10 Techniques for Amazing Portraits - Digital Photography School

10 Techniques for Amazing Portraits

A guest post by San Diego Wedding Photographer, Wayne Yuan

As full-time photographers shooting 30+ weddings a year, we have to admit, sometimes it’s easy to fall into the same old formulas when it comes to portraits. Even with new poses, taking portraits can become very mundane if the same compositions and angles are used for every couple–we’ve definitely been through that creative rut where our pictures start looking very familiar. Throughout the years, we’ve challenged ourselves to stay on top of our game with a few useful techniques. Here are some of our best tips to help keep things fresh and unique for each couple.

1. Use a longer lens.

A lot of photographers out there say that their 50mm is a “must-have” portrait lens, but what a mid-range lens offers is a very familiar perspective, something that our eyes are used to seeing all the time. To create a more interesting image, we avoid shooting portraits in mid-range because the images look too ordinary. Most of our portraits are shot at 200mm or 85mm to create beautiful image compression that a 50mm would not be able to produce. The compression will not only flatter your subjects with less feature distortion, but shooting at a longer focal length will also create more dramatic background blur (bokeh) and brings the background closer to your subject. It may be more difficult to communicate with your subjects while shooting at 200mm, but the difference will be apparent and well worth it. Our solution to this problem was to have one of us interact with our couples at close range while the other shoots from a distance.

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2. Find angles that aren’t eye level.

Many times we are stuck seeing what is right in front of us. It is, after all, the easiest answer to everything. Challenge yourself to find a different angle from above or below eye-level to bring a new perspective to the image. This technique can also be used to flatter subjects of different body types and heights. In the image below, we asked the bride to sit on the ground in order to focus on her face and hair ornament while blurring out the rest of her body. It makes a more interesting image than the typical straight-on bridal portrait.

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3. Use off-camera flash.

During a wedding, our speedlites are never on-camera, even during the reception. Flash rarely flatters a person’s face when it is straight on, and the image looses its dimensionality. Using flash to light our subjects from the side, we are able to create both light and shadow on our subjects, flattering their features and bringing a greater range of highlights and shadows to the image. It also helps us bring out details in the background to create a more dramatic landscape.

best_wedding_photos_05.jpeg

4. Overpower the sun with flash.

Shooting at mid-day is no easy task when using natural light. But with some artificial lights, something as simple as a couple of speedlites can diminish the power of the sun and darken the image for better exposure. We use this technique especially when we are trying to create environmental portraits that focus on the landscape. Using our speedlites, we are able to overpower the sun and underexpose the sky while only lighting up the subject. To create this amount of artificial light, we have to use 2-4 off-camera speedlites (with no diffuser) in order to generate enough light to overpower the sun. Holding the speedlites closer to the subject (to the side) also helps put more light on the subject and allows us to underexpose the background even more for dramatic effect.

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5. Find back-light.

It takes time and practice to train your eye to find great light. Once you learn how to “find the light” in any situation, it will help you master taking some amazing portraits. Lighting is, after all, the essence of photographic images. Whether you are using the sun, a window, or an ordinary light bulb, these light sources can be used to create beautiful edge light (a.k.a. hair light, rim light) when the light source is place behind your subject. The effect that rim light creates can enhance the dimension of your image by separating your subject from the background, outlining and focusing on your subject.

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6. Look for silhouettes and reflections.

Learning to look for reflective surfaces and silhouetting opportunities will greatly enhance your images both visually and in depth. For silhouettes, it is key to find a strong light source and place it behind your couple; this could be anything from the sky to a window or even a patch of light on a wall. For reflections, try to be creative with the different types of reflective surfaces; sometimes, the best reflections are found in unexpected places like floors, glass, puddles, and granite walls.

best_wedding_photos_11.jpeg

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7. Shoot through objects.

When objects are in our way, we like to use them to our advantage. In fact, many times we are purposely trying to find elements to place in the foreground of our image. Learning to find holes between tree branches, abstract objects, or even ordinary household items are simple, everyday things that will help enhance your images by bringing an interesting, and sometimes colorful, element to your composition. Using a longer lens will help blur out the foreground objects to frame the subjects in a more intimate way.

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8. Use the sun as a light source.

