Here are 8 ways to transform the snapshots you take of your family into photographs that melt your heart!
Tip 1: FINDING THE LIGHT.
Being aware of where your light is coming from is an absolute game changer! It only takes a few seconds to look around and find your light source. If you are inside, the first thing you need to do is turn off all artificial lights, and head for a window or an open door. Natural light is way more flattering and will completely transform your photographs. The key thing you want to remember here is you are looking for directional light. Meaning, you want the light to hit your family's faces from 1 single direction.
Tip 2: FIND THE SHADE.
Finding the shade is just as important as finding the light! If you are shooting outdoors on a bright sunny day the light on your family's faces will be very harsh and unflattering with deep dark shadows under their eyes and noses. (Remember, the key is to have directional light.) Take a look around and see if you can spot a shady area. Now that you have found some shade, take a look at how the ground is lit. Is all of the ground shaded evenly or are there spots of light all over the ground? If you see spots of light all throughout the shade then you want to move on and find another spot that is more evenly lit. Look for shade that is cast by buildings or under bridges and platforms. Try to avoid shade from trees unless the tree cover is thick and dense and casts a fairly solid shadow on the ground.
(Here, Lorelai is being shaded by our home behind her.)
Tip 3. FACE THE LIGHT.
Now that you have found your light (indoors) or your shade (outdoors), it is time to put that directional light to work. You now want to face your family towards the light! As for you, you want to make sure you are not standing directly in front of them and casting your shadow onto their beautifully lit faces. Standing slightly off to the side should keep that from happening.
Tip 4. BE AWARE OF YOUR BACKGROUND.
While your background isn't the most important part of your photo, it does play a huge role in the overall look of your photograph. Being aware of your background doesn't necessarily mean you have to search for a beautiful background to photograph your family in front of. Finding the right light for your family is WAY more important than finding a pretty background. Being aware of your background simply means to look at what is in your background and remove any clutter or objects that are distracting. If you are photographing your children in your home and you see board games, legos, and laundry in your background, simply push it all to the side before you start shooting. BOOM!! Insta-clean home that now serves as the perfect backdrop for your photographs.
Tip 5. ELIMINATE THE CHEESE.
This, my friend, THIS is what will make you LOVE the photographs you take of your family!!!! The goal here is to avoid telling them to look at the camera and say cheese. By cutting this out of your vocabulary completely, you inadvertently eliminate the "cheese" smile. You know the one. The one where it looks like their teeth have taken over their faces! All you need to do is find some of those legos we pushed to the side earlier and let them play!! You are now in the position to capture real moments of your kids playing in the best possible light and with natural, real smiles on their faces!!! (Now, I could totally drop the mic here, and you would walk away with some game changing tog knowledge. However, I have just a few more tips that only enhances the magic we just created!)
Tip 6. GET LOW.
I am not telling you to drop it like it's hot or shake it like a salt shaker. (If you are anything like me, you just sang all 3 of those songs to yourself!) (And, maybe had a tiny dance party!) (Maybe!)
What I am saying here is to physically get on their level and take the photograph from their point of view. This will bring you right into the moment when you are viewing this photo later.
Tip 7. MOVE AROUND.
Now, I know I just told you to get low, but that doesn't mean you have to be stuck in 1 spot. Move all around them capturing them from all different angles. You will be AMAZED at how many different looks you can capture just in this 1 spot in your home. (As you move around don't forget to keep an eye on that clutter we pushed aside earlier.)
Tip 8. ASK THEM QUESTIONS.
As you move about taking photos of your children playing, ask them some questions. Engage with them and try to get them to talk about something that makes them really happy. Ask them to tell you about their favorite thing in the whole world. You will LOVE the smiles and natural expressions you get from this and they will LOVE engaging with you!
If you found this helpful or know a mom who would love this, please feel free to share! Also, you can watch a quick video about some of the tips above on my facebook page! :)
XOXO ~ Christy