Chapter 12. Portrait Photography

One of the most rewarding and challenging areas of photography is people photography. There is a never-ending source of great subjects, and you can unleash your creative ideas for locations, sets, lighting, clothing, and subject action and position.

Portrait Photography

Taken using midafternoon window light and a bounced flash, this little one was captured looking rather pensive. Exposure: ISO 400, f/4.5, 1/40 second using a 70-300mm f/4.0 lens and a 430 EX II Speedlite.

But even better than the creative opportunities is the opportunity to work with people — to get to know them, to coax out the best in them, and to make images that both they and you will enjoy for years to come.

The Rebel T2i/550D makes excellent portraits with either the kit lens or a short telephoto lens in the 80mm to 100mm range. For women and children, the Portrait Picture Style renders skin tones acurately and beautifully. But, whatever settings you choose, you can count on making portraits that you will treasure.

Setting up for Portraits

With most portrait sessions, the most important work you can do is to establish and maintain rapport with the person or people you're photographing. Establishing rapport and trust takes time — sometimes a lot of time. Unlike nature and landscape shooting, where you can set the pace and face snafus with equanimity, people photography, whether it's a structured portrait ...

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