Jade says that you really don't need a lot of kit when you're starting out in fashion-style portraits, with a standard EOS camera kit lens giving you lots of options for different looks. "An 18-55mm lens such as the EF-S 18-55mm f/4-5.6 IS STM
is good because you can crop in tight on details and then zoom out to show the full outfit, including the shoes. If you want to take it to the next level, then an affordable portrait lens such as the Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM
, with its wide maximum aperture that makes it easy to blur backgrounds, is a great upgrade."
If you prefer mirrorless, the versatile Canon RF 35mm F1.8 Macro IS STM
lens for the EOS R System
cameras such as the Canon EOS RP
is also ideal for street work and close-up photography. The Canon RF 50mm F1.8 STM
and Canon RF 85mm F2 Macro IS STM
lenses are also great alternatives for portraits, while the all-purpose Canon RF 24-105mm F4-7.1 IS STM
is a compact and lightweight zoom lens for everyday use.
Standing back and zooming in on your friend will produce a more flattering portrait than if you stand close and zoom out wider. Your choice of camera angle also makes a difference. "Unless they're pretty tall already, most people like to look taller," says Jade. "You can do this by shooting from a low angle, which will make your friend's legs look longer. So don't be afraid to squat down and take some low shots!"
Whatever lens you're working with, Jade recommends starting with full-length shots before cropping in tighter. "Show them the first couple of shots, so that you can reassure them that they look really good. Then you can suggest some close-ups. Ask them to pull funny faces or play around with a scarf or hat. That will help your subject to loosen up.