It is not uncommon for photographers to avoid shooting in the sun and run for the open shade for an easier and even exposure. We covered back-lighting earlier as a solution for shooting in harsh sun-lit situations. But sunlight can also be used as a direct spotlight on your subject. By exposing for the areas directly in contact with the sun, the background and surrounding shadows will dramatically darken, drawing focus and light to your subjects. Applying this technique to different lighting situations will create varying visual effects.

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9. Use video light for night portraits.

Video lights are very useful when no light source is available to light up your subject in dark situations. The great thing about video lights is that they are a constant light source so you can see what the image will look like in camera. We use LED video lights, which give us enough power to last 2+ hours. They are a great alternative to speedlites for low light situations and are quicker to adjust for dark situations.

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10. Use gels on your speedlites.

Adding CTO (orange) or CTB (blue) gels to your speedlites will change the mood of your image. Sometimes shooting in an environment which is overcast and very blue, adding a CTB gel will warm up the whole environment if you adjust the white balance correctly. CTO gels can also be used to emulate sunlight.

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For more examples of on how to take great images, check out our website: San Diego Wedding Photographer – Wayne Yuan

Wayne and Angela are photographers/owners of Wayne Yuan Photography. They live in San Diego and New York area, but shoot weddings worldwide.

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  • http://500px.com/ankurj Ankur Jadhav

    Amazing images!! Can someone tell the difference between the compression between 50mm lens on a DX sensor that is 75mm in terms of full frame, and 85mm on full frame.

  • Tara Berger

    Even though the lighting and composition is great i just want to comment about what I see in a lot of wedding photos nowadays. No matter how nice the lighting or composition, if the couple doesn’t seem connected it ruins it for me. Most times they look too posey and stiff. You should be able to feel the connection and love and all I see is boredom and disinterest. I mean who looks off into the distance with his hands in his pockets while his new wife looks at him lovingly? Or to having no expression at all. Is this a new age thing? I don’t get it.

  • Axel

    Great article, photos look truly amazing! Thank you for sharing.

  • Cayetano Garcia

    Really beautiful images; thanks, thanks a lot for sharing the techniques.

  • A Merci

    Thank you for these inspiring tips. The end result photos are gorgeous. However, I’m curious to see the photographers actual set up. Do you ever publish ‘behind the scenes’ photos and then the final image? Viewing actual lighting set ups would be helpful. Thank you!

  • http://www.swissphotography.co.za Jurgen Vogt

    Excellent work guys, I’ll be using some of your advice all the way down in South Africa. Thanks

  • http://www.yuriysphotography.com yuriy

    amazing lighting WOW!!

  • vinod mali

    Very good tips ….which cam/lenses used for these pics.

  • http://www.mambofotografie.nl Mart Marbus

    Well, this are very great pictures.
    I love the way the photographers makes the moments.

    Mart

  • Ruel Urgel Villaluna

    Awesome! Simply but very helpful!!! Cheers1

  • Aditya Guntupalli

    Very Very helpful..thanks for bringing this up on Facebook again.! Cheers.! :)

  • Jason Teale

    excellent. I needed this.

  • Si Thu

    great shots

  • Barry E Warren

    Very nice read, and great tips. Thank You

  • Terry K

    Thanks for bringing up the article on the shoot through item
    A few weeks ago I said this is a great way to get some really really good pictures TERRY K

  • Travis M

    Amazing shots, great advice and put together very well. Thank you for the inspiration!

  • paarppidam

    excellent tutorial and photographs..

  • http://www.saleemshaikh.com Saleem Sadique

    Excelent !!!!!! beautifully written …. helped me lot on my work

Some older comments

  • Mart Marbus

    June 19, 2013 08:48 pm

    Well, this are very great pictures.
    I love the way the photographers makes the moments.

    Mart

  • vinod mali

    March 31, 2013 11:25 pm

    Very good tips ....which cam/lenses used for these pics.

  • yuriy

    March 16, 2013 03:22 pm

    amazing lighting WOW!!

  • Jurgen Vogt

    March 15, 2013 01:24 am

    Excellent work guys, I'll be using some of your advice all the way down in South Africa. Thanks

  • A Merci

    March 11, 2013 09:23 pm

    Thank you for these inspiring tips. The end result photos are gorgeous. However, I'm curious to see the photographers actual set up. Do you ever publish 'behind the scenes' photos and then the final image? Viewing actual lighting set ups would be helpful. Thank you!

