1. I’m gonna have trouble with this girl. Holy smokes! Look out middle schoolers.
2. So not fair. Those EYES.
3. I have been pointed out that the eyelashes deserve their own spot on this list… Did I say “not fair,” yet?
The way the light was hitting those eyes, I HAD to ask her if I could PLEASE take a few pictures of her. (She was flattered, of course.) So WHAT if we were loading the car to head home from school? If you were there, you might have seen me take these and a few other shots. But, then, you probably know me enough by now to *expect* me to be doing a mini photo shoot in my van. At school. When the light is this gorgeous, I just can’t help myself!
You don’t have to go anywhere fancy to get a beautiful image of your child. You just need these two things:
1. pretty light – light is often at its prettiest in the hour before sunset (or after sunrise, but I’m so not a morning person) – aka The Golden Hour
2. a prime lens
A prime lens is a lens that does not zoom (your feet do the zooming). A good prime lens, the kind you need for blurry backgrounds, will have something like f/1.8, f/1.4 or f/1.2 in the name. That number refers to the maximum aperture of that lens – in other words, how wide it can open to let light in. The wider the lens opens, the blurrier you can get your backgrounds. That’s the non-technical explanation. The technical explanation is that a wider aperture is one of three ways to shrink your depth of field (the part of your photo that is in focus).
Primes are good for more than portraits. They are fantastic for every kind of shooting – worth their weight in gold. And they are essential for low-light photography. I keep one on my camera ALL the time (the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G listed bel0w).
You should get the highest quality one you can justify because it really makes a huge difference – and they don’t get outdated. A good lens lasts forever. So, it is totally worth the investment.
Here are some prime lenses I recommend:*
* check for compatibility with your camera!
Good starters, if you’re not 100% sure you’re going to do this often.
Pricey, but not Insane, Lenses
Better quality/better photos – totally worth it if you are serious about taking some amazing shots.
Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4G *** This is the lens I used above. It lives on my camera – in my purse. I use it pretty much every single day. Best $469 I ever spent.
I would kill for these. Not a human, but maybe a rodent of some kind. Which isn’t nothing.
Nikon 85mm f/1.4G (I keep waiting for Nikon to release a fancy 50mm. Nothin’ yet. This is an amazing portrait lens, but hard to use indoors because you have to stand far back from your subject.)