Taking a really good digital photo of someone face can be very impressive. Accomplishing such high quality with face photos is hard. There are many things to consider such as shooting angle, lighting conditions, flash usage and background handling. Here are some tips and ideas to help you achieve better face photos.
Following is a list of things to consider when taking such face digital photos. As always it is better to experiment and try out the concepts described here in order to get a better grasp of why they are important and how they can be used to your benefit.
The right background: A face photo is as the name says all about the person face. You would like the digital photo viewer to focus on the face. By choosing the wrong background you might draw the viewer attention to other objects rather than the person face. The right background on the other hand can focus the view attention on the person face and at the same time also emphasize some of the face characteristics. It is best to pick a neutral background that does not attract attention. A soft solid color background for example is much better than a busy street background. It is also good practice to avoid having people or other moving or interesting objects in the background.
Blurring the background: you can use another technique in order to make sure that the person face stands out in the photo. This technique involves blurring the background. By blurring the background you send a message to the viewer that the background is not important and you emphasize the face as the only in-focus object in the photo. Blurring the background can be achieved by taking a photo using a shallow depth of field. Shallow depth of field is accomplished by using a zoom lens and shooting from a short distance or by setting a wide aperture. If your camera does not allow you to blur the photo by setting a shallow depth of field (it is hard to achieve such a depth of field with low-end pocket cameras) you can always blur the background later on using photo processing software on your computer.
The eyes are the center: focusing on the person face is best achieved by actually focusing on the person eyes. The eye are the most important part of the person face in the photo and usually express the most emotions and human touch. Try to play around with the person looking straight to the camera or sideways focusing on some other object. A smile is also recommended unless you are specifically looking for a face that does not smile in order to send some message to the viewer.
Lighting: capturing the face skin color is mostly a matter of using the right lighting. The best lighting is natural lighting. Taking face photos outdoors during the day is good practice in order to capture the skin color and warmth. When using outdoors natural light position the person in a way that the sun light hits it from the side. Do not take face photo with the sun behind the person or right in front as these will result in shadings or overexposure respectively. With lighting coming from the side some shades might appear on the person face, to compensate for these simply use a soft fill-in flash. If you must shoot indoors and use artificial lighting try to use indirect light sources such as bounce flash or lights that illuminate the room instead of directly shining on the person.
Danette Mckay is a well known author. Read more here digital photo printing about this and other subject.