Warning: Photogeek post.
I’ve never shot with flash and the aperture as wide open as f/2.8. Normally I shoot at f/8+ mainly to reduce any ambient light.
Tbh I’m not sure how much planning went into that as I didn’t notice it until I was reviewing the album.
Using f/2.8 creates a shallow depth of field, (see how the right shoulder of @jemimahnicolle is out of focus). It’s a visual trick because your eye naturally focuses on the parts of a photograph that are in focus first. It’s used a lot in portraiture.
The definitive pro Nikon portrait lens is the 70-200mm f/2.8, but it’s very expensive and very heavy to hold. I’m trying to go all prime, ie no zoom, as they are lighter and I think sharper. I invested in a second hand 85mm f/1.8 and I really like it. Opening up to f/1.8 is not a requirement for me but at f/2.8, what a lens. Second hand you can get an 85mm for a quarter of the price of the 70-200mm. 85mm is the definitive focal length for portraits, possibly 105mm too. I’m not sure I need 200mm.
The thing I love about primes is that they are a fixed focal length so you can’t zoom in or out. This forces you to compose the shot by either physically stepping back or forwards.
The other thing I noticed about this shoot was the volume of shots. A year ago I’d have taken 400+. By taking my time, composing and tethering I now do less than 200. Quality over quantity.