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Headshot Photography: Choosing Your Lens

headshots ChicagoAs with every aspect of photography, there is no single camera or lens that gives you the best photographs depending on your niche. To put it simply, you need a combination of the camera, the lens, the aperture and the set shutter speed or ISO, to capture amazing headshots Chicago.

Short or long focal lengths

Your lens is a vital piece of equipment. Wide angle lenses have small focal lengths and they have a large angle of view. Because they capture more details (scene) than you will necessarily need in a headshot session, you will need to move towards the subject to get a tighter and more compact shot and it gets more complicated from there.

The ideal type of lens you want to buy are those with longer focal lengths because they allow you stand a few feet away and they perfectly proportion the subject’s face. The focal length affects the quality of your portraits. Specifically, anything between 70 – 135 mm range is perfect.

Even at that, there are lots of questions to ask – how close or far will your subject be? How big is the space in which you will be shooting? You should also consider the type of camera you will use.

You will also consider the type of camera you are using. For APS-C cameras, lenses with focal lengths of 70mm or thereabout will do the job. If you have a full-frame camera, lenses with larger focal lengths of say 125 mm will give you good results too.

Zoom or Prime lenses

While zoom lenses come in a variety of focal ranges (which has its own drawback) e.g. 24 – 70 mm, 75 – 200 mm and so on, they are extremely versatile, making it easier for you to take a variety of pictures without having to substitute anything in your gear. Basically, you only need to zoom in or out to get the picture you want. The drawback of having a range of focal lengths on a lens is that the image is of lesser quality compared to prime lenses which have superior image quality.

On the other hand, prime lenses have fixed focal lengths e.g. 70 mm, 135 mm and so on, so you literally have to move close to or away from your client. However, the image quality is superior, sharper and better.

Going with prime lenses means that you have to get more than one lens with different focal length so you have options. If you feel that it will be too much burden to carry two, three lenses about, then a zoom lens will be good for you to invest in. Generally, photographers invest in both types for headshots Chicago.

You should know that prime lenses are general more expensive that zoom lenses.

Aperture and Bokeh

Look at the background of a few headshot photograph. You should see a blur in background. It’s a good quality to look out for. The blur puts focus on the subject. You need lenses with a maximum aperture of about f/2.8 to f/4 or larger to create a very shallow depth-of-field. Keep in mind that your lens should have good accuracy and focus precision. Check out some of the spontaneous shots we took on http://www.clarebrittphoto.com/