Father’s Day is just around the corner and now is the time to think about photo sessions. If you’re stuck on ideas on how to photograph dads, here’s a hint : Let them play with their kids! Adoramapix Member, Natascha Lee of Natascha Lee Studios (Baby and Family Photography in Broomfield, Colorado), creates vibrant, natural images of families having fun, especially her photos of Fathers playing with their children. So in honor of Father’s Day (June 16th), Natascha shares her top 5 tips for photographing Dads.
Recognize that Dad may being coming along at Mommy’s request and might not be all that enthused about having photos taken. So it’s important to honor his starting frame of mind, which might be, “Let’s get this over with.” By the end of the session, my Dads are amazed at how much fun they had!
Things may have been stressful at home, getting both parents and all kids ready for the photo shoot. So be friendly and upbeat but relaxed; make sure you don’t “bark out orders” or give too many directions, instructions or requirements.
Approach family sessions with the intention to include Dad + Kid photos. If your mission in similar to mine (to provide priceless family memories in a highly artistic fashion), then capturing the relationship between Daddy + Kids is a crucial part of providing that service. I also always photograph just Mommy + Daddy (or Mommy + Mommy, or Daddy + Daddy), for the same reason: to honor and celebrate their relationship as adults, as well as parents.
4) Set it Up
I now offer headshots to parents during my family sessions. It provides a great looking photo to use on LinkedIn and enables me to set up my Daddy + Kids opportunity. First I photograph Daddy alone. Then, when it’s Mommy’s turn, I ask Daddy to please take the kids “over there” (someplace with a great background) and “just play with them.” When I’m done shooting Mommy’s headshot, Daddy is inevitably playing adorably with the kids.
5) Shoot It!
First I’ll observe and take candid photos of them playing together. Then I’ll start to ask for some/all to look in my direction. I don’t want to interfere too much, just to capture the natural love and energy they have together.
When I edit for the final gallery, having photos of Daddy with the kids makes for a much fuller (and harder to resist) gallery to present to your clients. It also creates two parents who are jointly AND individually thrilled with the experience and the images.
It’s summer and that means it’s time to travel! With vacations and adventures awaiting you this summer, it’s important to document your travels. There are a few techniques you should keep in mind when packing your suitcase and your camera. We talked with Tracey Heppner of Follow Your Heart Photography Tours to get 5 key tips on successful travel photography.
1. Pack the Right Items
Pack only what you need and what you want to carry. Remember, you probably aren’t going to have help during your travels carrying around your stuff, so less is more!
When I travel, I travel with one main body (Canon 5dm2), a second body (Canon 5d) that I use for backup (or if I’m in a place I don’t want to keep changing lenses I put one on it), a long lens (70-200, 4.0) a wide (16-35, 2.8) and a 50mm, 1.2 mid range lens. Why do I choose those lenses? Well for one, I don’t own a 28-70 anymore. So instead, I bring the wide for scenery and buildings, the long for distance. I use the long for when I like to stay back and document life and the 50mm for great portraits when I really to embrace the culture and its people.
I also pack more than enough memory cards and my Macbook pro with a pocket size hard drive. I have my files copied 3 times. I do it because I like to know that if my laptop got stolen, I still have my hard drive and cards. Or if my hard drive corrupts, I still have my cards and laptop. I cover my bases.
I carry this all in my Lowepro computrekker backpack. It’s compact and it’s in all there. My batteries and chargers fit wonderfully as well as my laptop. It’s the perfect travel bag when I want to be compact. My backpack has traveled everywhere with me – throughout the USA and Canada, all over Italy, Turkey and Germany, and to many islands of the Philippines.
Good shoes are important too! The amount of walking you will do, you want to make sure you have great soles on your feet. Also, don’t forget travel insurance. You always want to bring that, not only for yourself but to cover your gear if anything were to happen.
Study where you are going and be sure to go off the beaten track . When I am on the ground wherever I am traveling, I like to have a good idea of what I want to see and do and leave the rest for wandering and going with the flow.
