TIP #25: Set your aperture based on the number of people you’re photographing.
Again, your aperture is the hole or opening in your lens that lets in light. The size of the opening determines how much light comes into your camera as well as how sharp or blurry the background is going to be in your image. But…aperture can be tricky and you shouldn’t just keep it at F 1.8 or F 2.8 all the time. The number of people you’re photographing makes a difference. Unless you’re doing something creative you probably want all of the people in your image to be in focus. If you’re shooting pictures of a large group of people and you have your aperture set at F 1.8 they may not all be in focus. I have a few recommendations for that. Just some tips that have worked for me.
- If you’re shooting pictures of one child, by themselves… then try F 2.8 and focus on their eyes and let other things behind them be out of focus
- When photographing two or more persons sitting together try F 3.5 or F 4.0 to be sure that they’re both in focus and sharp.
- When photographing a larger group of people try F 7 or higher. I usually recommend basing your initial aperture on the number of people. For example, if you’re photographing five people then set it at F 5.0 or higher. When photographing nine people move it up closer to F 9.0 or higher.
The higher aperture numbers will close up the lens a bit and allow for more things to be in focus even if they are not on the exact same plane.