Sunday, August 19, 2007

How to take better portraits now!

OK, so these aren't the most recent of pictures though you would never know it. Well Clayton does look chubbier and younger, but its just the camera. You know a camera always adds 2 pounds of baby fat.

After talking to some family and friends, I have decided to give small tidbits on how to improve your photos. Nothing difficult or drastic, but instead I will give hints that even a caveman would think to do. I have decided to do so here and there in the posts that I plan to share. The tips that I will be giving are all simple things. I have only been into photography for a short time and well this is a little of the blind leading the blinder. Hopefully as I improve my photography I can pass on things that will help you improve yours? This time we will talk about how to make better portraits.....

Notice in all the pictures that I am showing as examples, Clayton is not looking at the camera. I like this affect as it gives a different view from what usual portraits do. This is more still life type of photography

One of the really simple things that you can do to improve pictures of people is to fill the picture with the subject. Remove distractions if possible and get in as close as you comfortably can to the subject. This can be a little easier with a good telephoto lens but if you don't have one move your body closer. Notice in these pictures of my son who I love, that he is the subject of the picture. He is the story being told. There is no other story because are no distractions to pull your attention from the subject.....

It always helps to try to get pictures from interesting points of view. When I say this I mean points of view that are different from how we usually see people or even things. With Clayton I either try to get down to his level (remember he is little so we ussualy don't see him at his level) so we are seeing eye to eye as seen in the pictures below (if he was looking me in the eye). This may mean getting down on your knees or even laying down to take the picture. Oh, and don't be afraid of tilting your camera to really fill the frame. The pictures above I tried to find a pleasing but different point of view to capture images from.

Getting your child making great faces is also helpful. For this you will have to learn to be a little creative. Make taking the picture a game, or take the pictures while you distract them with something else. The picture below was taken while I was wrestling with Clayton on the bed. It is really one of my all time favorite.....

With children that are a little older you can get them to pose for you (sometimes). One trick that I have learned is to take a picture of the child and show them the picture on the back of the camera. Most people like the attention and like to look at themselves. Children really aren't all that different. Just beware some children (especially little girls) will not want you to stop taking their picture (like our neighbor's daughter Kayla).....

Others may be flattered enough that you can get that one great image (like the same neighbor's son Buddy).

Sometimes it takes double teaming to get those great photos. Make taking the pictures a game and you may really get a few great photos (this is my Uncle Robert tag teaming to get a picture of my little cousin Aaron)......

One last thing, notice that I grouped several images that were similar but slightly different. This really creates interest as we automatically begin to compare photos.

To recap the tips:
  • Fill the frame with the subject (get in close if necessary).
  • Frame the images from interesting points of view (get on your tummy like a snake if necessary).
  • Make taking pictures fun for the subject (be creative and tag team if necessary).

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