  • Cayetano Garcia

    March 11, 2013 05:37 am

    Really beautiful images; thanks, thanks a lot for sharing the techniques.

  • Axel

    March 9, 2013 09:08 am

    Great article, photos look truly amazing! Thank you for sharing.

  • Tara Berger

    March 9, 2013 08:01 am

    Even though the lighting and composition is great i just want to comment about what I see in a lot of wedding photos nowadays. No matter how nice the lighting or composition, if the couple doesn't seem connected it ruins it for me. Most times they look too posey and stiff. You should be able to feel the connection and love and all I see is boredom and disinterest. I mean who looks off into the distance with his hands in his pockets while his new wife looks at him lovingly? Or to having no expression at all. Is this a new age thing? I don't get it.

  • Ankur Jadhav

    March 9, 2013 05:53 am

    Amazing images!! Can someone tell the difference between the compression between 50mm lens on a DX sensor that is 75mm in terms of full frame, and 85mm on full frame.

  • Maged

    March 9, 2013 05:50 am

    I thank you. This is a very good article.

  • Guigphotography

    March 9, 2013 04:43 am

    I'm such a fan of point 1, though really only found that by chance. (See attached). I think a great feature of these portraits is that very few of the subjects are making eye contact with the camera. I like that!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/69604456@N07/8477126156/in/photostream

  • Sabina Lorkin

    March 8, 2013 07:50 pm

    Fantastic article, great tips, thank you for sharing.

  • mar

    March 8, 2013 05:32 pm

    thanks for the info i cant wait to try these techniques and pass this onto my daughter

  • Chris Flees

    March 8, 2013 04:47 pm

    an awesome resource for some great shot ideas. Thank you for sharing these great ideas

  • Hassan Alsaffar

    March 8, 2013 02:56 pm

    Hello,
    Such great article, with great photos. It's a very useful one and it helps a lot.

    Thank You

  • Allan Smailes

    March 8, 2013 02:34 pm

    Love your work very Inspiring thank you, Allan

  • Olivert Gomez

    March 8, 2013 01:38 pm

    Thanks for being unselfish! May your genes multiply a billionfolds!

  • Lokesh

    March 8, 2013 12:31 pm

    Very good tips ... Nice article

  • Franklin Israel

    March 8, 2013 11:02 am

    Great Post. I definitely will adopt all methods you talked about here. Thanks for the insight

  • Friend

    March 8, 2013 10:13 am

    Great article ...its amazing how much difference light can make ... one of my favorites ... was purely accidental .... no post processing except increased contrast:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/65728881@N08/6436851853/in/photostream

  • Marice

    March 8, 2013 10:09 am

    Simply amazing and unforgettable photos....wow...I wish I was able to take such great photos...maybe in the future...........

  • Rick Gray

    March 7, 2013 02:08 am

    Great!

  • JanRob

    March 6, 2013 11:51 pm

    Title must say 10 AMAZING Techniques for AMAZING Portraits! Even at this is an understatement! Kudos!

  • Felix

    March 6, 2013 07:24 pm

    Thank you

  • JKAR

    March 6, 2013 05:43 pm

    Very great lighting tips. I love using the gel and adjusting the white balance to create dramatic lighting. I have been looking for tutorials for this.

  • Fletch

    March 6, 2013 03:18 pm

    Wow, good stuff!
    I'm a total beginner with photography. With regard to the first tip - I have a Rebel T3 which is a crop sensor camera. So with a 50mm 1.8 lens, I would be getting close to 80mm anyway wouldn't I? And with the f 1.8 I should be able to get good background blur?

  • Barry E. Warren

    March 6, 2013 04:38 am

    Nice tips on wedding photography.

  • Amit Shaw

    March 6, 2013 03:20 am

    Truly awesome Tips I am impressed by your all images :P :)

  • Kumar Varun

    May 2, 2012 05:20 pm

    incredible.. Woow..

  • Gitta Barth

    March 25, 2012 12:46 pm

    Trying to get a grip on portraits. This post will keep me busy a while. Thanks for sharing

  • Kate Ignatowski

    March 2, 2012 08:19 am

    This was such a useful post! Not the standard things everyone says. Thanks for the great tips!

  • Daniel K Cheung

    February 24, 2012 11:42 am

    Great article with awesome work to back it up with. Thanks!

