Have you ever found yourself mindlessly scrolling through someone else's beautiful photos and wonder how they always seem to have the perfect shot, with the perfect amount of light, and their kid is actually smiling at the camera?Here are 5 super simple steps to help you capture that perfect shot next time!
1. LIGHTING IS VERY IMPORTANT...
I cannot stress this enough, if you want a beautiful photo, please do not take it in uneven shadows or in harsh sun. Find good, even light. What is that? Great question! If you can, aim to take your photos during the day, you'll want to find a nice large shady spot. The best time of day to take photos is within two hours of sunrise and two hours of sunset. This is called 'the Golden Hour'.
2. CLEAR THE CLUTTER...
Try to get clean shots with little or no noise in the background. This is where we learn about composition folks! Composition is the arrangement of elements in the photo, and paying attention to what will be photographed. You want to have as little clutter in the background of your photo and make the background as neutral as possible. If you find the perfect spot in your house, there's nothing wrong with using it over and over again.
3. GET CLOSE!
Every time a family member or friend asks me to take a photo of them with their phone, I get close - and I mean CLOSE - and every time, they yell at me! But you want to pretend that your phone is an actual camera. Pretend like you are putting your eye up to the viewfinder to compose the perfect shot. Get down on your knees if you have to (this is why often times photographers get into weird contortions for the perfect shot), but seriously, changing your mindset to think of your phone as an actual camera will be a huge step!
4. GIVE KIDS A PROMPT:
Now, my kids are older, but when they were little, that's when I perfected getting a good shot of them looking at the camera (ie - my phone). Some cues you can give them are 1. Show me your teeth! 2. Tickle each other! 3. Squeeze your brother/sister as tight as you can 4. Pretend you just opened the best present ever! 5. For younger kids, try playing peek-a-boo or holding their favorite stuffy behind the phone!
5. CANDID IS THE BEST!
I am a HUGE fan of candid shots! As much as everyone loves seeing a beautiful smile right at the camera, there is nothing better than capturing a moment in time. Photos are memories. They are the little pause buttons of life. When you look back at your photos, you are going to want to remember the little moments in time. So...set the stage first. Find a well lit, clean, neutral spot. Give them some books, or set them up with a game, and get ready to shoot a bunch of photos!
BONUS - FINAL THINGS TO REMEMBER...
Take breaks and don't force it. Remember these are the memories you are going to have forever, and the best part is, with digital you can take as many as you want and delete the ones that don't make the cut!