Portrait practice 

I have a fear of portrait photography. I decided to take some time to tackle this head on.

Anyone who follows me on Instagram will notice one thing very quickly when scrolling through my feed. There are no Faces.

I find comfort in shooting candid, street scenes or landscape photography. Why? Well people take portrait shots very seriously and a piece of me is terrified that they will judge me for the end result.

So I am trying to adopt a new philosophy of trying stuff that scares me, particuarly with photography.

I sent a message the one person I thought would be happy to help me out.  I know it might sound weird, given our relationship, but I feel compelled to say, I suspected they’d also be a willing and highly photogenic model. Thankfully, Pat Byrne accepted (@ravenphotoireland) but I knew that I would more of a feminine touch to my photos and so I dragged Conor (@visualJungle) and my sister along (@shonamaguire).

I’ve always respected Pats ability to shoot candid shots and portraits, so I was only delighted that he was able to join me. I wanted to learn as much I can from him.
That was it. We left the group small because I think with portrait shooting it can get intimidating for models if there are lots lenses shoved in your face; especially amateur models (like Pat).

We went with a city centre location that offered some background colour; an area called Liberty Lane, which is very popular with graffiti artists.

In my backpack I had a lens that I have purchased about 6 months ago and haven’t really used, my 50mm f1.8 Canon lens. A cheap lens at approx 200 euro but one that has lots of uses. Among photographers this lens is known as the ‘nifty fifty lens’.

At f1.8 it is the widest aperture lens that I have in my collection and it allows me to create a very shallow depth of field, or Bokeh (background blur effect) which can be very important in portrait photography. Especially if you are shooting outdoors. After all, the blurred effect ensures that the viewers eyes are completely absorbed my the subject of the photo, the model.  The f1.8 lens creates a stunning effect when its used rightmost, as the shallow depth of field can be both a positive and a negative. As a photographer, you need to be very careful about where the camera is focusing, because if its out even the slightest then your shot will be out of focus.

SO of the 200 shots I got on the day, here are some of my favorites:



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