  • mcrine

    January 18, 2012 06:26 pm

    wow! I really want to be a photographer somehow.. :)

  • Mridha Saiful

    January 7, 2012 07:44 am

    I am really impressed and learned some new thing here... I really missing the technology needed to take such Oaww factor shots. :p

  • Amanda

    January 3, 2012 04:21 pm

    Thanks for this! These are great ideas (especially love using a back-light to create that halo effect). I've got some basics of portrait photography (http://photographypocketbook.com/?p=317), and this article takes it to the next level.

  • Tharanga Deshapriya

    January 2, 2012 11:09 pm

    really nice tips for photographers who going on a same (traditional) way.

  • Ben @Englishphotographer.com

    January 2, 2012 07:59 pm

    I see so many of these '10 most amazing best people photography and astonishing wedding photography tips', and am usually a little disappointed. However, this article by Wayne is excellent, and covers some core aspects of good lighting. In addition, his own images demonstrate his successful application of his knowledge. Recommended.

    Ben @ Englishphotographer.com

  • Riady

    December 30, 2011 01:40 pm

    thanks for sharing tips. beautiful wedding photographs.

  • Dave

    December 30, 2011 06:21 am

    A great article by Wayne on portrait lighting. A must read for any photographer shooting people.

  • Average Joe

    December 27, 2011 02:47 pm

    Wow. Enchanting, beautiful photos. Thanks so very much for the tips! I'm inspired. :D

  • Anastasia

    October 4, 2011 08:06 am

    Thank you! It was very helpful!

  • Greyeye - Yorkshire Wedding Photographers

    June 9, 2011 06:40 pm

    Hats off to you Wayne. I think the example photos are what makes this article, they actually back up the points you are making!

  • Paul Nicolson Peterborough Photography

    May 31, 2011 04:08 am

    A long zoom, helps you get through to the shot, you perhaps would have missed.

    [eimg url='http://www.peterboroughphotography.com/blog/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/cs_IMG_8140.jpg' title='cs_IMG_8140.jpg']

  • Dewan Demmer

    May 13, 2011 07:56 pm

    Point number 4 : overpower the sun ... I want to do it, but I am generally on my lonesome . Now I can do it at close range but for the really dramatic and coolest shots I am a tad lost.
    I really enjoyed this post, and every photo ... its one of those posts where I look at every picture and realise just how far I have to go.
    Thanks its a really helpful post, and challenging.

  • arviatinuk

    April 25, 2011 02:58 am

    you truely are a master of light. great shots! great tips!

  • MillyNG

    April 19, 2011 12:08 pm

    Wow, thank you for these amazing tips. Very useful to make standard pics look stunning.

  • Tony Rodriguez

    April 17, 2011 06:19 pm

    perfect top ten portrait tips!!

  • Ashish

    April 15, 2011 04:27 pm

    got so excited and inspired just wantd to get married rite away Lol :-)!!! Articles like these r always a source of inspiration especially wen we keep doin d same things again and again. This one was really a very good refresher and has pushed me to think out of the box.

  • Nana

    April 15, 2011 03:15 am

    Great tips. will try them. Thanks

  • NimsZz

    April 14, 2011 08:23 pm

    Outstanding !

  • David

    April 14, 2011 05:39 am

    I am happy to see your article includes a reference to the use of gels. We have advocated their use to bring balance to available light for years. Though not always convenient, they really change the mood of an image when you have the gel that works well in a type of light.

    I like to use 1/2 CTS gels for my speedlights when I am shooting weddings where the light is low, but can still be used to augment the main (speedlight) light. Kept on the flash using a piece of gaffers tape or by making them cut to size, but with a tab added to slip behind the pop out diffuser (Nikon).

  • Renee

    April 14, 2011 03:44 am

    Thanks for the advice! I've recently starting getting into portrait photography and I will be shooting my first two weddings this summer and I think this article's advice will really help me a lot to try some new things.

  • vencanice

    April 14, 2011 02:19 am

    Very, very beautiful images. Thanks for sharing!

  • Angelo

    April 10, 2011 03:13 pm

    Stunning and very nice images. I'm hoping to learn more.

  • Anees

    April 5, 2011 06:53 am

    Excellent Images !!!!

  • Shravan Mishra

    April 2, 2011 10:44 am

    Truly mesmerizing photos. I will try these techniques next time I got out with my camera though I'm not much of a photographer, I find it hard to keep my hands still.

