Photo by June O on Unsplash

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:

  1. Make Your Model’s Face Stand Out With Makeup or Face Paint.
  2. Take Face Close Ups Using a Zoom Lens.
  3. Use a Large Aperture for a Softer Focus.
  4. Use Natural Side Light to Make Every Close Up Look Flattering.
  5. Use Direct Light to Create Stunning Portrait Lighting Patterns.
  • Make Your Model’s Face Stand Out With Makeup or Face Paint.
  • Photo by Ali Hajian on Unsplash

    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?

  • Take Face Close Ups Using a Zoom Lens.
  • faces, freckles, close-up :: Wallpapers
    Courtesy of “Wallpapers”

    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”.

  • Use a Large Aperture for a Softer Focus.
  • 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.

  • Use Natural Side Light to Make Every Close Up Look Flattering.
  • Photo by Damon Hall on Unsplash

    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.

  • Use Direct Light to Create Stunning Portrait Lighting Patterns.
  • Photo by Alexandru Zdrobău on Unsplash

    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.

    Face Close-ups (100 pics) - Izismile.com
    Photo courtesy of Izismile

    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?

    a man with a messy beard
    Photo by Berke Araklı on Pexels.com

    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.

    Learn how to take pictures of insects:

    female monarch butterfly perching on red petal flower
    Photo by Tinthia Clemant on Pexels.com

    Insects are one thing that is an interesting phenomenon in our world. Either we love them or hate them. Case in point: we all love the beautiful butterflies that we have adding beauty to our world. But, how about mosquitos or beetles or all the other things in our world. And you know, in photography, which insect or bug would you really enjoy taking pictures of anyway?

    Today we want to help you learn how to take photos of “insects”. And what you need, and the composition rules etc.

    1- Getting on the same level as the insect. 

    2- Have patience when photographing insects. Following these tips would help create better photographs because it would have more creativity,

    3- you can get better highlights in the eyes of the insect

    4- taking photographs from different angles would create a good composition.

    5- Get close to the insect, even if it means some specialized equipment.

    close up photo of ladybug on leaf during daytime
    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

    We can discuss several of these rules showing this photo above: Getting down to their level is a big key if you want to get the detail you need to make it look good. If you take it from the top, you will notice that all you would have is the back of the bug, and in this case you would miss the legs, and possible the “antennae” or feelers of the bug.

    And then, you want to get close, really close to get a photo that looks good, and possible fill your frame. And taking close-up photos of insects can generally be done only with a Single Reflex camera. The least expensive way to get close is with a set of close-up filters. These filters come, usually, in a package of a +1, +2, +4, and +10. And they can be stacked as well. So, if you want to have a number #3 in close-up filters, you can simply add a +1, and +2 to get your +3. The higher the number, the closer you can get.

    Nothing beats the versatility of a true macro lens. A macro lens is a normal lens you would have on your camera, but just has the capability of focusing extremely close. They are a bit more money, depending on your camera brand, but, if you are in to a lot of close up photos, then this will be a must.

    The words marked in red will take you directly to a link on Amazon.com, so you can study out the product, and if so desire, purchase it through this link as well.

    Notice in the steps above, it says to focus on the eyes of the insect. Can you even see them? Only if you have the equipment to get close enough. And a macro lens and a set of close-up filters is the only way you can see the eyes of an insect.

    Photo by Revieshan on Unsplash

    Sometimes it is really obvious where the eyes are on an insect, and other times you just know where the eyes are and use that for it’s focus point.

    Why does it say to have patience in taking photos of insects? There are 2 factors that will cause you to use your patience. 1- A lot of insects are looking for food, and you just need to be patient in waiting for them to hold still. 2- Even the slightest wind will get the leaf, or blade of grass to move, so waiting for the wind to stop, so you won’t get a blurry picture, certainly does require some amazing patience.

    Photo by Егор Камелев on Unsplash

    If you can do the following, then your photo will be perfectly composed: Have the insect fill the screen as much as you can, and also give them something to stand on, like the blade of grass or a leaf. I think taking a photo of an insect, and getting them right smack in the middle of the photo is still one of those rules that’s broken a lot with this, and generally, this is going to be ok. But, check different angles to see if you can be more creative in taking photos of insects.

    The list: 51 different subjects on photography.

    We have now officially completed the left side of this lest. So, now we are half way done. Tomorrow, the subject turns to negative space, which is one of my favorite subjects. See you tomorrow.


    Photo by Yulia Matvienko on Unsplash

    Is that an ice cream cone that Batman has for his weapon? toys are great things to take pictures of. Let’s take a look first at the reasons why you would even want to do that.

    Photo by Ryan Fields on Unsplash

    1- Take pictures of toys to have as a memory with your child.

    The children you have in your home, whether they be your own, your grandchildren, you nephew, the neighbor child, whoever, there is some real memories in them playing with certain toys. One of the first things to get pictures of, is them personally playing with their toys ( like the photo above). Those will be precious memories years from now. I can testify of that, because my boys have all grown up, and funny, we had a discussion the other day of their favorite toys.

    boy and girl sitting on bench toy
    Photo by J U N E on Pexels.com

    2- Take close-up photos of toys to use as decoration in the children’s room.

    Nothing says “toys” or “toy room” like photos on the wall of some great toys. Now, here is the fun part of doing this: You should get a set of close-up filters or use a macro lens if you have it, and get up close to the toys, like you see in the above photo. It is very impressive how they make toys today. And make sure you get down on the same level as the toys.

