Snapping Casual Portraits - dummies

By Robert Correll

If you have your camera with you, always be ready for action. Casual portraits that you take at a moment’s notice often capture a person’s natural beauty and personality better than posed shots.

The photographer of this shot was literally heading out the door with his Pentax K-1 full-frame dSLR when he looked over and saw his son, Sam, playing on the computer. He told him to smile and took this casual snapshot.

The professional-level camera and lens make a difference in this shot. The light from the window, although gorgeous, is not like being outside. He opened the aperture and was able to use a fast shutter speed and very reasonable ISO. This shot was taken using aperture-priority mode at 68mm, f/4.5, 1/100 second, and ISO 400.

Keys to this photo:

  • Quick, casual shots often produce the most natural-looking portraits.
  • It’s hard to beat a 36.4 MP full-frame camera and quality lens.
  • When inside, take advantage of natural light from windows.
Be ready to take photos at a moment’s notice.