TPF Noob!
Aug 2, 2021
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For Outdoor Portrait Photography- want blurry background on some photos and regular and others. What settings?? ALSO, want to use reflector and it's washing out their face and losing detail. PLEASE HELP taking maternity pics for my daughter on 8/8/21
You will want to shoot in Aperture Priority, the A setting. This allow you to control the size of the aperture and let the camera calculate the shutter speed. For a smaller depth of field, use a smaller f/stop setting like f/4 or f/5.6. This translates into a smaller area of acceptable focus and therefore and backgrounds will appear blurred (bokeh). For a larger depth of field, fore and backgrounds are more in focus, use a larger f/stop number like f/11 or f/16. This translates into a larger area of acceptable focus where fore and background are sharper.

I also tend to use the lowest ISO setting I can, for my D700 that is ISO200.

As for the reflector washing out the faces of your subjects, that could just be overexposure due to incorrect settings or it may indicate you need to change your exposure metering. I tend to use center-weighted metering. Your camera may be on spot metering which might explain the overexposure. Then there is Matrix metering. Here is a brief article on metering modes,
Here is one of my favorite shots I took of my son. He was 14 at the time.

File Info 1
Device: Nikon D700
Lens: 50mm f/1.4D
Focal Length: 50mm
Focus Mode: AF-S
AF-Area Mode: Single

Aperture: f/8
Shutter Speed: 1/500s
Exposure Mode: Manual
Exposure Comp.: 0EV
Exposure Tuning:
Metering: Spot
ISO Sensitivity: ISO 200

you have to first seriously start to learn a basics about how to use your camera and basic theory about the triangle Aperture - Shutter Speed - ISO + theirs "fifth element" (4th actually) which is Focal length

but basically, if you want to have blurred background you should shoot with longer focal lengths (but you have prime lens, you will be always shooting with 50mm on DX which is equivalent of 75mm on FX with your camera) and you should have your focus point close and you should use a big aperture (small number - just open your glass, use 1.8 - 2.8)

for everything on the photo sharp and in the focus, select smaller apertures (higher number, eg use 5.6 and above, sweetspot on your lens will probably be 8 or 9 which should suffice to most of the picture in focus) and focus on where you shoot or something like at 1/3 distance to your main object

to not have washed away the details in face (with light) you have to expose on the face .... this is the common problem when shooting outside and your dynamic range cannot fit everything .. it will be washing out skies and faces so you have to underexpose or use a bracketing (that's whole other story)

I suggest to quickly get familiar with basics so you have the idea what settings you want and shoot in A mode .. for to underexpose you can use +/- exposure correction button and dial which is on every (Nikon) camera .. I prefer this rather than using a manual mode - in past I was obsessed with using Manual mode but later I've switched to using in 99.8% A mode always with manual ISO and using a lot that +/- exposure correction tool
The Nikon D3200 will not self-adjust with AF type focal points like the AF NIKKOR 50mm f/1.8D focal point. In the event that you might want to use self-adjust with your D3200, search for AF-S and AF-I type focal points.

What he's trying to say by "self-adjust" is that the D3200 with not auto-focus with an AF or AF-D lens, it must be AF-S or newer, with the motor built into the lens. I think "focal point" means "lens" in his post, too. I'm thinking English is the his primary language.

Not sure about relevance, either, because I see nothing in the OP that mentioned either a D3200 or and AF-D lens...

Also, OP hasn't been back since the day after that one-and-only post.

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