Portrait photography – on the run

Portrait photos on location on the run can be hard to capture because time often is a limiting factor. Like when you want to frame a moment of your partner, friends or children, it can be over before it starts. The face, the situation and being on your toes in the moment before it’s missed is important.

Birgitte Weinberger.

The moment

There isn’t a recipe for the best portraits because it’s individual and different each time. Sometimes a silent mood with the person looking directly into the camera will be the best. At other times, and what I often practice, it’s about lurking around, small talking or not, and finding the moment. The moment of sadness or laughter. The moment of vulnerability or strength. It all depends on the person in front of me and how I approach the situation. Honestly, we do not hit it every time. But with patience and the right attitude the chances of getting a good portrait are there.

There always is a moment where the expression is the best possible. It’s a matter of the person in front of you trusting you, so the approach from the photographer is everything. The technical part means less.

Umut Sakarya.


The light is very important, so this is the first thing to look for. Next the choice of lens. I prefer a lens with a very shallow depth of field in many cases, softening up the background and a lens with soft character to present the skin tones best possible. Look for soft light when possible, and/or make use of the available light by moving around. Don’t be shy to ask people to step a little to the side or another location if needed. Most people want to look good in a photo so they will appreciate it if you do them the favour to make it the best possible.

Troels Trier.


Sony 50mm f1.4 is the lens of choice in these examples, but often I use a Summilux 50mm f1.4. Both lenses produce very good skin tones, but I do favour the Summilux.

In the examples below it’s a mixture of compositions and different light situations. But my main focus was on the expression.

Troels Trier.

Each of the people has a different story to tell in a TV series I am shooting at the moment, and the portraits are taken in between or after the video recordings I did too. None of these sessions has taken more than a few minutes, and there are several more photos, but they will be published later.

Birgitte Weinberger.

One Comment

  • Carsten Reenberg Rindvig

    Hej Morten
    En linse er en kage 😃
    Et objektiv er på et kamera og består af en masse optiske glaslinser

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Discover more from Morten Albek Photography

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading