LUMIX x UK Shooters: Top Tips for Portrait Photography

On the 25th of April 2019, LUMIX collaborated with photographic community UK Shooters for an exclusive event held for portrait photographers. Hosted in the lively area of Spitalfields in the East End of London, photo enthusiasts from around the country came together for a day packed of portrait photography opportunities as well as the chance to test and try out the new LUMIX S Series.

Paired with unexcepted bank holiday sun, the session was complete with pre-prepared camera set-ups and a variety of models for the ultimate portrait photography event. Available for each photographer was the new LUMIX S1 and LUMIX S1R – cameras perfectly equipped for handling the demands of portrait photography thanks to their large CMOS sensors (24.2-megapixel and 47.3-megapixel respectively) and auto-focus precision.

Alongside our experienced LUMIX team at the event were photography influencers Drew Buckler (@drewbuckler) and Benjamin Dunford (@whoisbenjamin). With over 87,000 followers between them, their portraits are often being reposted by communities and held in high regard in the photographic community. Drew and Benjamin both use the LUMIX S Series for capturing portraits and helped fellow photographers at the event use the camera to get the most out of their settings. Portrait photography can often require practice in order to get the most from the model and camera, so Drew and Benjamin decided to give us a few tips on how to achieve the best portrait images.

1. Styling and Model

It can be a challenge working with models, especially those you haven’t worked with before. To make it more interactive, try coming up with ideas together and look for opportunities to add depth to your images. This might include flowers, windows or even long grass. Making the model feel part of it will help you create an atmosphere where you can be creative and find what you’re looking for.

2. Work With The Camera

Take an image and learn from it. Whether that be the camera settings, the objects in the frame or the posing of the model, listen to other people and experiment to find the perfect angle. Show the models the back of the camera and let them know how it’s going. Collaboration is key!

3. Lighting is Key

Always think about your lighting. Avoid taking photographs during the day: the best lighting happens during golden hour either just after sunrise or before sunset. If you’re taking images in low light, keep the light behind or at a slight angle. This will keep the bright light off the models’ face and add contrast to the image.

4. Lenses

Lenses are an important part of shooting portraits. What lens you’re using and at what focal length will determine the depth of your image, so be sure to experiment when you can and research what lens will work best for the type of portraits you are wanting to achieve. Tip: Benjamin recommends shooting at around f.28 for a nice bokeh with the face still in focus!

5. Camera Bag

Always bring inspiration and be prepared for anything! Along with your camera equipment, try bringing along things that might help make your images pop. This could be some props like flowers or glasses, reflections/diffusers, or simpler items such as hair bands or brushes for the models to use.