  • Scruggs

    April 2, 2011 01:23 am

    Great Read , for any experience level. Great image selections to personify your thoughts.

  • Taya

    April 1, 2011 12:17 pm

    These are great photos! Your lighting is simply perfect!

  • Singapore guy

    March 30, 2011 03:32 pm

    Haven't read such a great artcile for a long time. The pictures were beautiful.
    I lvoe to shoot potriat in zoom lens as well, although 200mm is usually tad too far for me since i shoot alone.

    Would be great if you can advise how you would place your speedlite to overcome the sun. I eprsonally always having diffculty with that.

  • Sharon

    March 30, 2011 05:59 am

    Beautiful photos and inspiring.

  • Wayne Yuan

    March 29, 2011 09:05 am

    Hey guys! We just launched our first ever workshop. For more info, check it out: http://bit.ly/2-day-workshop

  • Andrea

    March 28, 2011 08:05 am

    Thanks for the article...your photos are amazing!

  • Bill

    March 28, 2011 04:21 am

    Terrific article which is stregthened by wonderful photographic examples. This is why I continue to visit the DPS website.

  • Wayne Yuan

    March 28, 2011 03:35 am

    @Jason - I use 580EXIIs. I do not use strobes for on-location shoots. I don't use reflectors. Remember, I shoot weddings, not editorial/fashion shoots.

  • Gerda Cross

    March 27, 2011 09:59 pm

    wow! this is amazing, thanks very much, refer to yr articles all the time, its priceless.

  • Jason Pureza

    March 27, 2011 05:21 pm

    what kind of flash did you use per the examples given above to "over power the sun with flash?" 580ex ii? Strobes? did you supplement with reflectors?

  • Henrik

    March 27, 2011 08:50 am

    Beautiful! Inspiring!

  • Paul

    March 26, 2011 01:48 pm

    Thank you - very inspiring! Posts like that are the reason why I always love to come back to this site.

  • Kennard

    March 23, 2011 10:34 pm

    Very timely post and impacts my style of shooting. Thanks for the blessings, kj

  • kyna

    March 22, 2011 10:34 pm

    seriously...it's amazing!!! so nice and full of artistic values :-)

  • Wassim Njeim

    March 22, 2011 07:24 am

    Very well written and presented! and very inspiring photos. I think almost every wedding photographer who's been in the business for a while already knows those techniques but the challenge is to remember them in the heat of the moment. Great article!

  • Ambition

    March 22, 2011 03:29 am

    Beautiful photos! Thanks for sharing and providing the tips, Wayne and Angela!

  • Spatch

    March 21, 2011 06:24 pm

    Absolutely amazing imagery, good job

  • steven

    March 21, 2011 04:23 pm

    Clear, Simple, straight forward tips. Amazing pictures. Hats off to you both

  • liaqat

    March 21, 2011 04:24 am

    NICE & HOT :D :P
    thanks for the tips by the way

  • Marco Famà

    March 20, 2011 08:40 pm

    whoa! THIS is a very good post!
    Thanks for sharing such beautiful images and techniques to us.

    Marco Famà photography

  • Digital photography

    March 20, 2011 11:13 am

    Yeah. Nice photos. Compile Cautiously One of the most principal digital photography tips is to pay attention to what's in the structure of the viewfinder. Pack the form. Nil but blue sky, for instance, behind a single area of interest throws off the proportions of the Photo and decreases attraction. You can also become the camera sideways to imagine if a vertical photo valor have more impact than a horizontal shot of the same subject

  • KAG

    March 20, 2011 02:45 am

    Excellent! Thank you.

  • Aino

    March 20, 2011 12:22 am

    Great article!! And lovely shots!!

  • hanifah siregar

    March 19, 2011 08:58 pm

    WOW...! I love the second night portrait soo much! Gorgeous.. Thank you for these useful tips, I'll definitely experiment with them at my next shots.. =D

  • Ariel Cohen

    March 19, 2011 08:31 pm

    Probably the best inspiring post about photography I've ever read.

  • pw4

    March 19, 2011 04:54 pm

    Thanks for these great tips and examples. Against my better judgement, I'm photographing a friends' wedding next week, so the ideas are very timely. I'd thought of using a 200mm lens, but nice to have it confirmed - and I wouldn't have thought of some of the other things.

