Hello! Marcia here again today to share some of my favorite photos and portrait photography tips with you. Photography is just a hobby for me (maybe I should say obsession!). I have a portable studio that I can set up in my family room when I want to take portraits for friends or family members. Many years ago, I did shoot weddings for an occasional side job. Most of these images are raw and have not been Photoshopped.
Babies are either sleeping, eating, or crying 90% of the time. The trick to capturing a great photo is having lots of patience. This little girl liked to be held. Set her down by herself, and she would cry. In this image she is laying on her Dad's arm, with Mom's hand on top of her head. Physical contact in photography conveys intimacy. This photo conveys the love this Mom and Dad have for their little girl.
When babies start crawling, you might find that a favorite toy will help keep them still long enough to snap a picture. You need to get down to their level. I take a lot of photos laying down!
There is a reason why babies are called toddlers when they start walking! Sitting still is not something they do for very long. Its better to engage them in an activity. A small step ladder worked great here.
Older kids I trick into poses by playing games. The first photo is just a typical picture. The second is more interesting as it makes you wonder what secret this boy is divulging to the little girl, as if I caught them in a candid moment. We actually were playing telephone!
I do not like to pose my subjects in unnatural positions. This girl spent a lot of money getting senior portraits taken and was not very happy with them. This is the picture I took that captured her personality. I didn't tell her to position her hands this way. It's what she was comfortable doing. Think about clothing too. You want the focus to be on the face not clothing. Adults should wear long or elbow-length sleeves and long pants or long skirts so that they do not take away from their faces by showing too much skin. Simple, solid outfits photograph best. Avoid bright colors.
When taking photos outside, look for a shady spot with a background that doesn't distract from your subject matter. Use a fill flash if you must, but natural lighting is always better. Direct sunlight will result in photos that are too contrasty with harsh shadows. When shooting couples touching is important. It conveys intimacy. Tilting heads toward one another can be done too.
I especially want family members to be touching in a portrait. Families should wear similarly toned colors as it helps focus attention on faces and draws attention away from clothing.
Try a different angle for interest.
I want my photos to tell a story. This is a picture of my girl scout troop in Chicago. We did all kinds of fundraisers for 3 years to make that trip happen. Those girls were thrilled to be there! I think this photo conveys that feeling.
Lastly, don't be so fast to put your camera down. After I told this couple I was done taking pictures, I captured this...
Whew, that was long. Thanks for sticking with me this far! I hope I have given you some ideas on taking better portraits for your scrapbook pages.