April 3, 2013

Photography Tips

My husband happens to be an amazing photographer. He loves to photograph landscapes and nature the most. The problem with that is that camera equipment is very expensive! So we started a business doing portrait & wedding photography so that he could afford the upgrades, lenses, and other equipment that he wants. This has been good because he's gotten a whole new camera, tripods, lenses, and more.  Now, you would expect me to put in a plug for us here... but that's not what this blog is about. If you want more info on our photography business... leave a comment and I'll get back to you. 

I've learned a few things being the assistant. There are certain things that help make a great photo and I thought I'd share a few of them here:

1. Natural Light is best

I've realized that with kids it's hard to get the perfect shot. Even when it was just my husband and I it was still hard. What makes it easier?? Natural light. You don't have to worry about shadows from the flash, the white balance is much better naturally, and it seems like the photos come to life a little more.

2. Be Patient

To get that perfect shot... be ready. I have a point & shoot camera. I'm not the best at photography, but I try to at least get good shots. With mine I have to push the button down half way (it will click and have the square that is focused on the subject turn green) to be ready. If I put my camera where I want it and get it ready, then when my baby looks at me and smiles I can just push the button the rest of the way down. No waiting for it to focus and have the baby look away again when the photo takes. Also, don't be afraid to put your camera on multiple photos if you have the option. This also works in nature... just be ready for that bird to fly into your shot instead of following it around everywhere.

3. Shoot When the Mood Strikes

There was a week where I really wanted photos of my kids. We are lucky enough that we have a photo studio downstairs (where I open the window for light) and the kids are used to being photographed down there. I took them down on that Monday and they were terrors!! We had just had lunch and after lunch is nap time - what was I thinking?? We went back upstairs and I just put everything away. On Thursday I asked my daughter if she wanted to go get some pictures taken and she started downstairs. It was so much better and less stressful with happy kids. If they aren't happy and willing, don't force it.

4. What's Back There?

Anything can be used for a background. I've used many baby blankets, couches, the floor, the brick of our house, grass, ... Be creative with what is behind them. Just remember that if it's really busy that they may want to not be directly on/in front of it. You can only do so much with babies, but kids can take a step forward. Play with the shot a little and if you need to use a different wall in your home for better light, then move.

5. Move around

That means you as the photographer. Don't just stand in one place and expect wonderful photos! Kneel down to the height of your child, lay on your stomach and look up at them with the camera, go directly down (be careful not to get your toes in the shot), or go behind your child for an over the shoulder photo. Play around and find your happy place to take photos. Not all of them need to be the exact same (unless you are under a time requirement like getting to a Dr. appointment).

6. Digital is Free

Take a TON of photos. The best thing about digital photography is that you can take as many as you'd like. You may also delete photos that don't turn out. Keep taking photos even after you get "the shot" if the mood is right because you may get a golden moment. 

7. Say Cheese?

Just remember that not all photos need to have your subject looking at you. I love the wistful looks of newborns and the loving look that a father gives his daughter on her wedding day. Not every photo needs to be directed by you. Let people do what they love and sometimes you find gold.

8. Prints

Use a good printer!!! I tell everyone this because if you use a professional printer, you will get good prints. It makes sense. I will never use walmart for prints... but I will use mpix. That's all I'll say here.

If all else fails? I ask my husband. I also use Photoshop a little so that helps brighten them up.

Well, I hope this has helped a little. These aren't large tips or professional by any means. I have just noticed a few things through the years and wanted to share them with you.

No comments: