Photography Tip: Taking Better Group Photos - Get Handsy || The Authentic Portrait

Hey get your mind out of the gutter! Not that kind of handsy. 

One of the easiest things to do to take better photos is to have people get really close and put their arms around each other. The physical contact brings warmth into the photo. 

 1/800 sec at f / 2.0, ISO 400

1/800 sec at f / 2.0, ISO 400

So grab your friends arm or put your arm around them. Get cosy and close! It always makes for a better photo! 

 

This is just one of the solid, easy to implement tips and tricks for photography that I talk about in The Authentic Portrait: A Parent’s guide to Documenting Childhood, an ebook perfect for anyone who want to learn the basics of photography and improve their photos without spending hours and hours taking classes. Find out more here!

Share your group photos with me over on Instagram in #TheAuthenticPortrait series, a series for learning and growing in photography.  Don’t forget to tag your photos with #TheAuthenticPortrait! 

How to Look Good in Photos || The Authentic Portrait

Because we get by with a little help from our friends.. right? This one is for EVERYBODY on how to look better in photos! 

First things first - the old double chin issue. What did we do to deserve its sneaky and mean attacks (and just how is that I always seem to open the front facing camera when I’m looking at my phone)?

Here’s how to avoid it: don’t sink backwards. Most people tend to pull their faces in when they’re photographed, so you have to do the exact opposite! Do the turtle - elongate your neck and push your face forward a bit while tipping your chin slightly down.

 1/800 sec at f / 2.2, ISO 100

1/800 sec at f / 2.2, ISO 100

Smiling in photos, seems like it should be a no brainer, right? Some of us have a hard time smiling naturally though, so just think about something that made you laugh recently. 

 1/250 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 320

1/250 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 320

If you have a tendency to blink in pictures, close your eyes just before the photo is taken and open them when the camera clicks.

Study your previous pictures where you like the way you look: is there a pattern? is there a certain angle you like yourself in?

 1/1600 sec at f / 1.6, ISO 100

1/1600 sec at f / 1.6, ISO 100

Avoid standing under a direct overhead light: it can cause weird shadows on your face and wrinkles that aren't even there (I promise, they’re not there!)

Loosen your shoulders and push them backwards: straightening your back makes you look slimmer and taller.

 1/1000 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

1/1000 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

 1/1000 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

1/1000 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

 1/1000 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

1/1000 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

Wear the right clothes: if you are a big pattern fan, be careful what to wear, for example horizontal stripes make you mostly bigger and wider. If you want to look thinner, wear darker clothes but the most important rule is to wear clothes you're confident in!

 1/1000 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

1/1000 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

 1/250 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 320

1/250 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 320

 1/250 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 320

1/250 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 320

These are just some of the solid, easy to implement tips and tricks for photography that I talk about in The Authentic Portrait: A Parent’s guide to Documenting Childhood, an ebook perfect for anyone who want to learn the basics of photography and improve their photos without spending hours and hours taking classes. Find out more here!

Next time someone points a camera your way you’ll know just how to ensure that it's a winner! Share your photos with me over on Instagram in #TheAuthenticPortrait series, a series for learning and growing in photography.  Don’t forget to tag your photos with #TheAuthenticPortrait! 

 1/640 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

1/640 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

Tips for Photographing Kids || The Authentic Portrait

I LOVE working with kids. They bring such light and energy to photo shoots. Sometimes it can be a little hard to figure out just how to harness that energy for good, so I’m going to share some of my tried and tested tricks!

 1/2000 sec at f / 1.6, ISO 100

1/2000 sec at f / 1.6, ISO 100

First and foremost, be patient. 

Kids don't always listen immediately, and usually if they are doing funny things, they'll keep on doing them. They're unpredictable yet predictable. 

Be prepared for anything! 

Kids have the tendency to do weird goofy stuff out of nowhere. Expect the unexpected (sometimes the unexpected makes for great photo opportunities). 

 1/2500 sec at f / 1.6, ISO 100

1/2500 sec at f / 1.6, ISO 100

Be prepared. 

Make sure your camera is set correctly so you're ready for the action before it even happens.

Always try to use the natural light. 

