Why would you ever take a close-up of faces? The answer is simple. The part of the face is something that really shows off that person. That person will probably understand. If you told someone that they have the most beautiful eyes, and you asked them if you could take a picture of their eye(s), I think that most of the time they would say yes. Of course the other reason might be for medical reasons, but, we won’t get into that. Let’s concentrate on how to do these close-ups of faces.
Here is our list of what we need to do to take these type of photos:
- Make Your Model’s Face Stand Out With Makeup or Face Paint.
- Take Face Close Ups Using a Zoom Lens.
- Use a Large Aperture for a Softer Focus.
- Use Natural Side Light to Make Every Close Up Look Flattering.
- Use Direct Light to Create Stunning Portrait Lighting Patterns.
If someone has been working on their makeup to the point of perfection, then this is the time you want to get real close to the model. Of course, it helps if someone knows how to do makeup right. But, look how beautiful this photo looks. Can you see doing this with someone who is good at this?
Of course, at Halloween, doing an extreme close-up of a painted face is another perfect reason to do this. What do you think?
When taking these type of close-ups, can you imagine the photographer getting within a foot of your face? Now that is not just good practice to take any picture of a face or portrait up close. Using a Zoom lens for dslr will allow you to be 6 to 10 feet away, and not make the model freeze up. Have respect for “space”.
Using a large aperture usually will give you a softer focus than if you did it with a smaller aperture. It is not the same as using a soft focus lens or soft focus filter, but, still the photo is soft because of it.
Side lighting like this is fun to do. When the person first sees this type of photo of themselves, they almost always say “that’s way cool”. It’s a more modern type of portrait or face shot that is becoming more popular. You will see it quite often on black and white as well.
Shooting the person, when the light is directly in front of them, also creates dramatic pictures. Detail comes out that you don’t normally see. It’s a beautiful way to do faces.
Here is a great example of a direct lighting close-up. There is just one thing I don’t like about this, and this is what you have to be careful of with direct lighting. That is the light spots that seem to show up on faces. Like the nose and the forehead. It’s a beautiful portrait, but, lighting is tough on this one. What do you think?
This is what we call a “Character Portrait”. Direct lighting, close-up, and maybe a smaller aperture to get “tack sharp” photos to accentuate the face’s wrinkles, beard, expressions, etc. This is one great way to use direct lighting. Love this kind of photo. Just shows deep into the soul of a person.