Why I Shoot Portraits Wide Open and You Should Try It Too

Conventional wisdom in studio portrait photography tells us to avoid shooting portraits wide open. But in this video, I will show you why I shoot portraits wide open all the time, and you should try it too.

Photography is one of those artistic pursuits that comes with a ton of baggage in the form of conventional wisdom. And although there are some tried-and-true techniques we should all be familiar with as photographers, these ideas can become stifling to our creativity if we take them as dogma that can’t be challenged. One thing I’ve heard many times is that you should not shoot portraits wide open. Whatever the technical reasons are that people promote this view, in this video I give six reasons why I often shoot wide open when taking portraits. One of my reasons is that you only need one sharp eye to make the portrait work. People often worry if the back of the face or even the nose is soft, but since viewers are drawn towards the eye, that’s really the only part of the image that I believe must be in sharp focus. I also talk about the dreamlike effect that shooting wide open gives, as well as how shooting wide open with your subject right against the background can create some excellent results. As always, let me know what you think in the comments below, and I hope you enjoy the video.

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