When it comes to photographing a formal portrait, there are 3 things every photographer has to bear in mind.
First of all, the photographer has to ensure his subjects feel comfortable being photographed. Next, the photographer has to direct and bring out the desired expressions from his subjects according to his creativity. Finally, the photographer should angle his subjects with a slight slant towards the camera. This step will create more intense and a slimmer look.
As a photographer, do not be shy to direct someone to do a certain pose or gesture. Have them to do an action slowly or ask them to repeat the action if necessary so that you can capture a great and memorable moment.
When photographing a group of people, you will want to direct them to stand close to one another to close up any extra space. Extra space can ruin a portrait. If there isn’t enough space for a large group of people to fit into a picture, get the right side of the group to slant their right shoulders slightly towards the camera, while the left side of the group slant their left shoulders slightly towards the camera. By doing this, there will be more space for everyone to move closer together so that everyone may fit into the picture.
Avoid lining your subjects into a line. Have them positioned in a mixed height manner. An oval or triangle shaped arrangement will be good.
Take a few shots, not just one. Have a close look at all the shots to make sure that there is at least one picture with everyone looking good in it.
Candid photography is my personal favorite! This is because candid images are able to capture the personality of my subject.
Criteria of a candid photographer; fast, able to take pictures without being noticed, and knows how to make use of the light available.
Silent mode is a very useful tool to candid photography. It functions to reduce camera noise to help you get unnoticed while shooting. A number of EOS digital SLRs such as the EOS 40D/ 50D, and the EOS 5D Mark 11 with Live View Mode comes with the Silent Shoot Mode. The EOS-1D/s Mark 11 also has a silent mode.
Medium or long telephoto lenses allow you to take excellent pictures from a distance. Wide lenses will be good as they can capture actions of a larger group of people in one go. Nevertheless, avoid ultra-wide lenses whenever possible.
Do not use a flash. Instead, raise ISO to 800 or 1600 via the amount of indoor light available. The pictures you take will appear more natural, provided you do not forget to keep your camera’s setting in Auto White Balance of white balance to tungsten. This way, you can shoot freely without being noticed.