Portraits

How to Take a Portrait With Shallow Depth of Field and Studio Strobes

How to Take a Portrait With Shallow Depth of Field and Studio Strobes

Many photographers rely on their 50mm 1.4 and 85mm 1.4 lenses to give that dreamy, narrow depth of field look to their portraits. These two lenses have become a staple for portrait, headshot, wedding, and boudoir photographers who enjoy the soft look that comes with a narrow depth of field and natural lighting. But what happens when you want to create a similar effect in the studio, where your strobes are often too powerful for shooting wide open? Today, I'm going to share with you a fairly unconventional lighting technique that will allow you to shoot your lenses wide open in the studio.

Creative Spotlight: We Chat to Photographer Nirrimi Firebrace

Creative Spotlight: We Chat to Photographer Nirrimi Firebrace

Each month I will be featuring and chatting to a different creative. My first is Nirrimi Firebrace, a photographer known for her intimate approach to taking portraits. She's been a name on the lips of many creatives for the better part of a decade, paving the way for the next generation of young photographers. Here, I spoke with Nirrimi about her inspirations, shooting style, and future plans.

Critique the Community: Submit Your Natural Light Portraits Now

Critique the Community: Submit Your Natural Light Portraits Now

Our next episode of "Critique the Community" will feature natural light portraits. Use this awesome featured image by Dani Diamond as inspiration for your submission. While images which include the use of reflectors are acceptable, please do not include any shots that include extra light (flash or continuous) added by the photographer. Please get in your submissions by Sunday, October 18th and you'll have the chance to have your image critiqued by the Fstoppers team. For this episode, we will be giving feedback to 20 pictures. To qualify, you must follow the submission rules below.

Why Are You Afraid of the Sun?

Why Are You Afraid of the Sun?

It seems that a lot of photographers tend to avoid direct sunlight and for a long time, I did too. Occasionally, I would backlight subjects, but I would never dare light them directly with the sun. I decided one day that it was time to embrace the sun. In this article, I break down my methods for achieving a good photograph in direct sunlight, discussing what has helped me and what you should avoid.

Critique the Community: Submit Your Family Portraits Now

Critique the Community: Submit Your Family Portraits Now

Our next episode of "Critique the Community" will feature family portraits. We will choose anything from kids in a studio to whole family groups outdoors; so, feel free to include a wide range of pictures. Please get in your submissions by Friday at noon (EST) and you'll have the chance to have your image critiqued by the Fstoppers team. For this episode, we will be giving feedback to 20 pictures. To qualify, you must follow the submission rules below.

Top Tips for Taking Portraits

Top Tips for Taking Portraits

As a self-taught photographer, I’m an advocate of learning through doing. I didn’t study it, but I can imagine that reading all the Photography 101 books that are available still wouldn't prepare you for actually being on a set, with a model standing in front of you, and a team awaiting your creative direction. In my journey, experience has meant everything. Here are some of the things I’ve learned over the years that may help when shooting your own portraits.

Using Heavy Cross-light To Make Headshots That Glow

Using Heavy Cross-light To Make Headshots That Glow

Recently, I have been experimenting with creating a sort of more intense style of headshot for certain clients who are interested in a more surreal, vibrant, look to their headshot as opposed to the more traditional headshot which is designed to to more closely emulate realistic lighting. The heavy cross-light look uses powerful lights that are positioned perpendicular to your the main light to create a strong highlight to the side of the face while living a distinctive shadow down the subject's cheek. Heavy cross-lighting can do a great job of building a sense of three dimensionality without sacrificing the soft, flattering, feel of a traditional headshot.