I’ve been updating the images in my portfolio over the past few weeks and making some minor changes to my web site. I added some images of Max and Oliver in a category called My Two Sons. If you have a chance, check it out!
Although wide angle lenses are not typically known as “portrait lenses”, don’t be afraid to use yours to create portraits. I often hear other photographers say they would never use a wide angle lens (or anything wider than a 35mm lens) for a portrait. Too much distortion, they claim. This is true, wide angles can produce quite a bit of distortion, but if done right the images can turn out cool and fun. I’ve had the same 24mm lens for about 15 years and I love using it in portrait shoots to create something interesting and a little different.
I have a background in photojournalism, and when I shot assignments for newspapers I would often use wide angle lenses to tell the whole story in one photo. Wide angles are great for storytelling as they allow you to incorporate more of the environment in the image. For instance, in this shot of my kids, seeing the wide open beach helps tell the story.
One of the downfalls in seeing so much of the environment in wide angle photos, is that people have a tendency to get lost in the frame. Because of this, I like using the old “frame within a frame” rule to isolate subjects and move the viewer’s eye towards them. Here I’ve framed the subject in the window of the fire engine, so your eye goes right towards him.
In this image, I used the trees to frame this father and son.
I also love incorporating architectural and graphic elements in wide shots, such as buildings, shadows and lines. They not only add a sense of place and a storytelling aspect to the picture, but they can also be used to lead the viewer’s eye towards your subject. In this image, you immediately see the Washington Monument, but also the long shadow which tells you it’s early morning.
This was a self portrait I took last year where I’m breastfeeding Oliver. I felt a little self-conscious about the image, so I used the 24mm lens to create some space between the viewer and myself. But I also used the door and wall as leading lines so I wouldn’t disappear in the image.
And finally, sometimes you need to use a wide angle because you’re in a tight space. I took this one of Max a few years ago after he woke up from a nap. I was laying on the floor looking up. I wanted to get the ceiling fan in the image, and could only do that with a wide angle.
Thanks for reading my thoughts. Now, go out and shoot some wide angle portraits of your own! They are fun!!
As promised, here are some of my favorite client images from 2012. Thank you to all my clients and supporters for a great year!
I wanted to share some of my favorite images of 2012. These are my personal photos, mostly of Max and Oliver. Some were taken with my real camera, some with my iphone. (I’ll be posting my favorite client pics later in the week!)
This one makes me laugh every time! Thanks for looking!