Happy Tuesday, y'all! Today I'm talking photo shoots. People photo shoots specifically. I've got a few tips and tricks for you on capturing great moments on camera. Since y'all loved my outdoor photography tips, I figured I'd share a few on portraits too. And I'm going to use our Fourth of July spontaneous photo shoot that I previewed in this post to help explain some of these tips. I know you've been dying to see a bunch of photos of me and the hubs, right? No? Well humor me anyway :).
Obligatory disclaimer: I know I always say this, but I feel like I have to mention it again...I do not claim to be a professional photographer. In fact, my mom took all these photos (she's got a great eye! I just chose the camera settings.). These are some helpful things I've learned along the way by simply practicing. Feel free to take or leave anything you read here!
If you're curious about what equipment I use, here's what's in my camera bag, but you don't need fancy equipment to use these tips!
Tip number 1: Blow dry your hair before a photo shoot. Just kidding. That's not actually the first tip. I just figured I'd throw it out there since my hair is soaking wet and in its all-natural wavy state in these photos - not what I'd do if we were having a "real" photo shoot, but this was for fun and completely spontaneous, so there you go. Imperfection's ok with us.
Actual tip number 1: Timing is key. Early morning and late afternoon have the best light for photos. Avoid the harsh middle-of-the-day sun. We took these when there was about 3 hours left of daylight and it was magnificent.
2. To blur your background and make your subjects pop, turn the aperture down to to a low f-stop. Most of these were taken on f/2.8.
3. Get the whole family involved, which for us included grabbing our dog, Jackson, for a few photos. He's the real star of the show.
4. Catch posed moments as well as candids. People appreciate having both.
5. Make sure the light source - ideally, the sun :) - is in front of your subjects so the light hits the front of their faces. If you imagine your subjects are at the center of a clock, with 12 straight ahead of them, keep the light source between 10 and 2. This helps avoid weird/harsh shadows. Also, if you want to avoid squinty eyes, don't point your subjects right at the sun (12 on the clock).
6. Experiment with angles. This can add some fun visual interest to a shot.
7. Coordinate clothing, but no matchy-matchy. The Fourth of July gave us a great excuse to put out our red, white and blue clothing, but you can see the colors don't match perfectly. Oh, and my personal preference is no all white outfits...but that's totally my own opinion.
8. Focus on your subject's eyes - especially if you're working in manual mode and have your aperture set on a LOW f-stop. On my camera, there are some red dots that light up in the viewfinder on what the camera is focusing on. Make sure one of those dots lights up near your subject's eyes. Some point-and-shoot cameras will have boxes that appear around subjects' faces when you press the shutter button halfway down. Use those to your advantage.
9. Change up the scenery. Take a few photos in one place, then move your subjects to another location. In our case, we took a few shots sitting on some steps, then moved down to the dock for others.
10. Have some fun with it! The more comfortable your subjects feel, the better the results. Help them let loose and enjoy having their photos taken!
Did I leave anything out? What are some of your best tips for shooting portrait photos?
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