Well living in Texas certainly has it's ups and downs. And by that I mean the temperature! Several of my scheduled holiday portraits were pushed back again and again waiting for the weather to actually do what the weatherman predicted. And now with Christmas in a week and the weather looking no better most of my shoots have been rescheduled for the new year leaving a lot of families without holiday photos. So the best I can do for all my wonderful clients is give you a how-to do your own family photos!
Things you'll need:
-Camera (you can use a point-and-shoot, SLR, or Iphone)
-Tripod or Level surface
-Your awesome-sauce family
First off you need to find out which function your camera offers.
Most point and shoot cameras will have a timer option. You can typically set the timer for 3, 5, or 10 seconds. Some point and shoots have the option to fire off 3-5 photos in succession when the timer goes off.
SLR cameras have the best options for family selfies. You can set the timer, use a remote, a cable release or my favorite- interval timing shooting.
-The timer works just like the one on a point and shoot.
-A remote can be purchased online or in stores for $10-15. With this option you just click a button and try to hide the remote in your hand or behind you back.
-A cable release is more of a last option in my opinion. Mainly because you have to hold the cable in your hand and it's connected to the camera causing you to be really close to the lens. You could use this method for good close ups though.
-Interval timing shooting is by far my favorite method. You can usually find this option in your shooting menu. You will need to set a start time. I just use NOW. Next choose how far apart you want your shots. Anything under 6 or 7 seconds might cause your shooting to stop periodically to catch up saving images. Then you will choose how many photos you would like taken. I like to set mine to 999 so I can just shoot until I feel we got the shot. Press ok and run to get into the shot!
Iphones are pretty easy because there's always an app for that!
-There are several camera timers and interval shooting apps online. Most are fairly easy to work and several are free!
Now that you have your settings ready on your camera, time to frame the shot.
If you have a tripod this will be a lot easier but I've managed to make stacked stools and boxes work in a pinch before. Just secure your camera on the mount of your tripod and adjust the height. You can order a specialty Iphone tripod for around $12 on amazon and photo-jojo. Make sure everything is tightened down before leaving to get in the picture!
If you don't own a tripod get ready to plan camera Jenja! You can use any level surface you can create. Point and shoots are typically easiest to level since they are usually rectangular in shape and distribute weight evenly. SLRs can be trickier depending on the size of your lens. I use things like playing cards, wine corks, and thin books to prop my lens up enough to level the body. You can lean an Iphone against just about anything but if you are looking to get more control try to find things can set you phone in! I have a life-proof case on my phone and it fits perfectly inside a yarn wrapped bangle I own allowing me to tilt the phone or place in an open area without propping it up.
And that's it! Last step is to gather up your family and share some smile for the camera!
A few tips to help you get your best photos!
-Take a ton of photos! Fill your memory card up if you can! You will want a lot of options so you can pick the best!
-If possible try to shoot at a little bit of a downward angle. Sitting will of course make this easier.
-Remember to have fun as well as pose for photos. The 'in-between' shots can sometimes be the best!
-If you are shooting outside, try to stand in the shade.
-If you are standing in front of a barn, house, wall, etc - take three giant steps away from it! This will cause your point of focus to be more your subject and give your background depth.
-If you are shooting inside try to set up close to a window. You don't want the window in the photo (this can cause weird light projections), you just want the light. If possible choose a room with a white ceiling as well. Try to set the camera as far away from your faces as possible to reduce harsh shadows. OR if you want to do a tiny bit more work you can make a simple flash bounce to bounce the light off the ceiling and do away with all harsh shadows. Click HERE for a tutorial.
Hopes this helps you guys create some amazing family photos!
There is so much to do and see and photograph. How will we ever manage to capture it all?