As a photographer, you know your clients want to look good! Step one to looking good? Be in focus!
Shoot above f/2.
Yes, apertures above f/2 do exist—and they photograph on film beautifully! The smaller your aperture number, the smaller your depth of field. While shooting at f/2 or f/2.8, your subject’s nose can be tack sharp, but their eyes may fall out of focus. To get a larger depth of field (and see both eyes *and* nose) try stopping down to f/4 or f/5.6. We promise you will still see beautiful bokeh!
⭐ Pro Tip: Shooting a large group? Consider stopping down to f/8 for even more depth of field!
Use a Tripod or Monopod
We know you are a strong, independent, photographer who don’t need no tripod . . . oh wait, scratch that, tripods are handy! Don’t shoot handheld below 1/60th of a second. Though it may not seem like it at first, cameras get heavy! Avoid camera shake by using a tripod for any shutter speeds slower than 1/60th. Better yet, try a monopod, they are lightweight, easy to use, and often cheaper than a tripod!
Adjust your diopter.
This is a quick and easy step that, if forgotten, can lead to a whole slew of out-of-focus images.
Consider a Macro Filter
Looking to get up close + personal with your clients or detail shots? Consider using a Macro Filter. Hoya Filters are cheaper than a macro lens + allow you to get quite close, all while maintaining focus!
⭐ Pro Tip: It is important to stop down when shooting macro work. The closer you are to your subject, the narrower your depth of field will be (small distance = small DOF). To compensate for this, stop down further than you think. Even f/11 will yield shallow depth of field.
Move yo’ feet!
To keep your clients in focus as they move across your frame, move with them:
✔️ Start by focusing on your subjects *before* they start moving.
✔️ Next, ask your client to do their movement at “half speed,” whether that is walking, running or dancing! 💃🏽
✔️ Move with your clients, keeping the same distance from them as when you first set your focal point.
What are your favorite techniques for capturing tack-sharp images? Tell us below.
Lead image by Callie Manion.