Friday, July 16, 2010

The girls' photo shoot with cousin Clive and some photography tips

The girls' closest-in-age cousin on Rich's side of the family lives in Virginia so the girls have only been able to meet and play with him a few times. I saw the perfect opportunity for a super mini photo shoot during the July 3rd/4th cook out. Now, Clive at 10 months old was awesome at posing. He paid attention to his mommy and stayed in place. My girls were annoyed that I had pulled them away from their beloved potato chips.

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Now, I know that I'm not a professional photographer but I thought I would pass along some tips seeing as these are things that everyone can work on, no matter what camera you have.

1. Composition

Composition is an extremely important aspect to photography. The last thing you want in your photo is a bunch of crap, which will easily distract from the real focal points of the photo. My brother-in-law's yard was on the small side so I didn't have many options. I choose to set up in front of this fence as it was the least distracting.

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It is best to set your subjects as far away as possible from the backdrop (the fence) if you want the backdrop to be less in focus. Now I say this with the caveat that sometimes you do want the backdrop to be an active part of the photo. In this case, I did not.

2. Lighting.

It is difficult to shoot in full sun, which is what conditions were at the time these photos were taken. Subjects will squint, you may get shadows on the face, etc. If shade is an option, I always pick that over full sun. Here I was able to place the kiddos in the shade, on the edge of the sun.

If you are going to use shade, beware of sun spots. This is where some sun peeks through the shade and makes its way into your photos. There is some in these photos but they aren't too bad as they are not on anyone's face.

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Also, try to have your subjects look into the sunny area. This will help brighten the eyes.

3. Get on the ground.

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When photographing children, it is important to get down on their level. (I say this with the caveat that sometimes you do want to shoot from above.) With the majority of my photos of the girls, I am sitting on the floor or sprawled out on the ground. Try it and see the difference.

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