We often hear that there are only a handful of focal lengths that should be used for portrait photography. The most commonly used of these, for example, is 50mm. It’s definitely a good one to start with if you’re new to the genre. However, once you start shooting in different locations and different styles of portraiture, you’ll find that there are instances when 50mm may be somewhat limiting.

In the Adorama video above, Daniel Norton walks us through the process of choosing the right focal length for different portraits. He explains why the lens and focal length we should choose actually depends on the type of portrait we are creating and the setting or environment where we are working in.

To demonstrate this, he shoots three different portraits in three different scenarios using three different focal lengths: 50mm (normal), 85mm (medium telephoto) and 15mm (wide angle). He also talks about why longer lenses like the 85mm are typically called “portrait lenses,” what advantages the 50mm comes with and when a wide angle lens like the 15mm would be the best choice.

Got your own tips and tricks on shooting portraits in any or all of these focal lengths? Why not drop them in the comments below, or share them over at the Photofocus Community!