, family, and even passersby, if you dare to ask them. That’s the key to great photos of people: imagination. But first things first. By the way, if you need more inspiration, read the article with the best friends’ photoshoot ideas on the Skylum developer site.

Choose the right lens

We recommend using the following tips:

  • The focal length of the lens is very important. You need to understand the nature of your equipment and know how to use it to your advantage.
  • Instead of using a zoom, change your stance. That way you learn the characteristics of the focal length you are working with. Even with wide-angle lenses, you can get great portraits.
  • Wide-angle lenses are also good for showing the subject along with their surroundings. This is another style of portrait photography. 
  • Don’t get too close if you are using a wide-angle lens. If you do, the facial features will be distorted and the result will be unsatisfactory.

Learn to use your camera settings

To get good pictures, you need to know how to control your camera. Don’t leave the automatic mode. Learn how shutter speed, aperture, and ISO affect the way your picture looks.

Next time you’re shooting, try using aperture priority mode, setting it to the widest setting possible. That makes for a great blurry background. If it’s a sunny day, try ISO 100. If it’s cloudy, try ISO 400. Always shoot in RAW format, because it gives you the most flexibility in post-processing.

Don’t be afraid to experiment

If the lighting is unfortunate, you can fix it by moving to a different location or using a flash. You can ask the person to wear different clothes or do something unusual. The only limit is your imagination.

Imagination is the key to great photos of people. Have fun and if you don’t know much about your camera settings yet, just put it in auto mode (most cameras have a special Portrait mode), concentrating on getting beautiful pictures. One of the best ways to improve your skills is to learn from professionals. Here are some tips so you can learn to think like a pro and get the right mindset for stunning portraits.

Create a connection with the subject

This is the most important skill! Master it, and you’re already halfway to becoming a professional photographer. A good tip, especially for beginners, is to shoot a friend who likes to pose for the camera. Your job as a photographer is to help the person relax and have fun. If you can do that, the result will be great shots. Take pictures of family and friends. The connection between the two of you will help you get great results. If you need a model, your boyfriend or girlfriend can be a great option.

Play with different lights

The best lighting may not be at the time you think it is. Overcast skies and late afternoon sun are good. Direct sunlight is bad because it creates harsh shadows on faces and makes people squint. Backlighting is a delightful option but beware of glare. You’ll also need a reflector or flash to direct the light onto the subject’s face. Window lighting is good for shooting indoors, but again a reflector will be needed to illuminate the shaded side of the model’s face. Stunning shots come at the golden hour, so try not to miss this moment. When you arrange for an outdoor photo shoot, plan your event with the possibility of natural light.

Posing is not always appropriate

You can learn a lot about posing by studying photos and fashion magazines. However, don’t get carried away, you can often get better results if you ask a person to fool around on camera. Ask them to relax and act naturally. Then you’ll get pictures that are full of life. Even unusual poses can work.

Also, try to play with movement and get creative. Ask the person to stand still while those around them move. Put the camera on a tripod for better results. Don’t take the same picture over and over again. Play with movement or different elements.

Spend more time on post-processing

Sometimes with the help of photo editing tools, even a not-very-good shot turns into a masterpiece. Perhaps you have been more immersed in the art of photography and have perfected your skills in just that direction. Remember that a true professional must master post-processing to perfection. Photoshop can be considered a classic in this genre, but it is quite difficult to learn. Especially now there are many good alternatives.

Luminar Neo is one of the outstanding and most powerful photo editing tools that offer a complete artificial intelligence-based toolset presented by Skylum. Be sure to give this photo editor a try. You can take advantage of a free trial period for 7 days, and buy a subscription or a lifetime license (that’s the best value). In addition, there are a lot of tutorials on the developer’s website. If you are learning to take pictures of people, you will be interested to read about the best friends’ photoshoot ideas on the Skylum website.


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