Professional Photographer to the Rescue: outdoor portraits that look like real life

Professional Photographer to the Rescue: outdoor portraits that look like real life

In our latest Professional Photographer to the Rescue post, our pro explains how to shoot outdoor portrait photography without all the fancy tricks. Learn how to shoot natural, candid poses for outdoor portraits that look like something from real life!

Professional Photographer to the Rescue: outdoor portraits that look like real life

Meet our professional photographer

Annabel Williams has been a professional photographer for 25 years, and her Contemporary Photographic Training studio, based in the Lake District, is one of the UK’s leading pro photography training centres. She’s the author of several great photography books and an official Canon UK Envoy.

Meet our apprentice

Nik Hampshire, a nurse from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, bought her first Canon D-SLR, an EOS 1000D, last July and hasn’t looked back. She enjoys photographing her children, family and friends, but requested our help to improve her portrait shots and boost her confidence.

Technique Assessment

Annabel checked Nik’s settings and suggested a few changes to help her portrait photography…

Tips from our professional photographer: shoot large JPEGs

Go Large, not raw
Annabel has a refreshingly straightforward approach to image quality. “I shoot in JPEG as I find raw file sizes are huge and fill up memory cards and computer hard drives quickly, plus editing raw images can be time-consuming,” smiles Annabel. “I’m a great believer in getting it right in-camera, so I don’t need the RAW file to try and rescue weak shots.”

Tips from our professional photographer: control depth of field

Control depth of field
To transform your images from snaps to professional-looking portraits, you need to use a shallow depth of field to lift your subjects from their surroundings. “I got Nik to use Av (Aperture Priority) mode so she could dictate her depth of field – use an aperture of around f/5.6 to ensure all facial features are sharp and backgrounds are nicely out of focus.”

PAGE 1: Meet our professional photographer and apprentice
PAGE 2: During the shoot
PAGE 3: Final tips from our professional photographer
PAGE 4: Our professional photographer’s recommended gear

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