Portrait photography

Why your choice of focal length is so important for portrait photography

When it comes to portrait photography, one of the most fundamental and important creative decisions you can make is what focal length you use. If you’re new to portrait photography and are curious about how it affects the look of your final images, check out this fantastic video tutorial which will show you a set of portraits taken at different focal lengths.

Come to you from Anita Sadowska, this helpful video tutorial will show you how your choice of focal length affects the look of your portraits. The thing to remember is that a wider focal length exaggerates the features, while a longer focal length compresses them. While photographers will use a range of focal lengths for the desired creative effect, 85mm lenses are often seen as the classic option for portrait work because they balance out these competing extremes by creating enough compression to be flattering to the subject while not flattening the subject so much that they lose the dimensionality that makes each face unique to that person. It’s a balancing act that changes with each subject and each creative situation. Watch the video above for Sadowska’s full recap.

If you want to continue learning more about portrait photography, be sure to check out our in-depth tutorials.