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Shooting Portraits

Canon Photographer, Steve Huddy is passionate about portraits and travel, and shares some of his secrets to capturing great portrait images outdoors and on the road.

Portrait photography is about capturing a look, a smile, and an emotion. Great portrait photos use a combination of depth of field, sharpness, and also nice lighting. 

Overcast or shady conditions are best for portraits

One of the key ingredients to achieving a great portrait photo is getting your lighting right. And outdoors, there are three different types of lighting conditions: dappled light, backlit situations and overcast, which is the most ideal condition for portrait photography. If you find there is dappled light causing dark shadows, you can pop your flash to balance the image.

Always consider your depth-of-field

Depth-of-field is how much of the background or foreground is in or out of focus. After capturing some shots with your standard 18-55mm lens, try something like Canon's new EF 50mm f/1.8 portrait lens for an incredibly shallow depth-of-field to really bring your subject out from the background.

Learn to tone with ease

In shady or overcast conditions, its important to change your auto white balance from 'AWB' to 'Shade'. This actually gives you a nice warm tone through the image, and especially warm skin tones.

Greg Sullavan who is also a Canon Photographer shares some portrait photography tips in this in-depth tutorial.