    3- Some toys are very elaborate and you should take photos of the child’s work.

    lego toys are amazing. And some of these lego toys take a long time to build them.

    And some of these lego toys are amazing and may come out as a collector item, if you and your child can keep it all together. So, take pictures of these amazing toys, for sure.

    4- Track down some of your old toys, so you can show your children what you used to play with.
    Photo by Charisse Kenion on Unsplash

    Taking photos of old toys is interesting for your children to see what you used to play with. Time to go down memory lane with your children. If you still have your old toys, perhaps you can pass them on for your children to play with.

    Tip on photographing toys:

    • When photographing toys, make sure your “white balance” is working good. OR use natural daylight to use on your toys. Remember that the artificial lights in your home cast an orange color on everything. You don’t need to spend hours on your computer doing post production if you can get it right the first time.
    • Once again this is a test on how well you can do “close-up” photos. Get close to the subject so you can have it fill your frame. If you do it with your cell phone and you can’t get it close enough, maybe you will have to do some cropping to get your photos right (or buy a camera so you can do it right….. haha).

    Words marked in red, like: toys will automatically pop up to a link showing you some great toys to check out. Try it: toys

    focus photo of super mario luigi and yoshi figurines
    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com


    Day Eight: “Treasure” — Zoom In

    Objects, places, people, moments — we all cherish something or someone. Anything deeply meaningful to you can be a treasure.

    A treasure can be grand, like a precious heirloom, or teeny-tiny, like the first plump blackberry of spring atop a tart:

    Or perhaps it’s the vintage coat passed down from your grandmother, your once-in-a-lifetime trip through the Himalayas, a quiet space in the woods, or your children. What’s your treasure?

    Today’s Tip: Get close to your subject. Use the zoom function in your camera, or physically move closer to it. Often, our goal is to capture as much of a scene as we can. This time, zoom in on your subject or a particular detail to tell a more interesting story.

    Day Eight: “Treasure” — Zoom In

    So far, we’ve focused on establishing shots, horizontal and vertical images, and getting comfortable with moving around and experimenting with point of view. Today, get close to your subject.

    Dragonfly resting on a branch in Ubud, Bali. Photo by Brie Anne Demkiw.
    Dragonfly resting on a branch in Ubud, Bali. Photo by Brie Anne Demkiw.

    As you photograph your treasure, consider photographer Brie Anne Demkiw’s tips on macro photography:

    • You may need special equipment to get a great close-up shot — not every camera can do macro photography. Simple point-and-shoots and iPhones are limited to how close you can get.
    • Try going abstract. Play around with how shapes, colors, and textures change as you get closer to your subject.
    • Experiment with shooting objects outdoors — shoot on a cloudy day for better lighting. Shooting outside on a cloudy day may impede your exposure a bit, but, for the real close shots, I recommend a tripod.

    If you want to get real close, you will obviously need either close-up filters, or extension tubes for cameras. (click on those links). Or, if you have a camera that will take interchangeable lenses, a macro lenses will do the job very nicely.


    shallow focus photography of bird
    Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

    As a photographer, when I think of spring, I think of new flowers, and flowers that only bloom in the spring: tulips, daffodils, crocus, and the blossoms on the trees. Spring is also exciting, because it’s a renewal of nature, and there just seems to pop out things that get you excited about life, and the life of new plants.

    red and white petaled flowers
    Photo by João Jesus on Pexels.com

    But the question I always ask is: How can I make these photos different than any other photographer out there? The answer is simple: take a photo of flowers differently than anyone else would do. Most photographers go out and snap photos of the flowers on the plant, not thinking of creativity. I want to show you some different photos that would make your flower photos more exciting:

    Photo by Lanny Cottrell….. If you can wait for a bee, or some insect to land on the flower will make the photo just that more interesting.
    red flower fields
    Photo by Magnus D’Great M on Pexels.com………Try a different angle when you take photos of flowers. This may be hard to get down to that level, but try it so that you just get some different angles that you don’t see in usual flower photos.
    red flower
    Photo by Tyler Lastovich on Pexels.com……..Isolate a flower, and even put a dark background behind it, so that all you see is the flower. Usually photographers will get black velvet because there is no reflection to that type of fabric.
    Photo by Laretta Ugolini ….. Try your skills at “still photography”. Actually pick the flowers you have and put them in an arrangement to get some kind of new artistic approach to flower photography.
    white and pink cherry blossom
    Photo by Secret Garden on Pexels.com……. Blossoms on trees are pretty. They are even more pretty, when you get super close to them.
    Photo by Lanny Cottrell …… There are sometimes birds that appear only in spring. If you can get a good full image of the bird, you will have a winner. This bird is seen in our area during the winter and spring, and as summer comes along, they move up into the mountains. With your telephoto lens, make sure you use a large aperture, so your depth of field is small, so the background is blurred out.
    Photo by freestocks on Unsplash……. One thing that you see a lot if you get out in the farm country or even driving along freeways, is a lot of newborn calves. You want to make an impressive photo, make sure you get close enough to the subject to only get the calf, or newborn animal. It has so much more impact.
    Photo by Nayeli Rosales on Unsplash…… Spring is the time when young love happens a lot. Get some intimate couple portraits to add to your collection. And besides, you might make some money on the side.


    This is the time of year, when there is a lot of new photo opportunities. It’s also a time to bring up your game in your spring photos, do something different this year. Have fun realizing what will become of your photo skills as you learn new ways to take photos.

    This article written by Lanny Cottrell for 123Photogo.