7 Tips for Planning the Perfect Portrait

We asked portraits pros to share their best tactics for framing up a subject

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The eyes have it. To draw attention to what he felt was import- ant in this portrait, Richard Brocken came in extremely close to his daughter, Eva. He used a Nikon D50 with 50mm f/1.8D Nikkor; exposure, 1/640 sec at f/1.8, ISO 200. Richard Brocken
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Preserve the environment. Let the background location do some of the expressive work. Christopher Dibble shot this man with a Canon EOS 5D and 24–70mm f/2.8L Canon EF zoom; 1/125 sec at f/5.6, ISO 320. Christopher Dibble
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Avoid the staged look. Lydia Panas wanted this rural family to cohere as a group, but without looking posed. Working with Horseman 4×5 view camera, she waited for the right moment. Lydia Panas
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Use B&W; for older subjects. Anne Makaske felt the color version of this portrait of her giggling granny had too many distractions. Shot with a Nikon D70 and Sigma 18–200mm f/3.5–6.3 lens; 1/60 sec at f/5.3; ISO 200. Anne Makaske
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Plan your candids. Barbara Peacock posed these sisters in front of a colorful background and coaxed them into silliness. She shot with a Canon EOS 5D and 24–70mm f/2.8L Canon EF lens; 1/125 sec at f/5, ISO 320. Barbara Peacock