outdoor portraits...ideas


TPF Noob!
Nov 5, 2008
Reaction score
Warwickshire UK
Can others edit my Photos
Photos NOT OK to edit
Im going away on holiday next week! Anyway your not interested in that. Im hoping to try and get some shots of my GF in outdoor light. The area i am going to has many nice locations. Bridges/forests/lakes etc.
I am aware that normally its better to shoot portrait on o/cast days correct? But.....what happens if a.the sky is in the shot and will look blown, or b. its is a darker area, near a forest and i use a slower shutter, thus if she moves a tiny bit it wont be that sharp.

Just looking for any tips really, oh and btw i dont have a reflector yet.
Shoot in angular light in the early morning or later afternoon and keep the sun behind you-- as long as both the subject and the sky are getting the same sunlight, then you'l have a much easier time keeping everything within the camera's dynamic range.
so would it be preferable to do it when the sun is out but behind or on o cast days?
when you say angular what do u mean exactly?
is it worth getting a reflector with different colours on, ive seen a gold, silver, diffuser, white all in one thingy
A reflector can be really helpful though it can be a bit frustrating to use if you don't have someone around to help hold it / a stand for it.

Angular light refers to light that is coming from a direction, rather than directly overhead. An overcast day will often be much easier to shoot on because the sky is like a giant softbox, but you then run the risk of the light being overly flat.
would u still use a reflector on an o cast day?
is the idea to stand the reflector so the light is hitting it and reflecting onto the subject. Ive just read its better to shoot in the shade and keep the background simple and darker than the subject ie, some trees or a tree trunk...correct?
To be honest if you are going on vacation I don't think that a reflector is probably worth dragging along, unless photographing your girlfriend is the reason for the trip-- reflectors don't really fit well into bags, etc, and are quite cumbersome.
its a vacation but its my holiday home so transportation is not an issue as we are in the car and its like home from home, in fact its better than home lol
do they make a massive differnce?
Yeah in that case you wouldn't really have a problem-- I'm just thinking that you want to be careful not to agitate your model ;)

If the money isn't an issue you ought to pick up a 5-in-1 reflector and play with it, they are very simple to use and totally what you see is what you get. For a cheaper version, you can pick up a sheet of foamcore board.
would u normally need to use a portrait filter for good results?
No, don't use a portrait/diffusion filter. If you want to do any kind of softening do it after the fact in photoshop. Even then, you'd be much better off doing careful retouching rather than just blurring the image.
well i got my reflector, bargain, as it had been used in store so it was a mere 5 punds instead of 33!
Just trying to clarify would it still be a useful piece os kit if the sun was behind me or is it better if the subject is sidelit? also does it have much use on overcast days?
also looking at the bikini post im wondering about shutter speeds now for this outdoor portrait stuff. Assuming im shooting at wide open (aperture) in case ur mind has been cast back to the bikini shots, to blur the background what would be the slowers shutter i would get away with to stop any motion blur if the subject moved a little? 125th?
1/125 would be suitable for stopping motion on a shorter lens-- the general rule is 1/focal length, plus a little bit just to be sure. But if you're shooting wide open during daylight, your going to have to deal with maxing out the shutter, not having to go super slow.

Most reactions

New Topics