Archive: ‘Photo Tips’

What To Wear for Your Family Photos – Fabulous Fall Looks

Tuesday, September 20th, 2011

Wondering what to wear for your Fall family portraits or mini-session? Check out these amazing inspiration boards whipped up by Corina Nielson. She described her approach to selecting a wardrobe for family photos in a recent blog post, and I just love the way she thinks! The following is an excerpt from her post:

Keeping your location and season in mind, start with one person.  Don’t try and think of everyone at the same time.  I find that mom or a little girl makes the most sense since they would typically be the ones wearing a print.  So mom will be wearing a floral print dress (small pretty pattern that is).

Now move on to the next person.  You will be pulling colors from mom’s dress so begin to think about who in the family would look good in what colors.  Dad doesn’t look so good in XYZ since it tends to drown out the tone in his skin.  Let’s pick ABC for him instead.  And so on.

Then start to come up with ideas to personalize the session.  A little boy may have a security blanket or teddy bear he never parts with…. be sure to bring that with you.  The little girl may like crafting so have her make a cute matching headband or clip for her hair.  Mom loves tulips… on your way to the session pick some up.  Make thoughtful choices and be sure to discuss the ideas with your photographer!  Believe me, most are full of ideas however, it’s always nice when the family helps and truly ensures a “custom” session.Ideas for What to Wear for Fall Photos

Ideas for What to Wear for Fall Photos

 Hopefully these suggestions will help you in your planning. Can’t wait to see what you come up with…Cheers!

A Photo Walk Adventure | Photo Tips and Tricks

Monday, August 8th, 2011

Taking a photo walk with your child is a great way to document your child’s spirit and energy. And a photo walk is a wonderful vehicle for practicing storytelling through your pictures.

Last month, hubby and I decided to spend a weekend sharing some one-on-one time with each of our girls. Miss J and I rounded off our mommy/daughter day with a photo walk through downtown Charleston, IL. She was excited to bring her camera and explore, and I was excited to get out and scout some new locations and have an excuse to get her to strike a few poses for me – a win/win. As it turns out, it was the most fun she and I have had together – just the two of us – all summer long!

Before you head out, have your child pick a favorite toy to take with you on your adventure. Throughout the walk, you can find ways to engage your child by asking him/her to interact with their toy and then use that opportunity to snap a few shots. Also, allow plenty of time and head out with an attitude of “We’re off on an adventure…let’s see what we can see!” Take time to point out flowers, bugs, interesting places – anything that might warrant additional exploration by your child. There’s something so captivating about images of children discovering new things, and a photo walk affords many opportunities to capture these images. Lastly, try to take a step back and document the setting in a few of your images. Every story needs a setting, and having a few images that show your surroundings can add quite a punch to your collection of images from your photowalk.

Here are a few of my favorites from my photo walk with Miss J.

As we started our walk, I asked her to pick her favorite storefront and we took a few pictures of her sitting on their stoop.

As we continued down the way, we found a brick wall in an alley that made for a perfect backdrop to show off some sassiness! And Julia found some rocks that aspired to be models, too. (Love my little photographer!)

Julia grabbed a few shots of a monument at the Court House that grabbed her eye, while I took the opportunity to capture the way the sunlight glowed on her long golden locks of hair. Lucky I did, because the following day, she decided to play beauty shop and chopped them all off!

I let Julia run ahead of me and pick out what we’d photograph next. Both she and I loved looking in the window of an antique shop on the square. These hat boxes were too cool!

Break time! 

We used our “spotting scopes” to help us decide where we’d go next, and of course we had to stop and smell every flower we saw along the way!

By the end of the walk, we’d had an incredible time together, taken a bunch of really fun pictures, had a great story to share with Dad and Sis when we got home — and I was even fortunate enough to capture a few beautiful, wall-worthy images of the coolest three (almost 4) year old in the world!

If you’re interested in planning a photo walk for yourself, here’s a checklist of a few other things to consider before heading out, but I think the most important thing to take along is your sense of adventure! I hope you’ll grab your camera and your kid and head out on an adventure of your own. I guarantee you’ll have a blast!


Light Up Your Photos with Catchlights | Photo Tips and Tricks

Wednesday, June 29th, 2011

One of the reasons I decided to take up photography is that I wanted to be able to take stunning pictures of my kids. I scrapbook, and when I would flip through scrapbooking magazines, look through my Stampin’ Up! Idea Book and Catalog, or search online for inspiration for my next page, I would see all these amazing pictures of people’s kids and think to myself, my pictures don’t look like that! I really wanted to be able to capture portraits of Julia and Madeleine that would turn a simple scrapbook page into a work of art. And when I learned about catchlights, it made all the difference in my photos!

What are catchlights, you ask? Catchlights are reflections of the light source in your subject’s eyes. They add sparkle, depth and life to your portraits, and learning how to capture them is surprisingly easy. This is a technique that anyone can use ANYTIME, whether you’re shooting with a DSLR, a point-and-shoot, or even the camera on your phone!

Below is one of my favorite examples of how catchlights can add that wow factor to your photographs. This is my adorable nephew, Liam, and he’s been known to make even the crankiest, crustiest old “baby haters” swoon. And how could you NOT adore him? Look at those eyes!

f/4.5, 1/200 sec, ISO 1000

So, here’s how to capture these little gems of light. First, identify your light source. Where is your light coming from? Is it the big picture window in your living room? Or the afternoon sun? Whatever it is, turn your subject toward the light, get between your subject and the light, and shoot. If you’re shooting outdoors and you find that having your subject turned to face the sun is uncomfortable and causing them to squint, go ahead and angle them. You should still get some great catchlights, like I did in the picture of the little cutie below. Just remember that the more directly your subject is turned toward the light source, the bigger and more defined your catchlights will be.

Example of Catchlights in Little Girl's Eyes

f/5.6, 1/160 sec, ISO 400

Yep, it’s that simple! Now that you know what catchlights are, get out there and practice…I can’t wait to see your works of art! Cheers!


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