Outdoor Portrait Photography Tips

Layne Kennedy
Duration:   2  mins

Summer fun offers great opportunities to for close-up photos illustrating fun activities and the expressions that go along with them. In this session, Layne Kennedy takes a jaunt through the Minnesota State Fair and shares outdoor portrait photography tips, illustrated by animated shots of people eating corn on the cob.

When photographing outdoor summer activity, opportunities are rich for fantastic close-ups featuring animated faces. In this session, Layne Kennedy shares outdoor portrait photography tips while on a visit to the Minnesota State Fair, where he zooms in to capture great images of kids eating corn on the cob.

Layne explains that a feature like the Corn Roast, one of the original food vendors at the fair, offers many chances for close-up shots of activity, from shucking corn to handing ears of corn to customers to dipping the corn in butter to, of course, eating the corn.

Outdoor Portrait Photography Tip: Zoom in Tightly

Layne selects four kids for close-up images as they hold ears of corn and eat them. As he zooms in closer, framing their faces, they smile more, show more emotion, and become more animated. They laugh, and their eyes dance.

The people, places and activity behind the subjects become background as the camera zooms so close that the frames are filled by the children’s faces and the bright yellow corn that glistens with butter. The photographer keeps the backgrounds varied by positioning the kids so they stand in front of different locations.

Patience Can Lead to Great Photos

One of Layne’s outdoor portrait photography tips is to just keep snapping photos in a situation like this. He continues to take pictures as the kids start to smile and laugh, even as friends and family members tease them and induce more laughter and face-making, until the entire ear of corn has been eaten. This is one of many situations where waiting for the shot can lead to something much better than simply snapping random photos as people pass by.


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