Posted August 13, 2016 by Gavin Hoey in Videos

Best Focal Length for Portraits

Knowing the best focal length for shooting portrait isn’t as easy as it may sound. Different focal lengths give very different results, some more flattering then others. In this video I take the same head shot at several focal lengths and compare the results.

Traditionally a 50mm lens (on a full frame camera) has been considered the closest to the human eye but generally I prefer headshots with 70mm or more.


As you can see in the comparisons above, zooming in (and therefore stepping back from the model) has a few benefits. The longer focal lengths give even tighter crops on the background and stepping back compresses the facial features. Of course there’s plenty of scope for creative portraits when shooting head shots with a wide angle lens but for most photographers, longer focal lengths are better.

Gavin Hoey