What Shutter Speed Is Best for Portraits?

This post is by Sharky James from Photodoto

When you first learn about portrait photography, shutter speed may be the last thing on your mind since it does not seem as important as in something like action or night photography.

portrait of girl

In this article I will explain why shutter speed is important in portrait photography and what the correct shutter speed should be.

If you are handholding the camera, the shutter speed for the best portraits should be at least 1/200th of a second or 1/15th of a second on a tripod, with the 1/200th of a second being a commonly used due to the synch speed of most flash units.

But in some cases, especially where the subject can be completely stationary (not a portrait of kids), the shutter speed may not be as important.  Read on to discover which shutter speed is the best for your type of portraits.

Factors Portrait Shutter Speed Depends On

Portrait shutter speed depends on several factors such as the image sensor, the length of time you expose the film to light and the object you are capturing. It also depends on any motion. The motion may either be frozen or blurry, depending on the shutter speed. It is therefore necessary that you understand how it works.

For portraits freezing action, you may need to use a faster shutter speed. But if you want to capture movement, you may need a slower shutter. Thus, you can use a slower shutter when photographing waterfalls or landscapes in your portrait. However, for most portraits, the best shutter speed should be about 1/200. But you may need to make adjustments depending on the type of portrait you want to capture including its background.

Equipment Considerations

The equipment you use is an important factor on which the portrait shutter depends on. So the results …