Even though it's constantly changing, using window light inside and sunlight outside will make your photos feel more real. I find flash to be a temporary addition that really doesn't belong most of the time. Keep it natural and instead, use the light you have to your advantage. (want to learn more about using light? There is a huge lighting section in the book: The Authentic Portrait: A Parent's Guide to Documenting Childhood, check it out HERE)

 1/1250 sec at f / 1.6, ISO 100

1/1250 sec at f / 1.6, ISO 100

 1/250 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 100

1/250 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 100

 1/1000 sec at f / 2.5, ISO 100

1/1000 sec at f / 2.5, ISO 100

 1/1600 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

1/1600 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

 1/1250 sec at f / 2.5, ISO 100

1/1250 sec at f / 2.5, ISO 100

Make them laugh! 

Kids often feel intimidated by the camera, so it's very important to make them feel comfortable around you. Be a goofball!

Choose your focus mode carefully.

Avoid the too big aperture like f/1.8 or f/1.4 when your kids are moving all around. See more about aperture HERE.

Get down to their level.

When you're photographing little shrimps from above, they look smaller. Get down on their level to show how big they really are. (link to blog post on getting to kids level)

 1/800 sec at f / 2.5, ISO 100

1/800 sec at f / 2.5, ISO 100

 1/1600 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

1/1600 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

 1/1000 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

1/1000 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

Don't try to force the photograph.

Kids do funny things all the time, sometimes when telling them what to do, they will do exactly the opposite. Instead, follow their lead. If you'd really like them to do something specific like smile, give them a prompt to do it rather than ordering them. They're more bound to smile when you say, "poopie" than when you say, "smile!" 

 1/2000 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

1/2000 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

 1/2500 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

1/2500 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

 1/1600 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

1/1600 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

 1/1000 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

1/1000 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

Be sneaky! 

Kids don't always have to know that you are taking pictures, let them play around while you photograph around them. A lot of times the small, everyday things that they do are the moments you want to remember.

 1/400 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

1/400 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

 1/320 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

1/320 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

What kinds of tricks do you have when you're photographing your kids?  

This is just one of the solid, easy to implement tips and tricks for photography that I talk about in The Authentic Portrait: A Parent’s guide to Documenting Childhood, an ebook perfect for anyone who want to learn the basics of photography and improve their photos without spending hours and hours taking classes. Find out more here!

Have you used these tips (or come up with your own tricks) to get great pictures of your kids? Share them with me over on Instagram in #TheAuthenticPortrait series, a series for learning and growing in photography.  Don’t forget to tag your photos with #TheAuthenticPortrait! 

 

Common Photo Mistakes You Don’t Realize You’re Making (and How to Fix Them) || The Authentic Portrait

So, you’ve done a little research and bought a nice camera. Go you! And yet, for some reason, your photos aren’t coming out at all like you’d hoped.

Here are 10 common mistakes you probably don’t release you’re making:

 

1. You’re using the wrong ISO. Keep it as low as possible, that way you’ll avoid noise (which that does NOT look pretty!). - don't know what ISO is? Head over to my post on this HERE.

 1/640 sec at f / 2.5, ISO 100

1/640 sec at f / 2.5, ISO 100

2. Your photographs are not sharp enough, despite the autofocus. It's possible that your shutter speed isn’t fast enough. From 1/100 +  should give you a sharp result. If you’re photographing a portrait, focus on the eyes. - Don't know what shutter speed is? Head to my post on this HERE.

3. Your framing is bad. It’s important to create something interesting for the eye, to have the urge to keep looking at the picture. If you want to avoid the boring straight-on picture, look at it from different angles! (for more about framing click HERE)

 TRY INTERESTING ANGLES - 1/1000 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

TRY INTERESTING ANGLES - 1/1000 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

4. You crop, a lot. Instead of cropping after taking your photos, use your body to move in closer to your subject, it'll create a better shot in-camera without you having to do any work afterwards.

5. Underexposing or overexposing (your photos are too light or dark). Even if you think you’ll be able to fix your photos in Photoshop it’s still not entirely fixable. Try your best to get your ideal photos in camera rather than correcting them after. Watch out for your shutter speed (read more on that HERE), make sure it’s not tooooooo fast, even if it’s a very sunny day.

