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Portrait Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots

Book Description

In Portrait Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots, author and photographer Erik Valind shows you how to get the best shots of your subjects–whether you’re in a studio or outdoors, at a family get-together, or at a formal event.

Starting with the fundamentals of portrait photography, including how to select the right camera settings and lenses and how to compose your shots, Erik covers building a rapport with your subject, and offers suggestions for poses that flatter your subject to achieve great shots. He then addresses the problems and opportunities of both natural and indoor light, offering ways to resolve lighting challenges of both, showing when and how to use a flash and how to add and modify light to improve the quality of your images. Finally, he walks through several portrait scenarios, including creating single-person shots such as headshots and environmental shots, and group shots such as family and wedding photos.

Follow along with Erik and you will:

  • Learn the basics of capturing great portraits, such as focusing on the eyes, stepping back and zooming in, and turning your subject into the light

  • Evaluate focal length, compression, and working distance to select the best lens for any given shoot

  • Establish trust with your subject and provide helpful direction and feedback so they feel at ease and look their best

  • Address challenges associated with natural light such as shade and direct light–and tame or redirect the light for improved photographs

  • Improve the light with modifiers and other helpful tools such as strobes, umbrellas, and reflectors

  • Go “behind the scenes” and walk through the process of creating great portraits with two chapters of start-to-finish examples

  • Beautifully illustrated with large, vibrant photos, this book teaches you how to take control of your photography to get the portraits you want every time you pick up your camera.

    Table of Contents

    1. Title Page
    2. Copyright Page
    3. Dedication
    4. Acknowledgements
    5. Contents
    6. Introduction
    7. 1. Top 10 Tips to Better Portraits
      1. How to Start Taking Better Portraits Right Out of the Box!
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. 1. Shoot in Aperture Priority Mode
      4. 2. Set Your Metering Mode
      5. 3. Choose Your Picture Style
      6. 4. Turn Off Your Pop-up Flash
      7. 5. Step Back and Zoom In
      8. 6. Focus on the Eyes
      9. 7. Offset Your Subject in the Frame
      10. 8. Shoot Down on Your Subject
      11. 9. Look Out for Clean Headspace
      12. 10. Turn Your Subject Into the Light
      13. Chapter 1 Assignments
    8. 2. Camera Settings and Lens Selection
      1. Use the right settings, composition, and lenses for capturing your photos
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. Camera Settings
      4. Lens Selection
      5. Composition
      6. Cropping
      7. Chapter 2 Assignments
    9. 3. Posing, Rapport, and Problem Solving
      1. How to successfully communicate, plan, and pose while working with your subject
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. People First; All Else Second
      4. Inspiration, Prep, and Props
      5. Giving Direction
      6. Getting Feedback
      7. Chapter 3 Assignments
    10. 4. Working with Natural Light
      1. Identify the quality and direction of natural light to capture great shots
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. Understanding Light
      4. Overcoming Difficult Lighting Scenarios
      5. Chapter 4 Assignments
    11. 5. Working with Existing Indoor Light
      1. Conquer the obstacles of using existing light to produce great shots
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. Color Temperature
      4. Combating Camera Shake
      5. Chapter 5 Assignments
    12. 6. On-Camera Flash
      1. An on-camera flash can light an entire scene or just add that extra sparkle to your subject’s eye
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. Flash Power
      4. Pop-up Flash
      5. Speedlights
      6. On-Camera Flash Modifiers
      7. Chapter 6 Assignments
    13. 7. Adding Artificial Light and Lighting Modifiers
      1. Deciding what type of lighting to use and when to use it
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. Light Direction, Placement, and Quality
      4. Light Modifiers
      5. Light Sources
      6. Lighting Scenarios
      7. Chapter 7 Assignments
    14. 8. Single-Person Portrait Scenarios
      1. Bringing it all together
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. Studio Portraits
      4. Headshots You Can Bank On
      5. Environmental Portraits
      6. Chapter 8 Assignments
    15. 9. Group Portrait Scenarios
      1. Establishing depth of field, perspective, and lighting
      2. Poring Over the Picture
      3. Camera Settings to Consider
      4. Shooting Couples
      5. Family Photos
      6. Large Groups and Sportraits
      7. Chapter 9 Assignments
    16. Index