Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Take a Great Photo!

Taking photos of your families is something we do all the time. I have over 1000 photos of my daughter's first two years of life! Even after all that practice, I could still use a few pointers!

Take a Great Photo
Photographs are an important way to preserve special memories and document events in the life of a family. Following are some tips to help you get the most out of your camera:

1. You never know when a good photo opportunity will arise. You are at the park and your child learns how to climb the monkey bars all by himself. Or you are at lunch with a friend and Junior decides to kiss the waitress. Photo opportunities pop up when you least expect them! Be prepared by keeping your camera and a spare roll of film with you all the time. If you can't do that, invest in a small disposable camera to keep in your purse or diaper bag for those surprise moments.

2. Avoid posing your subjects. The subject of your photo does not need to be looking directly at the camera to get a good photo. The best
photos I have of my daughter are "the mistakes" -- the ones where she moved when she wasn't supposed to or turned slightly away from the camera. These types of photos show action which makes them more interesting than a formal, posed shot.

3. Use the right kind of film. For all purpose use, 400 speed film is best. If you know that all the photos you will be taking with a roll will be inside, you can use 200 speed film. Don't hesitate to experiment with black and white film. It lends a timelessness to your photos that color film sometimes lacks.

4. Pay attention to the background. Sometimes a tree that looks fine while you are taking a photo looks like it is growing from Uncle Harvey's head when you get the print. Pay special attention to the composition of your shots and look for possible problems. Don't hesitate to recompose your shot by having your subjects move a step or two to the left or right. That will usually clear up and problems.

5. Include yourself. So often, Mom is the one behind the camera. Remember that you are an important part of the family too! Hand the camera over to Dad or the grandparents every once in a while and jump in the shot with your family. Better yet, invest in a small tripod for group shots. Don't let your kids look back on your old albums and find you MIA! Join in the fun!

Some special tips for digital camera users:
1. Make sure your camera is set to the highest quality and resolution possible. When you take a digital photo, it is important that the camera get the most information possible. The higher the resolution, the more information your camera is collecting. Your prints will be clearer and more precise. You will also have more flexibility when editing your photos. Beware -- this will take up more memory space. However, memory cards are reasonably priced and are a one time cost. When the card is full, it is quick work to burn the photos to CD, clean off the card and get back to taking more photos. Make sure you purchase a card that will hold an outings worth of photos!

2. Take lots of photos. Keep only the best. Since digital cameras don't need film, you have the flexibility to take photo after photo. Take advantage of this! Don't hesitate to take the shot of your child playing. You may take fifteen shots before you get "the one," but that is okay because you only need to print the ones you want.

3. Avoid using the flash when possible. Flash lights up shadows, which is not always a good thing. Shadows can add a depth to your photo that the flash will take away. Experiment with the flash and learn the best times to use it. You will be surprised at how little you actually need it!

4. Watch out for digital zoom. Optical Zoom is similar to a magnifying glass -- it makes the photo bigger. Digital zoom is not the same as optical zoom -- it essentially crops the photo as you take the picture. Sometimes when you don't want to mess with photo editing software, this cane be a real timesaver. As I said before, however, you always want to get as much information with the shot as you can to give you flexibility while editing your photos. So only use your digital zoom when time is more important than flexibility.

We hope these tips help you to take great family photos! Enjoy!

Originally posted on CharlotteMommies

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