medium format and some digital, mostly
Thank you! I graduated from college last summer. I live in NYC and make a living doing freelance editing in a variety of multimedia fields. I photograph as often as I can in my free time.
hahaha, is Francisco Marin a cool name? All my friends/family call me Frankie, but yeah, that’s my full/real name. :)
There’s a lot that goes into getting a good, flattering portrait, but here are a few tips to keep in mind:
-Avoid flash, use ambient light. I assume since you’re unfamiliar with portrait shooting, you most likely don’t have a lighting setup for indoor shoots. That’s totally fine, in my opinion. Opt for shooting with lots of ambient/outdoor light; so you’d want to shoot in a room with big windows, during the day. (My example below.)
-Aim for simple backgrounds. Keep the focus on your subject.
-But, depending on the formality of the portrait, you can also try getting them in their “natural environment”, whether that’s in their crib, in their high-chair, in their bedroom, etc. Olga from River Flows Though It does that really well.
-Shoot with a wide-open aperture for a shallow depth of field. It keeps the subject sharp and the background blurry, which is what you want in a quality portrait.
-Shoot in the shade, avoid direct sunlight. Or, shoot on a cloudy day. You want to avoid harsh shadows/highlights and keep tones soft. Shooting at golden hour, right before the sun sets, can also be really flattering in a portrait — the light is more horizontal than vertical then, and a lot softer. (My example below.)
-Get up close! Like, really close. Fill the frame with their bodies, fill the frame with their faces. Focus on those eyes.
-Experiment with different backgrounds. If you want to try something minimal, get yourself a large white sheet and some clamps (or tape) to set up as a background, either outdoors or indoors. Check out how Mike Lerner did that recently.
Hope that helps somewhat… I don’t have much experience shooting with kids, but maybe my followers could throw some tips your way, too.
Aw, dude, thank you so much! I appreciate the feedback. :)