 UNDEREXPOSED

UNDEREXPOSED

 CORRECTLY EXPOSED - 1/320 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

CORRECTLY EXPOSED - 1/320 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

 OVEREXPOSED

OVEREXPOSED

6. The subject is too small or too big. Don't be lazy! Get up and go a few steps closer/further to take that picture!

7. Your shot is boring. Try using depth of field (by playing with the aperture), and looking for possible dynamic compositions. Lacking inspiration? An incredible photographer for composition is David Alan Harvey

8. Avoid photographing portraits when your subject has their eyes to the bright sun. Place your subject with their back towards the sun or in the shadow that way you won't have anyone squinting and making uncomfortable faces in your photos! A great alternative if you're shooting in direct sunlight is to have your subjects looking at each other.

 LOOKING AT EACH OTHER - 1/4000 sec at f / 1.4, ISO 100

LOOKING AT EACH OTHER - 1/4000 sec at f / 1.4, ISO 100

 BACKLIT - 1/500 sec at f / 2.5, ISO 100

BACKLIT - 1/500 sec at f / 2.5, ISO 100

9. If you want to have that extra pretty soft lightning, wait until sundown. The golden hour (hour after sunrise and before sunset) is always beautiful to photograph with and will mostly give you a nice result.

10. Do not forget to check if your horizon is straight. This is a SUPER simple way to get better photos!

 CROOKED HORIZON

CROOKED HORIZON

 STRAIGHT HORIZON - 1/1600 sec at f / 3.5, ISO 100

STRAIGHT HORIZON - 1/1600 sec at f / 3.5, ISO 100

This is just one of the solid, easy to implement tips and tricks for photography that I talk about in The Authentic Portrait: A Parent’s guide to Documenting Childhood, an ebook perfect for anyone who want to learn the basics of photography and improve their photos without spending hours and hours taking classes. Find out more here!

Are you making some of these mistakes? Do you have any more to add? By using these quick fixes your photos will be SO much better without really trying =]  Share your new photos with me over on Instagram in #TheAuthenticPortrait series, a series for learning and growing in photography.  Don’t forget to tag your photos with #TheAuthenticPortrait! 

 

Photography Tip: Lenses || The Authentic Portrait

Today we’re going to talk about lenses! With so many options it can be hard to know which way is up, so here’s a brief rundown of the ones you’ll most likely come across and use:

 

Prime Lens

What is a prime lens?

A prime lens is a lens with one focal length, so you can't zoom with it.

 

Although I've shot a lot with zoom lenses in the past, I personally only own prime lenses and prefer them because of the great quality they provide and their maximum aperture (some can open all the way to f/1.2!). These lenses give you beautiful depth of field, (depending on the quality of lens you buy). The other advantages are that they are usually less expensive and lighter than the comparable zoom lenses. (While I say this, there exist, of course, lighter zoom lenses than prime but I've found this usually isn't the case with the lenses I use.)

 

Zoom Lens

What is a zoom lens?

A zoom lens is a lens where you can smoothly change between focal lengths to zoom in and out.

 

Zoom lenses are incredibly versatile, especially when you're learning to photograph. You can easily switch between getting very close to your subject to getting a wide shot of the whole scene without switching lenses. Personally, I've used both zoom and prime lenses A LOT in my career, and I prefer prime lenses for the sharpness, price and weight but those are my opinions. So many professional photographers love zoom lenses and swear by them! The trick is to look at your priorities when purchasing your lenses and choose that way. If you want one lens for everything, zoom lenses are probably your way to go! If you don't mind having a few lenses to use for different occasions, then go with primes. 

 

Macro Lens

What is a macro lens?

A macro lens is a lens specially built for taking photos very close to the subject. We all know them from the pictures of flowers with very blurry background that everyone who owns a macro lens took. 

 

You can do so much more with a macro lens, go outside or inside and experiment, macro photography gives us a possibility to look at things closer, differently and play with textures and compositions. 

 

iPhone Lenses

There are lenses for iPhone?

Yes, lenses for your iPhone are a thing! For the ones among us who only photograph with their phones these lenses allow you to take your photography to a whole other level. You can buy fisheye lenses (to get a wide view), macro lenses (to get very close up views) and so much more to make your photographs better. 

 

Olloclip and iPro are the most popular right now.

 

If you are an adventurer or just a photographer and don't want all of that heavy equipment with you, then iPhone photography is just the thing for you. You can improve it with many different lenses that are special designed for your phone.

 

Check out my FREE iPhone Photography Course HERE to find out more about how to take amazing pictures EASILY with your phone! 

