For close-up shots, use a lens with a focal length of about 100 mm to
keep the face in its normal proportions. It also provides space between
you and your model and is therefore less intrusive. Focus on the eyes,
because this is where we normally look. Choose a wide aperture to reduce
the depth of field and blur any disturbing background elements. Use a
tripod and remote shutter release. In this way you can look directly at
and talk to your model. This helps to put your model at ease and draw
out his or her character.
When using negative film and commercial printing, photographs are
automatically corrected as far as possible to produce "normal" exposure
and colour. However, this does not help if you are experimenting, or
want to deliberately under or overexpose. To see true results, use
transparency film. This cannot be automatically corrected during
processing - you get what you shoot. If you use a digital camera you can
check the result immediately and re-shoot until you get the effect
you're looking for.