10 portrait photography mistakes every photographer makes (and how to fix them)

Portrait Photography Mistake No. 3: Too much depth of field

Portrait Photography Mistake No. 7: Harsh shadows

Using flash: remove harsh shadows - before image

An example of harsh shadows

In some cases strong shadows may make image, but in many situations you want to try and soften the light and reduce the impact of shadows.

If you’re shooting in strong sunlight you might want to find a more shady position for your subject.

Alternatively, you could use a diffuser held above your subject, to soften the light.

A burst of flash, preferably from an off-camera flashgun, can also work wonders, filling in shadows and giving the image boost. And putting a little sparkle in the eyes.

The rapid falloff of flash also means that it is easy to darken the background a little if you want, putting greater emphasis on your subject.

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Portrait Photography Mistake No. 8: Redeye

Red eye removal in Photoshop Elements

One of the dangers of using the flash on your camera is that the light is very close to the lens and this can result in light from the flash being bounced back of your subject’s retina and into the camera causing the phenomena we know as redeye.

Anti-redeye flash settings that fire a pre-flash can help by closing your subjects irises down so that less light enters their eyes and bounces back, but the best cure is to move the flash away from the lens.

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  • jmeyer

    Great idea! Thanks for sharing.