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Photo Shoot Ideas for Improving Outdoor Portraits

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Photo Shoot Ideas

photo shoot ideas Image by riot jane

Image by riot jane

Amazing images are within your reach and the more you learn about the art of photography and study different photo shoot ideas, the better of a photographer you will become!

Outdoor Photo Shoot Ideas #1: Select One Focus Point for Portraits

photo shoot ideas

By Geoff LMV


One of the things that you need to understand is that letting your camera choose the focus point automatically for portraits is never a good idea. Remember that the automatic focus point is designed to choose the object that is nearest to the lens and focus right there. In quite a number of cameras, the automatic option will select a variety of possibilities to focus on and then make the most appropriate “guess” according to its settings. This may not always be the best option and that is why you need to take control of the focus point that you pick for your portraits.

Outdoor Photo Shoot Ideas #2: Keep the Focus on the Eyes

photo shoot ideas

The eyes are the key to reaching the deepest parts of the inner being and that is why they must always be the focal point for your portrait. It is also important to add that the eyes are the sharpest aspect of the face and that is another reason why they must be treated with such esteem. Photo Shoot Ideas: Shoot with a wide aperture value focusing on the eyes to achieve some value of skin softening due to the lens’s bokeh.

Outdoor Photo Shoot Ideas #3: Make it a Wide Open Shoot

If you wish to get a shallow depth result, then you are almost always going to have to shoot with a wide open aperture value. Some of the most amazing portraits throughout the world are those that were taken with this fact in mind. This is also achieved as a result of the aid that comes form the background blur called the bokeh. Photo Shoot Ideas: Shoot ONLY wide open for an entire day!

Outdoor Photo Shoot Ideas #4: Shoot at 70mm or Higher

If you are a professional, then you need to understand that shooting below 70mm is never a good idea. Most complaints that photographers receive happen when they shoot below the 70mm range. This is because if you focus below that range, then the image will most likely appear distorted. Th best focal points should be aimed at around 120mm and 200mm. Photo Shoot Ideas: Try shooting with only one focal length!

Outdoor Photo Shoot Ideas #5: RAW is Great

RAW is simply the gathering of your sensors data throughout the time of exposure. In other words, it acts like a digital negative. It is also important for you to keep in mind that when you are shooting in JPG, everything else is taken out of the equation except the object that you wish to capture. It is also true that whenever you edit your JPG, you lose some data. By using the RAW, you actually avoid losing important data! Photo Shoot Ideas: Many cameras now shoot in RAW & JPG, Use them both!

Outdoor Photo Shoot Ideas #6: Use a Gray Card

You should always have a grey card when you are shooting. Working in various conditions can make white balance a nightmare. Take an example where you have to take over four hundred images but with three shades of background. The Camera will not be able to provide the best balance for all the images considering the backgrounds are almost going to be similar. The gray card is therefore an intelligent idea to save you a lot of time and money during editing.

Outdoor Photo Shoot Ideas #7: Shoot in the Shade

Portrait of Melli

By gestiefeltekatze
Every professional knows that direct sunlight is bad or the shoot and that is why you need to find some kind of shade. Direct sunlight creates difficult directional shadows and makes the subject squint. This makes the white balance very hard to achieve. However when you are under a shade, everything else will fall in place perfectly and the image will be awesome. Photo Shoot Ideas: ALWAYS shoot in the shade when you can.

Outdoor Photo Shoot Ideas #8: Light Should be Bright and Hot

By using a reflector when taking the photo, you will be able to achieve great control of the direction.It is therefore always a good idea for your subject to be in front of the sun while your back is turned to the sun.

Outdoor Photo Shoot Ideas #9: Existing Reflectors are Great

Finding an already existing reflector is a great idea. Here the key is to improvise. Simply look around and find out if there are any objects in the surrounding that can act as reflectors then make use of them.

Outdoor Photo Shoot Ideas #10: Sheets and Clamps

Simply carry along that old sheet and clamps from home. If there are no reflectors in the area that you may be shooting, you can use the sheet as an alternative. Simply hang the sheet in the background neatly and you will be amazed at the results that you get. Photo Shoot Ideas: Bring a few colored sheets to use as backgrounds.

Outdoor Photo Shoot Ideas #11: Avoid Distractions

Trees, power lines, single blades of grass, bill boards and so forth can sometimes become distractions and thus take away the value of the image that you wish to capture. It is therefore important for you to avoid capturing anything that may act against your focal point.

Outdoor Photo Shoot Ideas #12: Bonuses

There are also several things that may act as bonuses when you are taking photos. One of these things may be in the form of clouds. Clouds usually create a very beautiful and natural background and you should therefore always consider using them to add value to your image.

The open seas or rivers and lakes can also act as great bonuses provided you know how to make them work for you in such a way that you achieve the best possible results. Photo Shoot Ideas: Scout for your locations ahead of time.

Check back often for more Photo Shoot Ideas!

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