4 Tips on How to Best Photograph Your Loved Ones


We’re well into summer; it’s hot and the sun is harsh.
Times are not exactly easy, to put it mildly (not to say – the understatement of the year)…
In short – photography workshops are not the first thing on peoples’ minds, right now.

We take pictures of our loved ones even in these crazy days, and when we do, we want them to be seen as beautiful as we know them to be.
So, for no special reason, let me give you 4 small, simple tips for a good photo of your near-and-dear ones; and, just like in the ten commandments, there are some Do’s and some Don’t’s.

1. Don’t look down on them!
Hey, that’s a pretty good piece of advice in any circumstance…
But if you’re taking a full-length (or near-full-length) photo – it’s doubly true: Unless you’re a lot shorter than your subject, photographing someone from your full height is a sure way of getting their heads too big and their feet too short; sort of a dwarf-like image.
Here’s an example of that:

Example of how your height impacts the photograph - full length

On the left – a photograph (of me, & not at my best… :-) ) taken at full height.
On the right – the same subject from a lower view-point


A good rule of thumb is: get the camera to the level of your subject’s mid-torso (belly-button).
By the way, if you want to make your teenager (or any other favorite lady, for that matter…) feel like a super-model, try getting the camera way down, to almost ground-level. She’ll have the longest legs she could ever want!

2. Around noon, when the sun is high – use your flash!
Yes; I know there’s plenty of light. “I don’t need to use the flash.” Right? … Wrong!
The sun will create shadows on the face, that are never flattering! They emphasize wrinkles, lengthen noses and chins, darken lovely eyes.
The flash won’t pop up? (Of course not; there’s lots of light; remember?)
No problem. You can force it to. Look for the “lightening” (zigzag arrow) icon, and use it. Because if you ever use the flash – this is the time to do it!

3. Morning or afternoon, get the sun behind your subject.
You’ll be rewarded by open eyes, a more relaxed look, softer light on the face, and maybe even a beautiful aura of sun-lit hair.
If you’re afraid of getting the sun straight into the lens (yes; it might cause problems) – look for something that’ll hide that small point in the sky. A tree, a wall, a street-light – anything will do the trick; sometimes even the subject him/herself.

4. Don’t get too close!
Not that I’m against intimacy; quite the contrary   ;-)
But there’s a time and place for everything, and this is not it. Do yourselves and your subject a favor, and put at least 1 meter (3 ft.) between the two of you, before you “click”.
In short, for a portrait, don’t get close; step back and zoom in. It’s a function that you’ll find in almost any camera and lens, including your smartphone. And this is the time to make the most of it!
Here’s an example that will demonstrate my point better than any explanation I can give:

Examples of portraits taken from different distances

Right & wrong distance for a portrait
Same man. On the left – too close! on the right – just right!


 Well, that’s your 4 basics.
They’re easy to remember using the acronym LSDLevel (or Low), Sun, Distance.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, all the above goes for your dog, your horse, or any other favorite 4-legged friend.

Go out and enjoy taking pictures! And till next time -

Best wishes, and -
                      Keep looking for the beauty and light that are everywhere!

                                                  - Smadar



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