  • Gary Paakkonen

    March 19, 2011 11:02 am

    Great article! I just learned a whole new way of lighting outdoor portraits,Love the tip on using a longer lens. Thanks so much Angela and Wayne!!

  • Wayne Yuan

    March 19, 2011 08:15 am

    @Marc - You have it the other way around. 50mm is shorter than 85mm. 85mm on FF = 85mm. 85mm on 1.6x sensor = 136mm = further away. To answer your question. The longer the better and more compression.

  • dianna

    March 19, 2011 08:00 am

    outstanding photography and tips ..... thank you!
    very inspiring. :-)
    Dianna

  • Marc Mason

    March 19, 2011 07:52 am

    @Wayne: FF is the way to go but for those of us hobbyists without the budget for FF APS-C is the way to go ;)
    I guess what I am asking is if I am using a APS-C should I go out and get a 85mm or just go with the 50mm and stand further away?

  • Wayne Yuan

    March 19, 2011 07:48 am

    @Marc - I use all full-frame cameras. If Barry is using a cropped sensor (x1.6), he still needs to use the same focal length to get the same compression from the lens, but just standing further away from the subject. Full-frame is the way to go.

  • Marc Mason

    March 19, 2011 07:44 am

    @Wayne: Based upon your answer to "Barry" concerning focal lengths given that he has a APS-C camera I assume that the 85mm would be the equivalent to the 50mm prime on FF?

  • Milind

    March 19, 2011 06:56 am

    some real amazing shots and great tips...thanks for sharing :)

  • Jason St. Petersburg Photographer

    March 19, 2011 04:28 am

    Very useful post that is filled with example photos I am actually impressed by (does not happen often here, especially with portrait posts). I especially like the bride portrait from above (eyelashes are huge), very sharp and good use of DoF.

    I am increasingly looking for reflection opportunities with portraits. Putting a gel on your speedlight is especially good for indoor events.

  • prathima

    March 19, 2011 04:22 am

    great portraits! Thanks for the tips!

  • Sarah

    March 19, 2011 04:17 am

    Thanks for sharing some great information and ideas. I love the photos too - stunning.

  • Gayle

    March 19, 2011 03:13 am

    THANKS!! I love every tip especially with the lens. :) Friends in the wedding business ALWAYS adhere to a 50mm lens. But since I cannot afford one, I'll utilize my D90's kitlens. :)

    You enlightened me. :)
    Can't wait to try them out.

  • Killian

    March 19, 2011 03:05 am

    I have no desire to be a wedding photographer, but man, your shots could almost convince me. They are spectacular. You clearly have a sense of how to use light to your advantage, and it comes through in every shot.

    Beautifully done!

  • Lisa Kelly

    March 18, 2011 11:38 pm

    fantastic work, im doing my second wedding soon and i will be out practising some of these techniques to offer something different i cant wait now so so excited. thank you for sharing.

  • Antony Pratap

    March 18, 2011 10:12 pm

    Awesomeness! Thank you so much for this wonderful post. I'm gonna try all of these shots and have these tips always on the top of my head!

    Brilliant stuff, and great examples to showcase!

  • Rafaspn

    March 18, 2011 09:15 pm

    One of the best advice-articles I have ever read... thanks wayne! you seem really talented and to really know what you are talking about. Great examples!

  • Rhys Lewis

    March 18, 2011 08:52 pm

    Some really good ideas with the light there. Thanks!

  • Chris Harnish

    March 18, 2011 08:31 pm

    Thanks for the article. Great images and solid advice. I'm going to look up more about using video lighting.

  • pankaj

    March 18, 2011 04:55 pm

    what a lovely captures.. love the style of your shooting ..

    I have one question regarding the focal length .. i have been using a 50mm f1.8 with 550d body.. ( cropped sensor ) .. actual focal length of 50mm lens is 80mm ...when you say that it should be near 85mm,, do you mean 85mm or 136mm ( on cropped sensors) ..?

  • Sal

    March 18, 2011 04:39 pm

    Fantastic! Thank you!

  • zakton

    March 18, 2011 03:06 pm

    Amazing photos. I would love to be able to take photos like these. I don't know how long I will get to this level of photography.

  • renato molina

    March 18, 2011 02:38 pm

    awesome. nothing beats the pro. thanks for bringing out another dimension in the way i look at portraiture!

