Have you ever wondered how to create portraits with those dreamy watercolor backgrounds? In the following tips, I’ll give you a few tricks on how I achieve this whimsical, ethereal look in my work.
Try Shooting With a Prime Lens!
Choose Your F-Stop or Aperture First!
Consider Your Distance!
As a rule of thumb, the closer you are to your subject, the shallower your depth of field. The farther away the child is from the background, the more blur will be behind them. This eliminates distracting elements and brings more attention to the child. The closer you are to your subject, the less area will be in focus. When I am shooting wide open at 1f/.2, I make sure I’m focusing on the eye closest to the camera. If you focus on the eye farther from the camera, the viewer may feel uncomfortable, even if he/she doesn’t understand technique. It’s appealing to look at images that mirror the biology of our eyes.
Choose Your Angle!
Angle and composition are very personal. I tend to center my subject. I also prefer to shoot landscape instead of portrait. However, a helpful trick is lying on the ground. This angle gives you the opportunity to get bokeh in front of and behind your subject. Remember, as you increase your focal length, you decrease the depth of field. Anything along your focus plane will remain in focus. Thus, anyone that falls within your depth of field will remain in focus, and everything else will fall out of focus.
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