For example, my first visit to Venice, Italy, I knew I wanted to see San Marco square. I found it on a map, photographed it and then ventured through the back streets. I found more jewels and gems by going off the beaten track than I could have ever imagined.
Each place has its own iconic shots that I want to get. I make notes in a little note pad that I stuff in my bag so I won’t forget. I love lists, so this works well for me. When you shoot these iconic places, try and get different angles and shoot it from a different point of view than what is normally “typical”. You could come up with one of your favorite “postcards” from that city by looking at it in a new light.
I also research the areas and places to see if there are special events and cultural things that are going on that I will be able to photographed and really make my experience in these amazing places unforgettable.
3. Photograph Passionately
Shoot it like you’re never going to shoot there again. I always have in my mind when I’m shooting in different places abroad, “If I don’t ever make it back here again, I want to make sure I have all I can get from my shots.” That sounds like a big order to fill, but if you really document and be journalistic in your approach, it pays off. Try telling a story through some of your photos so that when you get back home you have these images full of life and meaning behind them and you will LOVE them for years to come.
I did this when I was at Oktoberfest in Munich one year; I didn’t know if I would ever be back here. So I put on my 50mm and my wide and away I went, getting in the faces of beer-drinking tourists and locals inside the big beer garden tents and yet capturing the massiveness of these with my wide. I haven’t been back to Munich or Oktoberfest, yet, but I am really happy with how I captured my time there. I didn’t miss anything.
4. Be Friendly
A smile goes a long way. Not only does it allow you to engage the locals and what’s going on around you when you travel, it also allows you to ask permission to take their photo for a portrait.
I have experienced this time and time again. Once in Chinatown in Manila, Philippines I was walking down the street and saw this most adorable old Chinese man vegetable vendor. I knew there was a portrait to be had there. So I started up conversation and we chatted some, I looked at his beautiful vegetables. And then I popped the question: “Picture? You?” At first his smiled and said, “No, no!”. I looked at him with a smile and said, “just one.” And he obliged. One of my favorite photos.
Another time I was in Nagercoil, India, I saw these two beautiful Indian women. They had little English, I smiled lots and played with a baby that another girl had beside them and began shooting photos of the baby. Then I looked at them and said, “Picture?” And their first shot was no smiles. I then smiled at them and encouraged some smiles. Bingo. Another favorite street portrait of mine.
5. Write it Down
Trust me on this one – at the very least, write down the places you stayed at along the way and if you can, make some notes about your day. I have a little “travels” book I bring with me to write the date, place, accommodations, companions and highlights in. I have kept it since 2007 and it is fun to look back and remember.
Facebook and blogs have made documenting our travels and lives so much easier than even 10 years ago. I recommend photographers to blog about their travels. If you have Internet access while traveling, blog one photo a day and write a bit of what you did. Not only will everyone who follows it have something to look forward to, it will help you to remember what you did. You can always do more in-depth posts when you get home.
When I visited Germany & Italy for the first time, I did this – I blogged a little bit each day. My family and friends were able to follow along in my adventure while I was gone. It made it more “real” for them to see a photo or two and a story behind it.
My blog is filled with images and stories, both past and present, meaning there are still photos I haven’t blogged about and written about from years ago that I decide to blog about years after.
When you write about your travels after the fact, you can relive your adventures…it’s like you are there again! But warning – it will also awaken your wanderlust and you will probably in no time be planning your next trip!
Summer is upon us and that means it is a great time to capture lasting memories. Whether you are traveling far for your summer vacation or planning a ‘staycation’ with activities near home there are lots of ways to capture the moment. You don’t need to have an expensive DSLR camera to take great vacation photos. Nowadays your smart phone or point-and-shoot camera can take stunning high-resolution photos.
Far too often we take multiple photos but never print them. This year make it a point to learn how to take great vacation photos. All it takes is a little bit of planning with a purpose to consciously frame the image before you shoot. Before you know it you will have many wonderful moments captured in photos to create your own coffee table vacation album.
Tell a story: When you start your day plan it as if you are telling a story. From the moment you wake up and get your first cup of coffee at the corner café to the moment your head hits the pillow, take shots of the sights around you to remember those fleeting memories.
