Tips & Tutorials

Dealing with Real People

EOS 5D Mark III, EF50mm f/1.2L USM lens, f/1.2, 1/8000sec, 50mm, ISO 640

Photographing people is one of the greatest challenges in photography. More often than not, people tend to dislike being captured for posterity. So here are a few tips to achieve better snaps that will bring out your subject’s best side, and allow their personalities to shine through.

EOS 5D Mark III, EF50mm f/1.2L USM lens, f/1.4, 1/500sec, 50mm, ISO 200

It’s all in the eyes

The eyes are the windows to one’s soul. When photographing people, but sure to focus on their eyes! Viewers will be able to quickly grasp the overall feeling of the image by looking at the subject’s eyes, as the eyes can convey a wide spectrum of emotions.

EOS 5D Mark III, EF50mm f/1.2L USM lens, f/1.2, 1/40sec, 50mm, ISO 100

Candid Camera

Candid photography refers to pictures that are taken without the subject’s knowledge. When people are camera-ready, they tend to put on a rehearsed smile or act differently. By catching them off-guard, you’ll be able to capture the raw essence of a person that will result in a beautifully natural shot.

EOS 5D Mark III, EF50mm f/1.2L USM lens, f/2.0, 1/320sec, 50mm, ISO 200 

There’s no one direction

It is important to understand that the majority of the people you photograph are not seasoned models. Hence, they wouldn’t know what looks natural and what doesn’t. So feel free to give as many suggestions and direct them as calmly as you can for that perfect shot. Alternatively, you can also demonstrate any poses you have in mind and get your subject to mimic you!


Jana Yar
Profile of writer

Jana is the founder and owner of Ensof Photography, a boutique firm providing professional corporate, event and food photography services in Singapore. Her work has been showcased in a number of exhibitions in Asia and Europe, receiving 2nd Place in public votes at the KL Photo Awards Malaysia; 1st Place at the Off Festival Slovakia; 2nd Place Julia Margaret Cameron Prize for Women Photographers at the WPGA(UK) Annual contest; and Renaissance Photography Finalist.


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