Tips for Photographing Beautiful Outdoor Portraits

A Shallow Depth of Field and Soft Lighting Are the Strategies for Success

by Jim Zuckerman

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© Jim Zuckerman
All Rights Reserved
One of the best things you can do in taking pictures of people outdoors is to throw the background out of focus.

It needs to be so out of focus, in fact, that it's completely undefined. This is best done with a telephoto lens and a large lens aperture. Unless you are going for a very different look (such as using a wide angle for an exaggerated perspective), I would suggest using a 200mm telephoto or longer for pictures of people outside.

In addition, shoot them in the shade. Don't have any direct sunlight on them at all, and the background needs to be shaded as well. This means that their eyes will be open fully and you won't have any harsh contrast to deal with.

These two simple ideas will make a world of difference in your outdoor portraiture.

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Article by Jim Zuckerman. To learn more about photography, explore the many online photography and Photoshop classes offered here at BetterPhoto.com.