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Portrait Tip: Double Check, Let Her Rip

You know how it is: you’ve got a great looking subject in front of you and you’re nervous to miss a shot so you start shooting and shooting and clicking and clicking and you capture the great expressions. But, when you review your images, you realize that you didn’t capture the great exposure.

Don’t Catch the Expression and Miss the Picture

This is especially common when photographers are new at working with flash or speedlights. You’ve got to slow down a second and verify that you’ve got the right exposure and depth of field, etc., then you can start clicking away. With this family, I was in a natural light studio and we had made a lot of terrific pictures in small groups and individually facing the other way. Fortunately, I stopped to check that the exposure still looked good before I started engaging with the kids for the group photo. I immediately realized that the light was lackluster in this direction, so I added a speedlight bouncing off the right-hand wall. Adding the speedlight requires another exposure check to make sure it’s not too bright or too little.

With the speedlight looking great I started posing people and eliciting expressions. I’m glad I didn’t waste time posing before the light was great, otherwise, I’d have to do a lot of photoshop work fixing the dark picture.

So, double check your settings before you start making great expressions, then let her rip and make a million pictures that are all well-lit with happy faces.

Portrait Tips come out each week, and you can see them all right here.

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