5 Tips for Tack-Sharp Images

As a photographer, you know your clients want to look good! Step one to looking good? Be in focus!⁠

Shoot above f/2.

Yes, apertures above f/2 do exist—and they photograph on film beautifully! The smaller your aperture number, the smaller your depth of field. While shooting at f/2 or f/2.8, your subject’s nose can be tack sharp, but their eyes may fall out of focus. To get a larger depth of field (and see both eyes and nose) try stopping down to f/4 or f/5.6. We promise you will still see beautiful bokeh!

⭐ Pro Tip: Shooting a large group? Consider stopping down to f/8 for even more depth of field!

Bride with bridesmaids.Jen Dillender

Use a Tripod or Monopod

We know you are a strong, independent, photographer who don’t need no tripod . . . oh wait, scratch that, tripods are handy! Don’t shoot handheld below 1/60th of a second. Though it may not seem like it at first, cameras get heavy! Avoid camera shake by using a tripod for any shutter speeds slower than 1/60th. Better yet, try a monopod, they are lightweight, easy to use, and often cheaper than a tripod!

Mason Neufeld loves her tripod.

Adjust your diopter.

This is a quick and easy step that, if forgotten, can lead to a whole slew of out-of-focus images.⁠

Table settings.Jeremiah & Rachel Photography

Consider a Macro Filter

Looking to get up close + personal with your clients or detail shots? Consider using a Macro Filter. Hoya Filters are cheaper than a macro lens + allow you to get quite close, all while maintaining focus!

⭐ Pro Tip: It is important to stop down when shooting macro work. The closer you are to your subject, the narrower your depth of field will be (small distance = small DOF). To compensate for this, stop down further than you think. Even f/11 will yield shallow depth of field.

Brian D Smith

Move yo’ feet!

To keep your clients in focus as they move across your frame, move with them:

✔️ Start by focusing on your subjects before they start moving.

✔️ Next, ask your client to do their movement at “half speed,” whether that is walking, running or dancing! 💃🏽⁠

✔️ Move with your clients, keeping the same distance from them as when you first set your focal point.

Woman running by rocks.Erich McVey

What are your favorite techniques for capturing tack-sharp images?

Lead image by Callie Manion.