Don’t forget the details: You may not think details matter but when you recall your vacation it is often the little details that trigger the best memories. What you ate, what the people around you wore, street signs, food, menus, maps, store signs, hotel room numbers, the view from your hotel, all of these seemingly small details complete your vacation story.
Zoom in: One of the most common mistakes people make when taking photos is having too much background and not enough focus on the people. Experiment and try zooming in more than you have in the past to see their facial expression or capture what the person is doing with their hands. If you stumble upon someone making a craft, wrapping up a purchase, or handing you your coffee, snap that photo and capture a memory.
Landscapes: In order to capture the beauty and spirit of your location, this is when you take landscape photos. Of course, people can be in the image but this is when the focus is on the place. When you try to capture the people and the landscape at the same time you may miss getting a good photo of either. For great landscape images be sure to set your aperture between f/8 to f/16. For your smartphone or point-and-shoot choose the landscape setting for the best clarity to capture the horizon, mountains, and foreground.
Turn the flash off: People are often surprised that turning their flash off results in better images than when it is on. This isn’t always the case but these days so many smartphones and point-and-shoot cameras have such high ISOs that even in a dimly lit area the photos capture the mood and lighting better than when a flash is used. Take some test shots with and without the flash. Then determine which photo you prefer. And remember, when taking photos at sunset it is best to turn off the flash.
Iconic shots with a twist: When traveling to places where there are famous landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty, Sydney Opera House or the Golden Gate Bridge try taking it from another perspective. Using the Golden Gate Bridge as an example a hummingbird came into view which became the focus of the photo and the bridge was blurred. When viewed from a different perspective you capture details that show you were standing right next to a landmark and not from a guided bus tour.
Get In the Picture: Too often we forget to get in the photo ourselves. Be sure to get in a few photos even if it means using the self-timer or holding your camera at arms length. When you include even a tiny piece of the location you will be able to prove you were there.
Use a photo editor: Even the best photographers use editing tools. There are several free tools that help brighten, straighten, crop and adjust the colors in your photos. Popular apps such as Instagram also include a variety of filters that create different moods to your photos. Don’t be afraid to check them out. What might have been an otherwise ordinary image can be altered with a photo-editing tool. Free editing tools including Aviary, Picasa, and Microsoft Photo Gallery.
With just a little bit of practice you will be taking stunning photos that capture once-in-a-lifetime memories.
Be sure to check out Adoramapix and create a wonderful keepsake photo book of your summer vacation. The pages are printed on beautiful photographic silver-halide paper with a lustre finish. All Adorampix photo books use real archival quality photo paper for vivid fade-resistant colors and brilliant whites.
Tina Case an Adoramapix Ambassador and is a writer and photographer out of the San Francisco Bay area. She writes co-writes for the photography blog Moms Who Click where she shares photographer tips, tricks and interviews. Tina shares her parenting stories and more on Yahoo! where she is a featured “Parenting Guru.” Check more of her photos at Tina Case Photography, on Facebook and Instagram.
The fall season is a busy time for photographers. Many families start scheduling their end-of-year portrait in time for their holiday cards and newsletters. As a photographer one of the most common questions I get asked is “What should we wear for our photo session?”
The best way to answer that is with photos, of course! I also have a few rules that work for any season and any venue. The key is to keep it simple, coordinate colors and perhaps the most important, be comfortable.
Rule #1 Pick two or three main colors to coordinate everyone’s outfit
The key to having a unified family photo is to coordinate colors with everyone’s outfit. That means selecting two to three main colors and then picking tops and bottoms that reflect one or all of those colors.
In the photo below, we see blends of grey, maroon and blue. And even though the colors are not identical they are within the same color hue, which adds subtle distinction and yet unifies at the same time.
Rule #2 Add accessories to highlight or cover-up
In the “What to Wear” board below I’ve included a scarf for mom using a color that coordinates with the daughter’s top. The scarf gives a bit of color pop for mom and red is a great color to bring out the blush. Scarves can also help disguise some minor flaws in the neck or upper torso area. As for jewelry, I recommend taking off your bulky watches and bracelets as they add too much weight and detract from everyone’s faces. Keep earrings and necklaces simple and coordinate them with what you are wearing.
