As a former model turned photographer, with a programmer certificate, you would think
I would be thrilled to get into all the details of a digital camera, right! Not necessarily!
Though I tend to teach others how to navigate most things computer and camera-related, or you name it, when asked, I must confess that I often feel that universal sense of “Really, does it have to be this unnecessarily tedious, just to do [A, B or C]! Sheesh!”
So, with that level of empathy-driven by experience with today’s gadgets, I wanted to offer two quick and easy basics to get great family photos, that you can hang on your wall and be proud to show off, whether you are using your phone, tablet or digital camera! As a result, I want to offer one great example of how composition and lighting can be used, without adjusting your camera beyond Automatic settings, to get nice, interesting or compelling images!
To begin and to clarify, the key to understanding lighting is to know that the softest lighting tends to be at dawn into the early morning hours, the most intense light is the hours around noon to three...and the most amber light tends to be afternoon until the sun starts to set.
Concerning composition, the more simple an image, the stronger or more impact an image will have upon the viewer. So, you want to minimize things “going on” in your family picture that could distract from the subject or subjects...unless you want that kind of action going on, of course! And, this can be met by simply moving the camera closer to your subject, or moving things out of the way where the subject is standing, or by shooting, so the Automatic adjustment focuses on the subject, which in most cases will blur the background a bit.
So, as a basic example to work with this time, if you want a more ethereal value to your family images, say, all walking together on a beach, then part of your composition consideration should include wardrobe choice. To capture the ethereal quality and “family in heaven” feeling, photographing a family during the early morning, with everyone wearing billowy white linen clothing (that blows in the wind and offers a pure aesthetic) and walking hand in hand on a beach will be an ideal choice. Further, the amount and type of light will offer a look more as you would see for weddings, and similar, where the brightness of the light bathes your overall image and will make your family photo amazing and very pretty to the eyes!
Further, to complete that ethereal feel, a footprint, small piece of driftwood or similar
will not distract from the mood; but, bear in mind, people, toys, dogs, boats or anything
that does not fit into the thought of a family walking along a beach (all to themselves)
should not be included in your frame. So, if that means moving around until what you
see through the lens matches your vision, either closer to or further away, or at whatever angle accomplishes this...or even moving distracting objects or waiting for persons,
animals, items to move or be moved...then it is well worth the patience to get the shot
that will hang on your wall for years to come!
So, there you have it, one great idea, and two quick and easy basics to get great family photos you can enlarge, frame and hang on your wall that will make great images to capture your family at its best! And, don’t forget one last cool idea! You can pick your favorite, make it the largest image, frame it; then, choose your second, third and fourth, image favorites from your day at the beach...and enlarge them, but smaller than the main image...and frame, then hang them too, as a collage and pictorial history of that wonderful day at the beach! Amazing!
Evita E. has been a happy customer of Nanny2U, is mom to an Autistic Angel and now is writing, doing photography, videography and creative content, with every available moment in a very dynamic and busy life!