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« The Power of Raw | Main | Using color to make great portraits »

Adding spontaneity to make great portraits

One way to make family portraits feel more real is to keep shooting well after the posed image you set up.

I've talked about it before, but one of the reasons why shooting digitally is so great is that you don't have film and processing costs. All you have is a memory card, which can be reformatted and reused. So after you have shot the picture of your favorite people in a pretty location, keep shooting when they sit down and relax.

In this example, I sat next to my friend Paul and his son Parker, and actually held the camera down low near the ground. I used a zoom lens set at 35mm, set the auto-focus on a wide spread pattern covering all the focus points and just clicked away while they played. Because both of them were focused on enjoying their moment together, the images were much more relaxed, spontaneous and intimate.

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