Rule #3 Use the same color hue for tiered coordination
In the second version of the “What to Wear” board I made a subtle change from the board above. In this example I picked tops for the boy and girl that are in the same color family. This creates a ‘team within a team’ effect. Even with identical twins I prefer they dress differently but within the same color hue to provide this subtle distinction. This rule works well when you have a multi-generation portrait. Use colors and color hue variations to achieve a coordinated look.
Rule #4 Use plaids and prints with caution
Plaids and large prints can be distracting in a photo. If you choose to have a plaid or print rather than a solid color top be sure to choose subdued patterns. If two or more people are wearing plaids or stripes it’s important that they work well together. Avoid T-shirts with logos and large symbols on them because they distract the eye from the person’s face. Flowery or paisley prints should be very subdued. Below is an example where a small print works well. The girls’ dress has a subtle print and yet ties in nicely with the mother’s dress color. The blue in the father’s shirt adds a nice pop of color and compliments the red tones nicely.
Rule #5 Keep it comfortable
Most of all when you are having your family portrait taken be sure to dress with comfort in mind. I advise people to wear clothes that they can move freely in because when you’re comfortable it’s easy to have a natural and relaxed expression. If you have uncomfortable clothes it will show in the grimace on your face and you will look stiff and unnatural. Make it a point to try on what you’re going to wear before your photo session to avoid any unnatural creases, folds or tight areas that might cause discomfort.
Next time you’re going to have a family portrait session be sure to review these handy tips. And let us know if you have a great tip that works for you.
Tina Case is an Adoramapix Ambassador and is a writer and photographer out of the San Francisco Bay area. She co-writes for the photography blog Moms Who Click where she shares photographer tips, tricks and interviews. Tina shares her parenting stories and more on Yahoo! where she is a featured “Parenting Guru.” Check more of her photos at Tina Case Photography, on Facebook and Instagram.
Everyone says it’s good luck when it rains on your wedding day. However, if you’re the wedding photographer, you might be sweating bullets to make sure your couple gets as many fantastic images as if it were a sunny day. What your couple wants is to have spectacular shots and more specifically fantastic shots outside. So as the photographer, how do you accomplish what you may think is the unattainable. It’s not as hard as you may think — here are some tips from our wedding photographer friends in the rainy upper North and NorthWest.
1. Be Prepared
That means, don’t place 100-percent confidence in the weather forecast. If you see rain is in the forecast, even for the day before or day after, do your research. Find locations where you can take your bride and groom where they will be undercover. Think about opportunities like doorways, under bridges, under big trees. These locations will provide for a beautiful backdrop and keeps your couple dry.
2. Use Umbrellas
You don’t have to hide the fact that it’s raining on your couple’s wedding day. Talk to your couple about the possibility about getting some matching umbrellas. Play with the umbrellas. Change your perspective with umbrella shots. Photograph down at the umbrellas or have them take up a small portion of the frame.
3. Protect your Gear
Most camera gear is water resistant, this does not mean it is waterproof. There is a huge difference. There are a lot of gadgets and products out there to help you protect your body and lenses. Here are some other ideas, when photographing your couple or have your assistant or even someone from the wedding party hold an umbrella over your head. You can’t handle an umbrella as well as a camera. If you are in a pinch, use a ziplock bag to protect your gear. I typically tear a small hole in it and I am able to fit my camera through it. It’s not ideal but it’s saved me a few times.
4. Close Ups
Now is the time to focus on close ups. Make sure your couple gets in tight for shots. You can usually squeeze under a awning if it’s raining. It may be tight on space, but you can go in tight – play with the veil or focus on the bride’s eyes. It’s always fun to get in for tight shots.
This is the perfect time to take advantage of puddles! Yes, puddles. The reflection you get is something that is artistic and different than you would get on a rainy day. Instead of fighting the rain, embrace it.
We hope these tips help you get inspired when the rain falls on your couple’s wedding day.