Say Cheese….. CLICK goes the camera. (Sweet image at the end – don’t miss it :) )
There are some amazing camera’s on the market today but if you are not sure what you are doing would you pay over £1000 for a camera if you are never going to take it out of Auto mode?
When I got my first DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera, a beginners camera, I could never work out why some of my images were in focus and some were focused on the background and not the subject. Fast forward 8 years and an image is no longer just the click of a button.
I work in manual mode and when I am working I need to be thinking of the following all the time:
- Do I have enough light?
- What do I need my shutter speed to be to capture my subjects?
- Do I have the correct exposure in camera – is there enough light coming into my camera to allow me to capture finer details or will the bright areas be blown out (white) or the dark areas be black and all details lost either way.
- What will I have my ISO set as – I don’t want my images too grainy as that is not the style I like to photograph but I need to ensure I have enough light to capture my image at the best exposure
- Is my white balance correct? Have you ever taken a picture and its either come out blue or yellow? Well, each light source has a different temperature and will affect your over all image, oh yes and don’t forget light bounces too. If your walls have a certain colour you may get a hue in your image or you if are outside on the green grass under a leafy tree for shade it could bring in a touch of blue green into your picture. Would you know how to correct these? Now where is my Grey Card!! If you ever have a session with me you will more than likely hear me say I am testing my light :)
Now after all that lets start the session :)
As in real everyday life, we don’t have photographers living in our home and if you have ever tried photographing your own kids, maybe, like me you will find this a logistical nightmare!! Trying to get them to sit still for an image or not hide their faces or even run away. As soon as we as parents bring out the smart phone, tablets or fancy camera’s to take an image the moment is gone… Lost!!
Yip that’s my daughter!!! Uncooperative and aaaah not again!!
‘I want to see too…’ or ‘Noooooooo’….. ‘Me play?’….. I have tried bribery, shouting, playing games and yes it may work for one or two images but what happens when I want to enter said frame with the little bodies and no one to hold that fancy camera/smart phone/ tablet… OK I am lucky I guess as I have a tripod and it only ever comes out when I am trying to photograph my family. Lucky or not… trying to capture a moment in time of my family is well… exhausting! Hence the foot shot above was all I could get in the end!
Now bring in said photographer who quickly runs through the settings above, everything is perfect (light and camera wise). Little Johnny’s face is clean, Annie’s teething nose is wiped and we are good to go. Mum and dad are in the corner yelling ‘Smile’… oh dear photographer just lost the look. Peek-a-boo says the photographer. Child looks in the direction of camera… ooooh , Click. ‘Smile’ (sound from the background again…)
Hang on, the photographer has a few tricks up their sleeve but they are all fading fast as the little ones are getting grumpy. ‘Don’t tell me to smile’
I can’t stress how important it is for you as a parent to let your kids be. They will warm up and you will get those genuine facial expressions. Yes having one ‘Cheese’ face is important but hopefully not a full gallery?
OK, back to the session:
Mum, Dad quick grab little Johnny and Annie and lets do a family image. A few of my images are of mum and dad talking / yelling at the kids to look at me and often I get such sweet expressions from the little ones looking at me and its the mums and dads that are – you guessed it looking away (which I really don’t mind) but mid motion of a sentence with lips and eyes in all directions! Its cute actually!! I do love capturing both moments in a family’s dynamics and the posed images as they show a family as they truly are vs what they look like (CHEESE).
Now all that happens with just one click of a button!!