  • sh.mohsin jawaid

    March 18, 2011 01:26 pm

    well done. professionally executed portraits.its beyond doubt that the photographer has command over composition.lighting,and spot on metering.

  • Rex

    March 18, 2011 11:28 am

    Stunning pictures! I was imagining you were also taking pictures of me and my wife!

    I need to save on those long lenses....

    Thanks for this great article!

  • D Studio Photography

    March 18, 2011 11:17 am

    Great techniques! I love your use of off camera flash. Thanks for sharing.

  • Wayne Yuan

    March 18, 2011 09:47 am

    @Neyo - We retouch every photo that is displayed online.

  • Neyo PhotoGraphy

    March 18, 2011 08:45 am

    it's more wonderful photos. i am a newbie in digital photography, and i want to learn more how to take photo well. i have subscribe to your newsletter, i hope it can help me to learn about digital photography.

    1 question, that is natural photos or edited photos? i mean, take the photo and then give few touch on photoshop maybe, or 100% natural from camera? i like the angle effect.

  • Jesse Kaufman

    March 18, 2011 08:44 am

    A lot of rehashing what's been said before, but everyone needs a refresher now and again :) ... I've seen lots of articles with the same tips, but without such amazing examples ... the samples really help bring the points home ... and give me something to strive for! thanks as always, dPS!

  • dennis

    March 18, 2011 08:38 am

    thanks for this article very inspiring,can't wait to shoot my next wedding

  • ericfernandez

    March 18, 2011 08:25 am

    Fantastic! Simply awesome! Thanks for sharing

  • Kiran

    March 18, 2011 07:55 am

    Amazing tips and tricks to shot portraits. Thanks for sharing :)

  • Wayne Yuan

    March 18, 2011 07:43 am

    @Barry, I have mentioned the focal lengths I use for portraits in the article. 85mm or higher is best for portraits.

  • Barry Penn

    March 18, 2011 07:24 am

    I have only recently started up in photography and have just bought a Canon 550d, but it only has a kit lens (18-55) I have for some time even before bying the camera wondered what lens I would need for portraits, looking at your first image hear has answered my question. I have always been interested in portrait photography so if you could give me any more advice on equipment it would be appresiated.

  • John Bokma

    March 18, 2011 07:05 am

    Fantastic photos, bookmarked for future reference, thanks!

  • JoaFarrington

    March 18, 2011 07:00 am

    I am blown away. Extremely inspiring. The first portrait is plain sick. I aspire to this level of knowledge and skill.

  • Bernadette

    March 18, 2011 06:35 am

    Fantastic and helpful information. Thank you/

  • ali

    March 18, 2011 06:01 am

    the tip for overpowering the sun was "amazing". All my life i'd be told not to even think of overpowering straight sun outdoors!
    Thanks for the "powerful" tip ;)
    and great article

  • MrJones

    March 18, 2011 05:49 am

    thanks! that helps a lot!
    your photos are amazing! :)

  • Sarah

    March 18, 2011 05:02 am

    WOW! Fantastic article with great, inspiring photos. Thanks SO much for posting!

  • Jocelyn K.

    March 18, 2011 04:56 am

    Beautiful photos!! And thank you for the great techniques. I enjoyed this post! I just got the 85mm 1.8 lens and I absolutely LOVE it. I can definitely see a difference compared with my 50mm. :D

  • alireza taghdarreh

    March 18, 2011 04:49 am

    Your posts are amazing. I truly enjoy your tasty lessons. They add so much to my photography. Is there any way for me to send you my photographs?

  • Karthik

    March 18, 2011 04:40 am

    Priceless photographs. Great job and tips.

  • anh

    March 18, 2011 04:29 am

    great tips! i hope to be able to enforce a few of these this weekend while i shoot a fashion show.

  • Maricel

    March 18, 2011 04:11 am

    Awesome pictures and awesome techniques, thanks for the post.

  • Nikki

    March 18, 2011 04:01 am

    Wow. Spectacular portraits and a highly informative article. Great tips I will definitely use in building my own fledgling portrait portfolio. Thank you Wayne and DPS!

  • James R Dutta Roy

    March 18, 2011 03:44 am

    Wonderful tips, especially about how to tame the mid day sun! Thank you so much!!! And absolutely breath taking photography!

