Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Using your camera!

What's that? You want to take better photos of your kids and family? I've been getting more and more requests for help with cameras, tips, and knowledge on taking better photos. It is wonderful to have a great camera. There are certainly things you can do with a camera that costs $2,000 that you can't with your $200.00 point and shoot. BUT, you can still take awesome photos with the camera you currently own! Here are just a few tips that will help improve the photos you take right now with the camera you already have!

Tip #1
Turn your flash OFF! One of the things that makes a photograph interesting is the way your subject is lit and the shadows that fall around him or her. Using the flash on your camera is probably making your photos look flat and washed out. When you are inside, chances are your camera will want to pop the flash on. Set your baby or child near a window. Let all the light from the window fall on their face. Although, try to steer clear of the sun's direct rays that might be coming in from the window. If your flash STILL wants to come on, turn it off manually. Open those shades! And maybe even rearrange some furniture to really get that light to flood it. Going outside will give you plenty of light. So if you can, step outside and there will be no need for that flash. But life doesn't always happen outside, so know which rooms in your house have the best natural light.

This little beauty below was only a few feet away from a large window. Her face was lit perfectly and the shadows on the back of her head and side of her body give the image dimension and depth!

Tip #2
Get in close! You don't really want to see the pile of laundry sitting in the corner? Or that you haven't done dishes yet that day/ week :) Get in tight and eliminate some of that "stuff". You're probably trying to get a photo of your little one and not what is on the tv behind them :)
However, sometimes your background is really wonderful and you do want to get it in the shot, in those situations, don't be afraid to back up :)

I honestly don't know what was in the background at William's home, because I got in close. He had such amazing eyes, that I didn't want to capture the chair in the background, just him. It may look like I have a black background up, but it's just the dark half of his living room.

Tip #3
Get creative! It's important to get a great photo of your child's face. But sometimes, it's really great to make an interesting crop. Leave a little to the imagination. Try to just focus on their little hand playing with a favorite toy. Or their little toes as they hang down from their high chair.

Addelyn's face is absolutely beautiful. I certainly took plenty of photos of her smile, but also wanted to get one that left something to the imagination. This photograph was taken just about a year ago, I bet her feet touch the ground now! :)

Tip #4
Give your camera an accessible home. Find a place where your camera is super easy to get to all the time. If your baby starts making the most adorable face, it doesn't do you much good to have to run upstairs to look for your camera. And OH NO, the battery is dead, and you can't remember where your memory card is. OR a more likely scenario, your memory card is FULL!

My friend Becky is the queen of having her camera out and ready. She seems to always catch spontaneous moments with her kids! Sometimes things happen, and you just won't have time to go find your camera and get it ready.

Tip #5
Take a lot of photos! Don't take one, don't take 5, take LOTS! If I wanted to get a great shot of a baby on a chair. I could probably take between 50-100 photographs in a 10 minute time span. Certainly don't keep all these photos! Upload them on to your computer and only keep your favorites. Sometimes the deleting is the hardest part. But narrow it down to your favorite 5 or 10 and save those.


Becky Bartlett March 31, 2010 at 7:48 AM  

Great post, Ashley! Thanks for the tips (and for the props!) I never ever delete photos and really should. Maybe that will be my goal for the year??

Amber March 31, 2010 at 12:15 PM  

Awww, Sage was sooo tiny!!! Great tips, Ashley!

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