The fun continues. This is really short because I am taking a small break from editing piles of studio sessions and my eyes are crossing. So here goes....
You will read this and think that I am crazy and this couldn't possibly make that much of a difference in your photos but trust me IT DOES. When you are shooting photos of your kids (or dogs or husband etc) get down on their level. Seriously if your toddler is in the floor get on the floor. If they're sitting in a chair, squat down until you're eye level with them. If they're climbed up on the kitchen counter top, for heaven sake put down the camera and move along....haha just had to make sure you were paying attention! For those of you who have had studio sessions with me know that 99.9 percent of the time if I am shooting a baby or toddler I am sitting on the ground and have been known to lay flat on the ground on my stomach in order to get the shot I wanted. Trust me, try this trick and you will be happy.
Why you ask? Ummm I suppose the answer is it puts your photos in proper perspective and they look more natural. When you see a photo shot down on someone it automatically makes their head look bigger and they look smaller as you go down. If you see a photo shot upward at someone (like you are standing or sitting below them) their feet/bottom half look big and the rest of their body gets smaller as you go up. FYI unless you are going for an artistic goal this is the worst possible angle to shoot someone from.
The second part of this lesson is to shoot shoot shoot and then shoot some more. Gone are the days when we had to purchase film to put into our cameras and then pay to develop every shot on the roll. We are in the wonderful age of digital media and huge memory cards are getting cheaper and cheaper so take advantage. When I am in the studio on average I shoot between 150 to 200 shots of one subject. I then narrow down to about 50 good ones and then take in on down to around 30 or 40 great ones. Guess what, your chances are a lot higher of getting a great shot of your baby with the perfect expression if you shoot more shots. You can delete the not so great ones and you'll be left with some great shots of what you were trying to capture. Trust me, your photo quality will go up 100 percent just by shooting more to get the ones you really want. Case in point, I have a photo of Noah Thomas when he was 3 years old hanging in my studio above the mantel. I LOVE this photo. I love the expession on his little face, his eyes, the way his hands are folded, everything. That day I shot 100 shots of him and I got ONE. Yep one...the other ones he's crying or pouting or laying down or picking his nose or you get the picture. But who cares about all the crappy shots, because I got ONE that I will treasure forever.
So let's review
from lesson one
Get the kiddos distracted and don't make them smile and pose
Get close then get closer
From today's lesson
Get down on their level
Overshoot your subject and you'll get better results.