Depth of Field in Portraits and Event Photography

Depth of field is one of the most important things when it comes to outdoor portrait and event photography and mastering it will definitely open doors to making more vivid, intense, and candid photos.

The term is usually referred to a certain area on the photo which appears sharp and is in focus. As a rule, photos that depict objects and nature look better when they are in complete focus—which is called deep depth of field—but pictures that have people on them often require shallow depth of field that gives bokeh effect, blurs the background, and lets the photographer mark out certain features of the subject.

There are three factors that cause changes in the depth of field of a photo. Let's review them.


Aperture is the value that determines the amount of light that comes through your lens and into the camera. Just set a larger aperture to get shallow depth of field and use a smaller aperture for photos that require deep depth of field. 

Larger aperture —> ~f/4 —> shallow depth of field, bokeh

Smaller aperture —> ~f/16 —> deep depth of field, no bokeh


The distance from which you shoot your subject matters, too. This one is a no-brainer. Short shooting distance means shallow depth of field, while longer shooting distance is for deep depth of field.


Focal length is the property of a camera lens to magnify the subject which is located far. Try using telephoto lenses that have higher focal length to get more bokeh on your shots and use wide-angle lenses for deep depth of field.

These three things is the backbone of depth of field and using them properly will ensure amazing bokeh effect on your shots, which can improve the quality of your photography times and times by letting you choose what parts of the picture should be sharp and others that shouldn't.

Apart from portrait and event photography, being able to use depth of field may come in handy when shooting animals or sportsmen.

Apply these awesome techniques to shoot distinctive photos that people will love, use our platform to sell them, and earn at least 70% of the photo value. Become a KeepSnap independent photographer and go out today to snap people around you and earn a living. It's completely free for photographers.