Portrait Help Please????

Started Aug 17, 2012 | Discussions thread
dragra Senior Member • Posts: 1,140
Re: Portrait Help Please????

Peteo wrote:

I was going to post this on the Portrait Forum but figured I'd check with my Pentax friends first because hell, everyone here is like family!

My 17 year old daughter and her friends volunteered my wife and I to host a Homecoming Dinner for her friends that their dates this October. She said they want us to do it because they like my photo's I took of them tubing the other day and they know I like photography. Problem is I'm not a portrait type of guy and know little about what equipment is needed. I prefer landscape and sports action so this is a bit out of my comfort zone but I'm willing to learn.

So what basic equipment do I need for this? My camera is a K5 and I have an older 50mm f1.7 lens, 18 - 135mm lens and a 55 - 300mm. I thought the 50mm might be perfect for portraits. I don't have a flash or any extra lighting of any type. I don't want to spend a fortune but I'm willing to invest in the $200 to $300 range if needed. Should I just get a flash or one of the cheaper lighting kits?

Can I get a little help from my Pentax buddies here?



Do you plan to do your shots outside or inside? I recommend you do it outside because the models will be more relaxed. You don't need much to add to your kit to shoot outside. You need a simple reflector like one of these http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/501357-REG/Westcott_301_5_in_1_Reflector_Disc.html and an willing assistant which will hold them to bounce the light.

When shooting outside it is best to do it in the shade (of a house, for example). It is not so good to use the shade of tree leaves, because the light would get filtered green and that's not so good for the skin tones. Shoot RAW for the best results. Last but most important: shooting portraits should be fun for all, the photographer and the models. You have to enjoy to interact with people, don't get too concentrated on the camera. Just use large aperture and choose a non-busy background.


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tell me what your 3 favorite lenses are - and I'll tell you what kind of a photographer you are...

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