These Tips Will Help You Master Shooting Wide-angle Portraits at 24mm

Did you know that you can shoot portraits using wide-angle lenses? Let us show you how to master portrait photography using the 24mm focal length.

Once upon a time, it would have been inconceivable to photograph portraits using something as wide as a 24mm lens. You may as well have bought a one-way express ticket to Distortion City. Thanks to advancements in modern optics design, however, that is a thing of the past. Portrait photography with 24mm wide-angle lenses is totally feasible nowadays. As long as you understand how best to utilize the focal length, it can lead to some truly creative possibilities. In our latest original infographic, we will be going over some important guidelines to keep in mind when creating portraits using 24mm wide-angle lenses.

Back It Up

Distortion is something you will need to pay close attention to when attempting to create portraits using a 24mm wide-angle lens. If you are too close to your subject, your images will look like they were shot using a fisheye lens, and your subjects will look like caricatures. While this can certainly be used to creative effect, it’s not desirable for conventional portraiture. When shooting portraits with a 24mm, you’ll get much better results by backing things up a bit and focusing on 3/4 or full body portraits instead.

Keep Things Centered

Images created using 24mm lenses will exhibit the least amount of distortion towards the center of the frame. To ensure the best results, you’ll want to position your subject so that they’re near the middle of the frame. Doing so will help keep distracting distortions down to a minimum. You will want to pay special attention and keep your subject’s limbs away from the the periphery of the frame, particularly the corners.

Work the Scene

Since the 24mm focal length covers such a wide field of view, it can be super useful when creating environmental portraits. You already know to back things up and to position your subject towards the center of the frame, so the key to success here is to pay attention to your subject’s surroundings. Rather than just photographing a standard close-up portrait, use the surrounding environment as a character to help tell a story. Pay attention to interesting framing options or utilize color theory and either match or juxtapose your subject with or against the backdrop. You’d be surprised at how much more interesting your final result will become. Be sure to tag me on Instagram (@thepicreative) when sharing your 24mm environmental portraits. I can’t wait to see what you all create using this focal length!

Pauleth Ip

Paul is a New York City based photographer, creative, and writer. His body of work includes headshots and commercial editorials for professionals, in-demand actors/performers, high net worth individuals, and corporate clients, as well as intimate lifestyle/boudoir photography with an emphasis on body positivity and empowerment. Paul also has a background in technology and higher education, and regularly teaches private photography seminars. When not working on reviews and features for The Phoblographer or shooting client work, Paul can be seen photographing personal projects around NYC, or traveling the world with his cameras in tow. You can find Paul’s latest work on his Instagram over at @thepicreative.