How Victoria Will Uses Autofocus to Never Miss A Shot


Do you know what backbutton focus is? Victoria Will's explanation will convince you to use it too.

Professional portrait photographer and veteran CreativeLive instructor, Victoria Will doesn’t miss a shot. When you are photographing celebrities, often under heavy pressures and time constraints, you can’t afford to. The fact that high quality portraits are very often shot at ultra-wide apertures doesn’t make this any easier.

There is nothing worse than thinking you nailed that perfect look in a portrait session, only to review the image later and realize that your focus was off. That is why Victoria uses a very deliberate autofocus technique . She shared that technique with us during her live course at Photo Week 2016 in NYC. In order to have total control over where she is focusing, she uses a combination of back-button focus, and lightning-fast adjustments of her camera’s focus points.

Utilizing those two techniques and making them second-nature to how she shoots, is what enables her to focus exactly where she chooses.

A photo posted by Victoria Will (@victoriawill) on

A photo posted by Victoria Will (@victoriawill) on


Victoria Will's Autofocus Techniques Explained
Victoria’s presentation was amazing, informative, and funny. “When you get married to another photographer, you merge finances, and you merge autofocus techniques.”
Victoria’s preferred shooting assistants, Harry and Eleanor. They hung out in the studio with us and made everyone’s day better.

To master this autofocus technique requires developing the muscle memory with your thumb. It has to become second nature to you when you pick up your camera. It’s not easy, but as Victoria explains, it’s a crucial component to successful high-end portrait shoots.

Missed Victoria’s class during Photo Week 2016? Click the image below to see her full class and learn what it takes to enter the world of high-end portraiture. Seriously, she’s amazing.





Justin Katz

Content Marketer at CreativeLive, and outdoor and landscape photographer. I work with great people to create awesome photography content and education.