Hey there! Let’s talk about candid photos and how best to capture your loved ones.
Candid moments are by far my favorite images to create over posed. Now don’t get me wrong it’s nice to have photos where everyone is looking at the camera but let’s face it candid photographs seem more sentimental to me.
First and foremost before I ask my four kids to line up for a photograph I assess the location and lighting. Let me walk you through how I photographed my kids when we toured the community of Pullman that I blogged about the other day.
The Hotel Florence has this amazing wide wrap around porch that provided me with even shade depending on how I positioned my kids. When setting up this shot I decided to back light my subjects rather than have them stand with their faces to the sun. If you look at the lighting on the porch you’ll see how spotty it is. Now as much as I love brick in my images, the orange brick would cast an orange hue back onto my subjects (kids) so I made sure to position my kids away from the brick wall.
I decided to position my kids on the railing knowing there would be strong back-lighting but I was hoping to create a bit of lens flare. By having my children’s back to the sun this will allow me to expose their cute faces evenly and dial in my manual settings to expose for skin. I also made sure to put my girls in the line of light to highlight their hair since my boys have short hair and the light would end up on top of their heads and shoulders. That’s not the look I wanted. In the photo below I positioned everyone on the same plane to make sure everyone is in focus.
Next I centered the kids on the porch out of the strong patches of light you saw in the first photo. Again making sure everyone is on the same plane and close.
Once I got my “posed” photo out of the way, I let me kids play and that’s where I know I’ll create and get something I love! Of course I do offer guidance in the way of talking to my kids way too much but that guarantees that I’ll get something amazing for my wall at home.
Below I asked my kids to stand on the same plane and slowly walk towards me. This task is very difficult for my kids! Someone always ends up running to me as if it’s a contest to see who gets to mommy first. I then have to stop them and ask them to back up and try it again. This trick always gets my kids interacting with each other and guarantees me lots of photos with genuine laughs and goofy interaction. I never stop shooting.
Even though my kids are not cooperating (as seen in the photos above) I never put my camera down and they can play all they want because I’ve set myself in the perfect spot when great lighting so once again I let them play occasionally reminding them to stay on the same plane.
Ok…so let’s review:
- Assess your location and lighting.
- Dial in your manual settings to expose for skin.
- Ask your kids to line-up on the same plane.
- Position yourself in a fixed stance so you’re not moving, only the kids.
- Ask them to play and make a game out of it.
- Don’t stop shooting until you’ve got something good.
Because I run this “drill” a lot with my kids they know what to expect and therefore make the best of the situation to appease mom. Remember the saying…if mamma ain’t happy…
The candid moments I shared today are completely and truly my kids and I love that I can still hear their laughter when I look at these images. Therefore this series of images were a complete success for me to cherish.
Thanks for stopping by.
Full Sun. I normally shy away from it when photographing my business clients. However when it comes to photographing my own children, I get what I get and make the best of it. After-all life’s bests moments don’t wait for what I think is ideal light that I
want need to capture my kids in. So let’s talk about capturing your own kids in less than ideal bright sunny situations.
As a mom taking pictures of my kids, I shoot on manual. Not the easy-peasy camera setting of auto. Yep…look at your camera and you’ll see the “M”…that’s the mode I prefer to shoot in. Ok let’s get started on a typical day in the life with my kids. We spend a lot of time traveling so the set of images I’m sharing are from a fun day spent at Zuma Beach back in July 2015.
This photo was taken on a bright cloudy morning. The first step I take is finding a natural reflector. If you look closely at the image you’ll see the kids really don’t have shadows, but none the less it was bright for them because of the natural reflector in-front of them. Yep…it’s the sidewalk. I was drawn to the large “FOOD” sign above them and wanted to make sure to get that in my shot. I always line my kids up and dial in my settings for proper exposure before I start. This only takes a few seconds and most of the time I capture some pretty good shots of my kids relaxed and interacting “nicely” with each other. You’ll notice how my sky is blown out. That is intentional and is a representation of my photography style. Plus, there were NO clouds, it was that California haze that I’ll refer to as “cloudy”.
