5 Portrait Tips from the TDS Sonoma Coast Workshop

Outdoor Portrait Shoot Photo shoot during the TDS Sonoma Coast Workshop.

Portraits indoors and out require a mix of craftsmanship and artistry. After two days of shooting during the TDS Sonoma Coast Workshop, I have a few tips to share that we covered during the sessions.

  • Make sure the eyes are sharp. And if the subject's head is rotated left or right, focus on the eye closest to the camera.
  • Reflectors are just as useful on overcast days as when the skies are clear. They are particularly helpful for brightening up the eyes.
  • Fill flash, when used properly, can help you when you don't have an extra set of hands for reflectors. But practice with your settings before the shoot, or it can become an exercise in frustration.
  • Learn to see the color of light as well as its intensity. Adjusting your white balance during the shoot renders better skin tones on the LCD screen, and back at the computer.
  • Communicate with your subject. Keep talking during the shoot. Be encouraging. Share images from the camera's LCD to build confidence during the session.

And if you've promised to share images with the subject after the shoot, deliver the goods in a timely manner. It's the professional thing to do.

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