  • Wayne Yuan

    March 18, 2011 03:39 am

    Thank you guys! If you want a more hands on experience in learning techniques, we'll be hosting our very own photography workshop in May. Add yourself to our fanpage http://www.facebook.com/wayneyuanphoto, so you can find our latest announcements.

  • Naomi H

    March 18, 2011 03:16 am

    Amazing photos! I'd love to see some how to's or set ups too!

  • Katherine Rose Studios

    March 18, 2011 03:09 am

    I will begin practicing with my 200mm lens this afternoon.

  • edgardo

    March 18, 2011 03:07 am

    simply stunning. great great inspiration for aspiring photographers. thank you very much.

  • chew

    March 18, 2011 03:07 am

    great great shots man. and for me who's not professional, i bet these are tried and true techniques that one can acquire by experience. hats off to you.

  • Judy

    March 18, 2011 03:07 am

    When I saw the title of this article, I thought 'same old, same old", but I have to say, even though the techniques should be familiar to most wedding photographers, the photo examples are fabulous. I checked out Mr. Yuan's website and there are many more great shots. Thanks for this contribution.

  • Jen

    March 18, 2011 03:05 am

    Thanks for the great article. I'm currently working on my portraits and you've provided some really great tips.

  • Alicea Caldas

    March 18, 2011 03:05 am

    Great article! Will share with the rest of the team! Exito!

  • Carrie

    March 18, 2011 03:05 am

    Stunning images! These are fantastic tips.

  • Clement Carrol

    March 18, 2011 02:59 am

    Now that's photography! I would love to be able to produce images like this.

  • af

    March 18, 2011 02:55 am

    These are beautiful photos, and great tips!

  • ste rooney

    March 18, 2011 02:49 am

    Beautiful images and fantastic advice. Thanks.

  • Karl Elvis

    March 18, 2011 02:47 am

    The lighting techniques here are simply fantastic. Wayne, you could write a book - or better yet, a how-to-video - just on how to set up these 'overwhelm the sun' shots. As a lighting n00b, I'd so love to see that.

  • Mei Teng

    March 18, 2011 02:36 am

    Absolutely amazing portraits Wayne! :) I am inspired by your work.

  • Amanda N

    March 18, 2011 02:32 am

    This is a GREAT article! Very well done. I actually got quite a lot out of it.

  • Joel

    March 18, 2011 02:21 am

    Great Tips,
    Thanks for sharing..

    Cheers,
    Joel

  • Paul

    March 18, 2011 02:13 am

    Great article, have bookmarked this so I can read it again! Thanks.

  • Kirsten

    March 18, 2011 02:12 am

    thanks!

  • Ray

    March 18, 2011 02:06 am

    All great tips and very timely for me. Thanks!

  • Lucas

    March 18, 2011 01:57 am

    yes, good tips ..
    I knew some ones, and I use them,
    but others are new for me, and very interesting...!!

  • Dmitriy

    March 18, 2011 01:54 am

    Thank you so much, great tips!

  • Erik Kerstenbeck

    March 18, 2011 01:50 am

    Hi

    This is a great article - getting god wedding shots is harder than you think. AND you never get a second chance. Sometimes try to get get a shot at a unique angle if possible and if one has the opportunity.

    Like the one "Piercing Blue" http://t.co/vwmkO9e

    regards, Erik

  • Ceri Vale

    March 18, 2011 01:41 am

    Excellent, excellent post. Thank you

  • Annette

    March 18, 2011 01:27 am

    Beautiful and enlightening. No pun intended.

  • Annette

    March 18, 2011 01:26 am

    Beautiful and enlightening. No pun intended.

  • Jeff

    March 18, 2011 01:23 am

    OMG! Breathless photography. Priceless tips. Thank you, Wayne!

  • Raymond

    March 18, 2011 01:13 am

    Excellent techniques Wayne and Angela! Thanks for sharing, I'm sure this will help lots of other photographers especially for weddings :)

  • Charly

    March 18, 2011 01:02 am

    Great Tips, I'll use some on my next wedding.

  • Charly

    March 18, 2011 12:57 am

    Simply "WOW" !

  • Steve Brown

    March 18, 2011 12:49 am

    Beautiful images, thankyou for sharing your techniques.

  • C

    March 18, 2011 12:48 am

    Wow, those are some jawdropping examples. You really know your lighting! But why aren't some of the images showing up?

  • Nick

    March 18, 2011 12:35 am

    Amazing photography!

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