When to Use a Tripod for Portraits
Share this post with your friends:
Share on facebook
Facebook
Share on twitter
Twitter
Share on linkedin
LinkedIn
Share on email
Email
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

When to Use a Tripod for Portraits

From the course: Portrait Photography: Business Portraits on LinkedIn Learning

Shooting on a tripod or off from Portrait Photography: Business Portraits by Robert Vanelli

Course transcript

Shooting with a tripod has many benefits, especially if you’re new to photography. What it does is help you minimize camera shake. Now camera shake is when you take that photo and the eyes look blurry. But you know you’re focused right on the eyes, you’re at the dead center. But for some reason, it looks too blurry. Usually, that’s because you’re shaking the camera a little bit, and that’s going to cause the blur in the images. Shooting on a tripod is going to help minimize that. Now, if you’re photographing an entire company, let’s say a real estate company, if you’re photographing every member and there’s 72 of them, a tripod is going to save a lot of wear and tear on your body because you’re able to set it up, bring the subject in, take the shot, then bring in the next person time after time. The focus will be consistent all the way through—from the first shot all the way to the last.

Keep in mind that a lot of great professionals shoot on tripods. It’s a personal preference. For myself, sometimes I like using a tripod and at other times, I like to be handheld. If I’m handheld, I just feel like I have more control over the set. Again, it’s a personal preference. But if I were shooting a large group, I’m going to stick with that tripod—just for the wear and tear on my body. The first rule when you’re shooting handheld is you have to watch your shutter speed. We’re shooting with an 85mm lens, so a good rule of thumb is your shutter speed should equal the longest distance of your lens.

So if we were shooting with a 200mm lens, let’s say a 70-200, my shutter speed—if I’m holding it handheld—should be around 200. In this case, we are shooting at 85mm, so I have it set at 1/125 of a second. I like shooting handheld because I can move in and out with my subject, I have the lights set up exactly where I want them, and I’m trying to pull some of the emotions out of the subject. So sometimes I may have to drop a little bit lower or come up a little bit higher, or swing to the left, or swing to the right—and when I’m shooting handheld, it gives me a little more flexibility on where I can shoot from.

For a tripod, we’re going to use a quick release. So if I’m in the middle of shooting and I like the shot I have set, I can keep my camera in a fixed position. If I want to take my camera off the tripod and go handheld, I’d simply just twist the lever and now I’m set to start shooting. If I want to put it back on, I just put it back on, lock it into place, and I’m good to go.

Gear recommended in this article can be found on B&H Photo & Video

3 Legged Thing QR11-LC Universal L-Bracket

Tripod Head for Still Photography

Top Rated Tripods

For more videos on the LinkedIn Learning series click here.

Share this post with your friends:
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email

You might also like:

Thanks to our partners who make Photofocus possible:

Drobo – Drobo is the smartest storage solution in the world. Drobo is storage that protects data — photos, videos and everything else — from hard drive failure. Drobo is peace of mind for the working pro or serious amateur who have a lot of external drives cluttering up the desktop. Save 10% with the coupon code PHOTOFOCUS.

Lume Cube – Proudly known as the World’s Most Versatile Light™, Lume Cube represents the future of LED Lighting. Check out the new Lume Cube STROBE, offering anti-collison lighting for drones!

Backblaze – Get peace of mind knowing your files are backed up securely in the cloud. Back up your Mac or PC just $6/month.

B&H – B&H is a world renowned supplier of all the gear photographers, videographers, and cinematographers need and want to create their very best work.

Skylum – Your photos, more beautiful in minutes. Makers of Luminar, Aurora and Photolemur, Skylum adapts to your style and skill level. Check out the new Luminar 3, now available.

Perfectly Clear Complete – Built for precision. Made for beauty. Perfectly Clear has mastered the science of intelligent image correction – creating superior quality photos in record time, so you can get back to doing what you really love…in no time. Special Photofocus deal here.

Viewbug – Learn and improve your photography with over 500 videos. Trusted by millions around the world, join over 2 million photographers who already use Viewbug.