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Portrait Tips For Father's Day Gifts

Wondering what to buy your dad for Father's Day? Why not give him a portrait you've shot?

| Portraits and People

Portrait Tips For Father's Day Gifts: Portraits


  • Tripod – If you don't own a tripod take a look at Manfrotto's 390 series. It's designed for those who are just getting started in photography and the strong models will easily support an interchangeable lens camera. They're made from aluminium too which means you can carry them around without having to worry about the tripod's weight.
  • DSLR
  • Telephoto-zoom – Gives a flattering portrait perspective.



Giving your dad a portrait of you and/or your siblings as a Father's Day present (it's next Sunday 19 June if you've forgotten) is a thoughtful gift that if you take yourself, doesn't have to cost you a small fortune. In fact, if you produce a collection of different shots, you could even turn one into a card too.

Who to photograph?

You, your brothers, sisters and grandchildren are all obvious candidates. You just need to be organised and get them all at the same place at the same time if you're planning on shooting a group shot. If you're just shooting a picture of yourself you can use the camera's self-timer function or a remote release and a tripod so you can be the photographer and subject but it's probably easier if you can get an assistant to help you out.

What to wear?

For group shots, having everyone in the same clothes will just look silly but having outfits that clash won't work either. Ask your relatives to where shades that are similar (if possible) and casual clothing will make them more relaxed than shirts and smart dresses which they're more likely to pull and tug.

How to pose?

For formal portraits your subject(s) can be stood or seated, but pose them too much and they'll just look uncomfortable. Using a tele-zoom so you can shoot from further away can help put them at ease as they'll be more distance between you and them. For younger subjects it's much easier to shoot candids and with the good weather we've had lately you'll be able to get out in the garden with them and shoot as they run around. You may need slightly quicker shutter speeds but if you're working outside on a reasonably sunny day this shouldn't be a problem but if the camera does struggle, increase your ISO.

Is it light enough?

As we are slowly moving towards summer make the most of the sunny days and use natural light in your portraits. If you're working indoors, a little bit of cloud cover will diffuse the light nicely. If you're going outdoors find a shaded spot where the light's consistent and even. This should stop heavy shadows appearing under the eyes and nose but if you do find your subject's face to be slightly shaded, you can add a burst of flash to remove them. This can make your subject 'pop' from the background too, however some say it doesn't look very natural so you may prefer to use a reflector to bounce light into the scene instead.


Plain, simple backgrounds work the best both indoors and out. But if you're outdoors and haven't got a plain background, just use a wider aperture to throw it out of focus.

What to do with your photos?

You can print the shot off yourself and place them in a frame or why not send it off to one of the many canvas creators? If you have a collection of shots, photo books make great gifts or try turning one of your shots into a card.

Sport fanatic

If you have a dad who's mad about sport why not use a shot from a football match, a rugby game, or any other sport he's passionate about and put it on a card? Here are links to a few of the sports ePHOTOzine's covered in the past:

Portrait Tips For Father's Day Gifts: Goodwood

Find the tripod to suit your needs at

See what competitions and other exciting content Manfrotto have on their website:

Portrait Tips For Father's Day Gifts: Portrait Tips For Father's Day Gifts:

Portrait Tips For Father's Day Gifts:

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