Two Minute Tips: Wide angle lenses can create more intimate portraits but do pose challenges
posted Wednesday, January 16, 2019 at 8:00 AM EDT
It's conventional wisdom that you shouldn't use wide angle lenses for portraiture. However, Bergman says that you certainly can shoot portraiture with wide lenses, but there are things to watch out for. Focal length alone doesn't change the look of faces in your photos, rather, it is the distance between your camera and your subject which can distort the look of a person. The wider the lens, the closer you need to get to fill the frame, which can cause issues.
When discussing a wide lens, Bergman is referring to any lens wider than 50mm (or 50mm equivalent in 35mm terms), such as a 35mm, 24mm or even 11mm lens. When compared to traditional portrait lenses, which can often throw your background out of focus, a wide angle lens often results in a more environmental portrait, which can you use to your advantage. Bergman says that there is a certain intimacy to a wide angle portrait which is hard to replicate with a longer lens.