ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Portrait Photography Tip - Move in Closer

Updated on August 12, 2011

An easy and simple way to improve your photos in most situations is to just move in closer to your subject. Either take a few steps closer, or use the zoom on your camera to zoom in closer on your subject.

By getting in closer you can better capture the emotion of your subject - emotions are most directly communicated by the eyes and the mouth.

Source

Filling the frame with your subject helps to simplify, remove clutter, and ensures your subject is the main focus of the photo. This trick can make a dramatic difference to your photos.

When photographing family and friends, most people will frame the shot with the subject's full body, or the head and upper body. Instead, try to fill the frame with the subject's face, particularly if they are smiling or have an interesting expression.

Use the rule of thirds when composing your photo, and try to place the subject's eyes in the top third of the photo. You should also make sure that your focus point is on the eyes. We are naturally drawn to look at the eyes first in portrait photos, and if they are out of focus, then it makes the whole photo look out of focus.

Source

Try not to get too close to your subject, for close-ups zoom in a bit and avoid using a wide angle focal length (below 35mm). A longer focal length (more zoomed in) helps to flatten perspective, and ensures your subject's face does not look distorted with a big nose.

Most professional portrait photographers use a focal length somewhere between 70mm and 200mm. As well as the perspective advantage, it allows to photographer to get close-up portraits without having to be too close to the subject. This makes the subject more relaxed, and so it is easier to get photos with natural unforced expressions.

Source

Although it can seem strange, try composing the photo so that the top of the subject's head is cut off at the top of the frame, or the sides of their head are cut off at the side of the frame. The idea of getting in close is to remove anything that doesn't add to the photo. Unless the subject is wearing an interesting hat or has an interesting hairstyle, then cutting that part of the head off can make for a stronger photo, emphasizing the expression of the face.

If you can't get close enough to your subject at the time of taking the shot, you can edit the photo later on the computer and crop it down to the subject's face. You can also try cropping into the face on any photos you may already have taken, and see what a difference it makes.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Funkarkhalid profile image

      Khalid Ahmed 

      5 years ago from Lucknow

      Very informative.

    • photographyadvice profile imageAUTHOR

      photographyadvice 

      7 years ago from UK

      To prevent a twitchy smile or expression you need to try and get your subject more relaxed so their smile is less forced. Tell them a funny joke or anecdote.

      Keep taking shots, as you suggest, this also a good idea. Not only are you more likely to get a shot with a good expression the more photos you take, but it also gets the subject used to the camera, so they will become more relaxed and less forced in their expression.

      An alternative is candid shots, where the subject doesn't realise they are being photographed. This way you get a natural expression as the subject doesn't feel forced to pose for the camera. For candid photography you will probably want to be some distance from the subject, and zoom in on them. For candid photography you will normally be best photographing the subject from an angle so as not to be directly in their line of sight.

    • amolreader profile image

      Amol Nair 

      7 years ago from india

      Nice Nice :) how to prevent twitching of the face? Keep taking pics?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)