On most occasions, my model is my little girl. Fun, unpredictable, and usually cooperative for about, say, thirty seconds? It’s hard to shoot with her but there’s never a dull moment (and lots and lots of glorious outtakes).

Today, I had lunch with my sister-in-law, R, an adorable girl who, kindhearted soul that she is, tolerated me taking photos of her during our little date to celebrate her birthday. It was during this outing that I realized just how different it is to have a grown-up model. They listen! They actually stop moving long enough for you to compose your shot! It’s fairly obvious, I know, but it felt so new to me for some reason. (It probably just means I need to get out more… Noted.)

In general I enjoy taking landscapes more than portraits, but I had so much fun today that I’m tempted to try more portraits some time. (R kindly agreed to be my guinea pig so I’m hoping to take her up on her offer someday soon. Watch out, R!)

Anyway, if you have any tips about portrait photography and capturing natural and candid moments, I’d love to know.





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  1. :) I love them, I feel the same. But both kinds of models can bring different positives to the photos. I love the photos of your little one as well… You are very talented… xo Evelyne

    • Thank you so much, Evelyne! Your photos are always so beautiful and inspiring. I love the way you capture the personalities of your children ;)

      And I agree, children and adults bring different positives to the photos! Children can be harder to capture in certain situations but they are geniuses at being natural in front of the camera :)

  2. Your sister-in-law is so pretty! Love the shots you took of her its so natural…she would definitely make a good model for practice! My sister is an adult but wont sit through multiple takes for me…she has absolutely no patience. So I just take candid shots of strangers! I’m also looking for ways to practice taking portraits too…sadly no willing models yet lol

  3. Wow! Cool!
    3 weeks ago I attended lesson at photoschool, the topic of the lesson was “secrets of portrait”. I was surprised to know that it’s better to shoot portraits on 100-135mm, before I was sure that 50 was ok). When portraits made on 18,35,50,70,100,135, more are presented on one screen it’s very obvious that portraits made on 100-135 are more “natural”.

    • Ooh, thank you so much for this info! I’m definitely going to keep that in mind when I drag my sister-in-law out on a photo shoot. I shot these two photos with my 35mm f2, which is what’s usually stuck to my camera all the time because it’s small and light. I’m lucky to have a grandfather who gave me most of his lens collection, so I have a 85mm f1.2 that will be awesome for portraits. And after reading your comment, I’m thinking maybe I’ll also try my 100mm f2.8. Thanks, Yulia!

  4. What a gorgeous model she makes! I love the second picture where you caught the light down the center of her face!

    I don’t have very much experience with portrait photography either and no willing subjects for me to learn on either. Neither Cory or Lexie enjoys having their photos taken, so I believe I’m destined to never get any practice in. Sometimes I use strangers when we’re traveling, but that always makes me feel awkward because I’m afraid they’ll see me taking their photo and get angry! Ha!

    • Haha, I know what you mean about taking photos of strangers! I always feel awkward too–I’m afraid they’ll come after me and insist that I delete the file or something. I’m blown away by street photographers who can just go up to random people and ask if it’s okay to take their picture. I don’t think I’ll ever have the guts to do that! So I’ll stick with people like my sister-in-law who are willing to model for me ;)

  5. When I’m shy on the street I shoot from the hip and hope for the best.

    It’s a little harder to take pictures of strangers because once they catch you they stop doing whatever it is they war doing. So I tend to have a lot of backs. I shoot with intention so if I see my friend doing something I normally have my camera on when I have it on me, and I’m grab that shot.

    Of course it’s easier to photograph people you know because they are generally more comfortable with you and your camera then a strange. Practice with your friends when you go to a play date. I go to the park with my friend and her kids all the time and we chat and I snap away lol.

    • I’m way too shy to shoot strangers face-on… I tend to shoot lots of backs as well. But thanks for the tip! I’ll definitely try practicing with a friend ;) And maybe once I get more comfortable behind the camera, I can step up to shooting strangers someday.

    • Portrait photography is so different from shooting scenery or objects, but in an interesting and challenging way. You have an amazing eye so I’d love to see how your portrait shots look!

      PS. Glad you like the redesign! I liked cocoa too, but when I saw this one I felt like it had so many possibilities. I’m still trying to figure out what layout I like best so things might change around a bit ;)

      • First I need a model!
        I love the redesign, the Zuki theme has so many possibilities to play around with so you can try out lots of things :) I have been playing with the CSS of mine today (minor changes but it’s fun!).


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