When photographing my kids I’m always exposing for skin tones not the sky, hence why my sky is blown out. Normally I meter for my youngest child’s skin tone, since he’s the fairest. If you notice the varied leg colors you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Since the sun is directly behind this building, I chose to photograph my kids with their backs to the sun and expose for their faces. Next I can ask my kids to move playfully move towards me keeping the lighting consistent using the natural reflector (the sidewalk) in front of them to light their faces.
Once I’ve leveraged the lighting hurtle I can then ask my kids to be playful for a quick series of photographs. Now getting them to stay on the same plane so no one pulls focus is always my challenge. The kids make a it game and love to scold one another if they see the other ahead of them…creating some fun smiles and a great end result for me.
My camera settings: F 4.0 1/1600 400 ISO
Thanks for stopping by.
Presenting my clients with a few choices when it comes to hanging art in their homes is a must. Today, I’m working on creating a framed art piece to complete my clients collection.
I offer a framed Watch Me Grow art piece in the Baby Basic Collection. Normally this framed art piece is 3 5×7 vertical portraits double mated. Since the client chose 2 vertical and 1 horizontal poses, I needed to present a few different variations that you see above. In this case, the clients chose the top sample of 3 5×5 portraits framed.
I take a lot of photos. And when I’m talking “a lot”… I mean…like I photograph my kids daily! Whoa! Yep…I have four kids and if I take at minimum, 4 images of each kid daily that adds up to 1,460 images for just one of my precious kids. Then times that by 4, I’ve got 5,840 digital images that are stored on my computer and I didn’t even include events such-as sports, dance, holidays, and vacations! My monthly image average for my family is between 800 hundred to 1,000 images. I still think this image number is too high and I’m working on getting it down, but the truth is I don’t stay married to most of my images. I DELETE what’s not needed! Granted I still have a lot to store digitally but I’m working on it. Now….what the heck I’m I going to do with those images? Currently, my favorite choice is print books. Come see what I’m working on…
Since we’ve already established that I take “a lot” of photos, my kids have found a way to irritate and poke fun of me for doing so. How do they do that? They give me the thumbs up! Most of the time they hide their thumb(s) so it appears that I’m taking a great image of my family or a kid loving life…but in reality when I look closer I can see a damn thumb! My husband and kids find this so freaking amusing it’s turned into a HUGE family joke that results in a “thumb photo bomb” in almost every image. What’s the upside to a hidden thumbs up image? The smiles I capture. Followed by laughter. Which leads into conversation. Finished up by high fives that someone has pulled the “thumb photo bomb” over on mom once again.
This past March for my family I created a coffee table book titled: Peace. Love. Thumbs. Because I have so many many many thumb’s up, peace signs, and just plain funny glances or faces, I needed a book dedicated to all of this crazy! The book publisher I use is Blurb. I always upgrade my cover and paper quality. Average cost for this book with more than 100 images is about $150. Best money I could spend! And I’d give it a Thumbs Up!
Raise your hand if you print your photos anymore? Yeah…they just hang out on your computer. That’s what I thought.
100% of the time when a client contacts me for my portrait services they think getting a Disc of digital images is all they need. WRONG! Dead wrong! You wanna know why? I know you do….YOU WON’T PRINT THEM! Those images will hang out on a disc until you have found the time to “deal” with those precious photos and sadly the technology to retrieve your photos would be almost extinct and then you have to pay someone to retrieve them! That’s just how it goes! And how much did you pay for that disc of images that you can’t hang on the wall? Too Much! Yeah….That’s what I thought! After-all…they’re just files of the most important people who will actually care if you cease to exist. They don’t deserve to be printed. Displayed. Framed. Hung. Your loved ones look amazing on that disc of images…..said NO ONE!
Creating art for your wall takes time. I’m here to help you. When all is said and
done hung we celebrate together and marvel at the beautiful faces before us! Printing your photos is the best way to preserve them for generations to come. Remember digital files are for now. Your prints are for the next 3 generations.
Thanks for stopping by.