BABY ME BABY!
Ok, let’s work on our portrait photography! Show me your baby.
You don’t necessarily need the most expensive camera and equipment to improve your own photographs. All you need is a basic point and shoot camera, some natural light, and of course, an adorable subject!
One of the best ways to improve your photography is to take lots of pictures. And with a digital camera there is no “waste”! Take 50 digital photos and be happy to get two or three amazing shots. This is all part of the learning process. And of course, children are always making different expressions and if you keep shooting, you are bound to capture that special one!
Not taking enough pictures is a mistake but probably the biggest mistake is not being close enough to the subject. By not making your subject the focus of the photograph, you have a “meaningless” image. For instance, when you take a photo of a child on a swing in the back yard, your eye is drawn to all the clutter first…the swing set, the lawnmower by the shed, the toys in the sandbox and so on. But, when you zoom in on the child and leave out the clutter, the image has so much more character. The child is the star of the image and the photograph has a much different feeling.
Do a test one day to see how close your camera will let you get. Try “wasting” 25 photographs. Take the same picture four times, moving two feet each time. The first at 8 ft, second at 6ft, third at 4ft, and last at 2ft. Then look at them on the computer and you can easily see how close your camera will allow you to get.
If you are really feeling creative, you might spend a few dollars on a shower curtain rod and some solid colored sheets or fabric. Put the curtain rod with the sheets across two kitchen chairs and bingo! Your own little “shoot”. Have fun the possibilities are endless.
A mistake many people make is using their on-camera flash. Granted, there are times when it’s a must…indoor birthday parties, Christmas Eve, that spur of the moment shot. However, on camera flashes are positioned in such a way that they miss the emotion. They can create odd and distracting shadows that look unnatural. The key is to find a spot in your home--a large window, an open door, inside your garage--and set up your shoot there. You also want to try to have the light coming in from the side for the most natural look. Be aware of how the light is hitting the eyes. Catch lights are very important to a good photograph. See how the light looks on your subject and move them around if you need to. If you don’t have a very well lit area, try using a faster speed to help give you some extra light.
Once you have found a good background and location, and have turned off your flash, you are ready to have some fun. The next thing to consider is your subject. Make sure it is a good time for the subject. Generally when they are well rested and fed, they are in a great mood for a photo shoot. However, sometimes they might need a little coaxing. When using props, try to keep them simple and elegant, so as to not distract from the child. For younger children, props sometimes serve as an attention getter and will keep them in place longer. As for clothing, simple is better. Light solid colors without designs and patterns look the best.
Experiment with different camera angles and positions. Get down on the floor and look the child eye to eye. Try turning your camera for some different effects. Avoid telling children to say “cheese”. Talk to them, tell them some jokes. Have them talk to you! Remember, they don’t always have to be smiling, or even looking at the camera for that matter, to get a terrific shot. Also, don’t always leave your camera horizontal! Be sure to turn it vertically also for a more “portrait” feel.
By shooting more pictures, getting closer, and finding the right light you are sure to get some great shots! Simplicity is the key to capturing in a photo what you see with your heart. Have fun creating these “Baby, me Baby” photos!
• Photo must be of a child
• Photo must be taken within the last week (or so)
• May be colour or B&W
• May be done inside or out
• All images and/or photographs posted in this thread MUST be original images and/or photographs taken by the individual poster. If you want to post your Mom's work, just give her credit.
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