 

These are just some of the solid, easy to implement tips and tricks for photography that I talk about in The Authentic Portrait: A Parent’s guide to Documenting Childhood, an ebook perfect for anyone who want to learn the basics of photography and improve their photos without spending hours and hours taking classes. Find out more here!

Get out there and try out some different lenses! Share your photos with me over on Instagram in #TheAuthenticPortrait series, a series for learning and growing in photography.  Don’t forget to tag your photos with #TheAuthenticPortrait! 

 

Photography Tip: How to Bring Your Photos to the Next Level - The Basics of Composition and Framing || The Authentic Portrait

We’ve all done it. You see something - something beautiful. Maybe it’s your daughter laughing or an amazing sunset. You pull out your camera and click, satisfied in the knowledge that the moment is recorded forever. 

Until you see it later.

What happened? How did your amazing spectacular moment turn into this slightly tilted unfocused jumbled mess? Or, even if your focus is spot on and you didn’t accidentally stick your finger over the lens, somehow the photo is just plain boring. 

What you need to think about before pushing the shutter button is simple - composition.

The secret to good composition in photos is balance. It's so easy to photograph your subject straight on, right in the middle of the photo. Of course there’s nothing wrong with this, but if you want to ante up your photography or capture the feeling of the moment along with the visual of it it’s worth mixing it up a bit. 

Try look at your subject from different angles. Right, left, up, down.. experiment and bend the "rules" to get more interesting photos. Move in and out, look around, maybe the better shot is right behind you.

 

Try a few of these easy additions to make your photos better:

  • Repeating lines/objects
 1/3200 sec at f / 2.2, ISO 100

1/3200 sec at f / 2.2, ISO 100

 1/1250 sec at f / 2.5, ISO 100

1/1250 sec at f / 2.5, ISO 100

 REPETITION || 1/2000 sec at f / 1.4, ISO 100

REPETITION || 1/2000 sec at f / 1.4, ISO 100

 REPETITION || 1/1250 sec at f / 1.4, ISO 100

REPETITION || 1/1250 sec at f / 1.4, ISO 100

  • Leading lines
 1/1000 sec at f / 1.6, ISO 400

1/1000 sec at f / 1.6, ISO 400

 1/1250 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 100

1/1250 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 100

  • No overlapping objects (give each important part of your photograph its own space!)
  • Frame your subjects inside organic frames (doorways, painting frames and arches are great for this!!)
 1/250 sec at f / 1.4, ISO 400

1/250 sec at f / 1.4, ISO 400

 1/500 sec at f / 1.4, ISO 100

1/500 sec at f / 1.4, ISO 100

 1/400 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 400

1/400 sec at f / 2.8, ISO 400

 1/250 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

1/250 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 100

  • Move your camera to block out any unwanted objects in your photo (like trash cans, other people and anything distracting.)

 

These are just some of the solid, easy to implement tips and tricks for photography that I talk about in The Authentic Portrait: A Parent’s guide to Documenting Childhood, an ebook perfect for anyone who want to learn the basics of photography and improve their photos without spending hours and hours taking classes. Find out more here!

Get out there and try out some new ways to compose your photos! Share your photos with me over on Instagram in #TheAuthenticPortrait series, a series for learning and growing in photography.  Don’t forget to tag your photos with #TheAuthenticPortrait! 

 

Photography Tip: The Rule of Thirds || The Authentic Portrait

Want easy ways to make your photos better? Try upping the game on your composition. Read my first blog about it next! 

One of the most common composition methods to start using is the rule of thirds.

The rule of thirds is when you divide the image up into thirds both vertically and horizontally using two lines, for a more interesting photograph.

Instead of plopping your subject riiigghhttt in the middle for every photo, try putting the most interesting parts of your photograph on the little intersecting lines after figuratively cutting the photo up into the 9 sections. 

 1/1600 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 200

1/1600 sec at f / 1.8, ISO 200

Most cameras out there (iPhone included) have an ability to overlay a grid to make the rule of thirds easier. Try it out for yourself!

This is just one of the solid, easy to implement tips and tricks for photography that I talk about in The Authentic Portrait: A Parent’s guide to Documenting Childhood, an ebook perfect for anyone who want to learn the basics of photography and improve their photos without spending hours and hours taking classes. Find out more here!

Try out the grid and let's see how the photos turn out! Share them with me over on Instagram in #TheAuthenticPortrait series, a series for learning and growing in photography.  Don’t forget to tag your photos with #TheAuthenticPortrait!