Monthly Archives: December 2008

San Jose Family Photographer Tips to Improve *** There are some very good reasons to learn how to take family portraits, and you don’t have to be embarking on a photography career to do so. Having portraits professionally done can be just too expensive for many families. And often it can be difficult to get everyone to the studio at the scheduled time. Every family deserves to have at least one good family portrait together but it’s nice to have additional portraits as the family grows and ages. If you want to learn how to take portraits, learn by taking a portrait of your family or someone you know who would love to have a family portrait! If you are taking a portrait of your family, you have to be in it too! So be sure to use a camera with a timer or remote shutter button release. If you new to photography, learning how to take good family portraits will come in handy when taking group pictures at family gatherings like Thanksgiving. Without further ado, here are some tips to help you get started taking memorable family portraits, whether formal or informal. 1) Avoid the “Police Line Up” Portrait – Instead of lining everyone up shoulder to shoulder, try a more natural arrangement that also makes it easier to to fit a bunch of people into one picture. Staggering is one technique that works well for group photos. For example, you might stagger the family members on the front steps of a porch or on and around boulders near a pond, with some family members standing and others sitting. If in a park, two siblings might sit on a low hanging branch of a tree or all could sit on the lawn clustered together. Show family closeness by spacing members close together. 2) Show Relationships – You can do this by the way in which you have people pose in the portrait. For example, Grandma and Grandpa might stand next to each, a toddler could be in Mother’s arms, two siblings might have arms slung over each others shoulders, etc. 3) Consider Including the Family Pets – assuming they hold still long enough. Even if the pet is sitting still, you probably should raise the Shutter Speed Priority to 1/125 because even the smallest movement can cause a blur. It is much easier to take a portrait of an individual with a pet or a pet separately, but if the family has a mellow dog or cat, try some family portrait poses with and without. 4) Get Creative with Props – depending upon the type of portrait you want. Does the family do any activities or sports like community baseball? Each family member could hold a mitt, ball or bat. This is a trend with individual portraiture that can be fun for families too. 5) Get Everyone Smiling – Instead of just saying “cheese,” put the family at ease (no rhyme intended) by talking to them: compliment, tell a […]

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San Jose Photographer Whether you want to add Pet Photography to your business or just capture a treasured photo of your own family pet, there are a few things you need to know before you just show up with your camera expecting award winning portraits. Here are a five tips that will help you get the photos you’re looking for. Tip #1 – Patience First and foremost we must realize that stunning photos of pets involve a lot of patience. Waiting for that right pose or expression that represents the character of the pet may take a little time. Sometimes we get lucky and it happens very quickly, then there are the other times when it feels like we will never get THE shot! It can be frustrating but extremely rewarding. Tip # 2 – Shoot Often Shooting continuously can accomplish a couple of things. First it gets the pet used to the sound of the camera, second it allows you to capture candid shots in between formal poses. You might be surprised at some of the images you captured when you review them. Tip #3 – Use Different Angles The eyes are the most important part of the photograph. The character and soul of the pet can be more dramatically captured by getting down to their eye level. Shooting down from above by standing on a chair or something solid can also product effective and unique photos. Be adventurous! Experimenting with different angles may also generate exceptional portraits. Remember, the eyes must be in perfect focus. Tip # 4 – Toys & Treats There tends to be some controversy on the use of pet toys and treats to stimulate the pet in order to make a more appealing shot. On the one hand, the toys and treats can help you get more intense and striking images but on the other hand, some animals will become over-stimulated and become difficult to work with. Talking with the owner and observing the animal under both circumstances before the shoot can help you decide whether or not to use the props. Tip # 5 – Composition We can get so busy trying to get that perfect expression or interesting shot that we forget what is around us and in the background. Make a visual check through the viewfinder to see if you are using the rules of good composition. Are you using your thirds? Is the background uncluttered? Does the background complement the subject? For example; it may not be wise to shoot a black dog with a dark background. If you find your location is not working, move around to the other side or change locations completely. It can make the difference between an ordinary shot and a stunning portrait. There are a lot of things to remember in a very short space of time when you are working with animals. Taking pet portraits is challenging to say the least, but is extremely rewarding. Capturing for the owner the essence and character […]

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