Keep your eyes on the eyes!

Keep your eyes on the eyes!

It’s in our genes – eye contact! A portrait can look any way as long as the eyes are sharp.

Eye contact is obviously something that catch people’s attention.

A long exposure can give a better light, especially with live candles. Here we turned of the lamps and used a couple of Speedlite flashes to freeze the image and make the face sharp. Exposing for about a second created a better background and gives some reflected light from the screen on the computer.

A long exposure can give a better light, especially with live candles. Here we turned of the lamps and used a couple of Speedlite flashes to freeze the image and make the face sharp. Exposing for about a second created a better background and gives some reflected light from the screen on the computer.

It have often occurred to me how easy it is to be grabbed by eye contact, not only in the flow of social media, but also in reality. It’s a magic moment when you suddenly meet someone’s eyes. I often want to recreate that moment when shooting portraits.

Here is what you need to keep in mind:

  • The eyes are very expressive and can move very fast. Use a short exposure; at least 1/100 sec is good to make sure the yeas are sharp.
  • Using the raw format is very useful, since it makes it easier to enlighten the eyes when editing the image.
  • Red eyes can be avoided by not using the flash on the camera. It is easy to remove red eyes when editing, but the results gets much better when using the flash away from the camera body.
  • If the light is coming from above you need to enlighten the shadows over the eyes with a flash or a reflective screen. The latter is very inexpensive and essential when shooting portraits.
  • It’s important that your model is looking straight into the lens. Then you’ll get an image with that eye contact, regardless from what angle you look at the image.
  • Light is important to make the eyes shine beautiful. If you want to also capture the atmosphere of the room you can use a longer exposure and use a flash to freeze the image and make the eyes sharp.