Monday, April 09, 2007

THANK YOU!!! And here are the answers..

You were all so sweet and complimentary of my pictures. Watch out... you don't want to give me a big head! Hee hee.. :0) I am actually always very nervous about my pictures even though I have been doing this for years now. My hubby loves to tease me about it.
Now you are really in trouble cause I am inspired to show you all my favorite bluebonnet pics. The pictures were taken at my mom's house. It is my second favorite place to take pictures. (my favorite is on a beautiful beach) Her home is wonderful and on five acres. She is always creating fun nooks and crannies where I can take cool pictures. We make a good team I think!

Some of you wanted picture taking tips so here are all my secrets!!!

PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR FLASH!!!! It is ruining your pictures!!!! A flash often wipes out the natural shadows created. It generally makes people look flat and plastic. Of course it can be used in wonderful ways but I find that natural light is always a better bet. So whenever possible open all the blinds and doors to let in lots of light or take the kids outside when snapping photos. Try using lots of bright lights in the house if it's too dim. If you have to use a flash distance yourself a bit from the subject and then zoom in with your lens to get a closer shot.

Get closer, CLOSER, CLOOOOOSER! Most people take pictures from way to far away. Focus WAY in on your subject. It may feel very strange to get in that close. When you are starting to feel ackward you are getting close enough. Remember, you don't want to get a picture of the big tree behind your child. You want to get that gleam in their eye. You can't get that if you are afraid to get up close and personal..

Try to make the atmosphere as relaxed and fun as possible. The clothes should be comfortable. Let the little ones hold something natural like a flower if they need to keep their hands out of their mouths and pockets. Let them stroll together or walk in a creek. Let them giggle. When you need them to smile at you ask them if they see any worms on your head and generally act like a complete goof ball. If they are enjoying themselves your pictures will reflect it.
Don't take pictures when it's too sunny! Most people think bright sun is great for pictures but it's actually very harsh. Sunlight like the pics at the strawberry farm in the blog entry below is way too strong. It dulls the colors and takes away all the shadows that convey emotions. Pick an overcast day if you can. If you can't wait for cloud cover take pictures in fully shaded areas.... under a tree... on a big your house in front of your windows... in a pickle you can use a garage with the door open! Evening light and morning light are also great.Buy a piece of insulation! :0) For ten bucks at Home Depot you can get a hard sheet of insulation that has foil on it. Buy it and break it in half. (it is huge) Get someone to stand on the side with half the board and reflect some soft light on your subject. The overcast sky allows the colors to pop. The reflector gives your subject a soft glow. It will make a BIG difference.

Take LOTS of pictures. A typical photo shoot for me will last 30 minutes to 1 and 1/2 hours depending on whether it's just a simple thing with the kids in the back yard or a bridal shoot. In that time I will take between 100-400 pictures. I take a TON of pictures. With those kinds of odds how can you NOT get something wonderful?
Keep the clothes simple. Don't have any logos or crazy patterns. We want to see the people- not the latest fashion craze. Solid colors are better. Keep it soft and muted. Bare feet and natural hair are usually a good call. On the beach stick to white, khaki, denim or MAYBE light blue.. With little ones don't be afraid to show their beautiful skin. Their rolls and pudges are so wonderful. Hair and make up should usually be as simple and natural as possible.

Get a good, user friendly digital camera. I have a digital Cannon Rebel. It's not the newest or best or most expensive. I don't really need all that. I just need something fast and easy. Point and shoot cameras are TOO SLOW! You can't keep up with a two year old zooming through bluebonnets with a point and shoot. They usually only take about 1 pic per 6-8 seconds. By then your cute kiddo is out of the field and screaming for a drink! :0) You need something fast!
I don't use any fancy settings. I generally just switch off my flash and have the camera on auto focus. Oh by the way... when you decide you want a camera... figure out which one you like then go buy it on Amazon or some other online store. I saved about $300 because I bought my camera on line.

Don't always get a smile. Emotions are beautiful in so many ways. I love seeing something different. Of course the smiles are wonderful. Then again so are the tears, the frustration and the looks of pure exasperation! Our lives aren't all one emotion. Why should our pictures be one sided?

Just try to capture a moment. It's the feeling of where you were at that time. Try to make it fun and natural and you will all have a blast!


Okay... that's probably more than you ever wanted to know but you asked. Now go take some kick butt pictures of your cutie pies!

HUGS! Angel


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Bekah said...

thanks for all the tips!! But can I just hire you to take pictures of my kids? :) Your photos are just awesome!!!

Jami said...

I love the tips. I'm definately going to put them into flash..I never knew! :) Keep em coming!!

Jami said...

Hi Angel-

I just thought of another question. Does it make a difference where you get your film developed and what film you use for that matter?

Anonymous said...

Hi, Angel-
I have always loved your pictures, and those tips are great. I am a new mom to a beautiful 10 month old from Guatemala, and I am definitely going to put some of those tips into practice. Thanks for sharing your pics and your blog.

Lou said...

Thank you for all the tips. One more question.....I have the Kodak Easy Share. It's new, but it takes SO long to get ready in between pictures. Could it be my memory card? I will just pile my kids up and drive to your moms so you can just shoot away! We are going to the beach tomorrow, and I am going to try to take some pics of Maggie on the beach. Will let you know how it goes!

Betsy said...

You are amazing! I have always loved your pics and have admired your art of taking them.

Thanks for the lesson.