Portrait Lens Selection

When selecting a lens for a portrait, you may want to try and keep the subject as realistic as possible, or perhaps expand or flatten their features.

When doing a portrait with a lower mm lens, one must get closer to the subject to fill the frame, well this will have a distortion effect on the person, making their nose look bigger, and pushing their ears back. And a longer lens has the opposite effect, and can flatten the subjects features.

This is very similar to lens compression, which I did an on Lens Compression Comparison

Here is an example chart using the range from 12mm to 400mm


In the example picture above, the model, Lola Reyes is about the same size, (I did my best to frame her) as shot with different lens settings.

The key areas to notice in this shot are:

  • Nose
  • Ears
  • Hair Line
  • Width of the face

Hope this helps.

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Mike Bradley

Author: Mike Bradley

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