5 More Things to Remember When Shooting Car Light Trails

Images of car light trails are often captured by photographers because they can make for stunning shots. Since this subject matter often entails going out at night or twilight, plus using long exposures, there are quite a few things to consider. We previously listed four important things to remember when shooting car light trails, and here are five more to keep in mind:

light trails41 5 More Things to Remember When Shooting Car Light TrailsPerspective – light trails by themselves are already interesting but add a creative perspective and your image can go even further. Aside from taking the shot at the often used eye-level angle, play around a bit by shooting low or taking a shot from top view instead. See if you can take the shot from an elevated viewpoint such as from the second or third storey of a building by the side of a road, or from an overpass. If you are situated on the side of a straight road and face the road straight on, the light trails will appear as moving from side to side. It might look flat and two dimensional, although it does not mean the image will turn out bad. By angling the camera so that the road has a vanishing point, the light trails created will also appear to have more perspective.

light trails2 jusben 5 More Things to Remember When Shooting Car Light TrailsFraming – the basic composition rules still apply when shooting light trails. The Rule of Thirds, balance, leading lines, and the light can all help make the shot more visually appealing. Take note of your foreground and background and see to it that they add, rather than take away attention from the point of interest. The horizontal or landscape format is often used but if you were to rotate your camera and shoot using the vertical or portrait format instead, your image might achieve a more dynamic impression.

Exposure settings – knowing the right exposure settings will be a result of trial and error. Luckily, we don’t have to worry much about taking a whole lot of test shots with a digital camera as compared to film. By reviewing your shots in the LCD, you can already gauge how to adjust a particular setting. Let’s discuss the three settings in more detail:

Shutter speed – a slow shutter speed will allow you to capture the movement of light. Try starting with shutter speeds between 10-20 seconds to give the cars enough time to travel through the frame. 

light trails3 5 More Things to Remember When Shooting Car Light TrailsAperture – remember that aperture affects depth of field so if you want most of the scene to be in focus, choose an f/number that corresponds with a smaller lens opening such as f/8. Keep in mind that the smaller the opening, the less light enters the sensor and you might need to leave your shutter open a little longer.

ISO – grain or noise is usually most visible in low light scenarios and if you can, try to keep the ISO to a low value such as 100. At ISO 400 or more, there is a bigger chance of obvious grain. 

Use Bulb mode – some cameras have a Bulb mode that allows the shutter to stay open for as long as you want. This is especially handy when shooting light trails. It is ideal to use a remote shutter release when using this mode to avoid camera shake while the shutter is open.

Manual focus – during low light situations, it could be a challenge to get your focus locked in on the point of interest if you are using autofocus.  Switch to manual focus instead to make sure you get the clarity you intend. 


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How to Use Your Photo Editing Skills to Earn Extra Income
With the digital era having a firm foothold in the industry of photography, it is not surprising that most photographers are dabbling in photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop to be used as their digital darkroom. Aside from photo editing software being pricey, it can also be quite tedious to master and learn but it can do wonders in creating effects and improving images. 
 
You will need determination and the willingness to learn the many technical aspects of any software to make full use of its advantages. But with all your effort, the rewards can be fruitful. It can provide many profitable opportunities that you haven’t even thought possible in the field of photography. Mastering any photo manipulation software coupled with your photography business can prove to reap a decent income. Learning the various photo editing techniques can prove to be a valuable skill to add to your talent in photography. Here are some tips on how to make money from photograph editing:
 
retouch1 How to Use Your Photo Editing Skills to Earn Extra IncomePursue photo editing and restoration services – Digital picture editing and restoration services is a much sought after niche. More and more people and families want to restore old photographs that have been stored in old photo albums. This is a way of preserving family lineage and genealogy to pass on from one generation to the next.  Historical societies and museums always have a need for this particular service.
 
It is a relatively simple way of retouching water damaged or faded images to make it near perfect again. With technology, it is much simpler to store old photographs in your computer’s hard drive and it won’t be subjected to time and the elements. Even minor photography errors such as over or underexposure can easily be fixed. Altering the background, enlarging an image, and adjusting color contrasts can also be easily done. You can easily correct the color in an image, remove other people in a scene and even just copy old photographs that need no repairing.
 
Share your knowledge – Once you’ve mastered photo editing techniques you can now share your knowledge and earn from it by offering tutorials or write articles on how to tackle a certain area in photo restoration. There are many online sites that may be interested in buying your articles as long as the content is in demand, your writing is clear and concise, and most of all, helpful. Make sure you have a step by step screenshot for visual illustrations for the readers to be able to follow your instructions and base the ‘before’ and ‘after’ outcome of each endeavor. 
 
Create your own tutorial sites and be open for advertising- the internet is a great source of income. As long as you follow through with your initiative and work hard on improving your site and giving potential and your existing clients fresh material periodically, it will always make them keep coming back for more. Just make sure the content is useful and know what your readers are looking for. Stay abreast with all the latest techniques of all the more popular software available in the market. Most of them perform the same editing features but periodically some companies issue updates or release better and more advanced software that can do other things previous versions can’t.
 
retouch2 How to Use Your Photo Editing Skills to Earn Extra IncomeIn creating your own tutorial site, you can also earn extra by using banner advertising network in your site such as Adsense. You can even include a forum or a blog in your site where you share your ideas with other people. This creates a community that shares the same interests and can generate an influx of income.
 
Create stock photos that have been hyped up by image software – With all the unique techniques a software can do to manipulate an image to make it look out of this world, you can tap into a market that makes conventional images totally unconventional. This is a great way to hone your skills in photo editing, not to mention show it off to the world and earn from it.
 
Have an option for video tutorials – Since the popularity of YouTube hit the internet, video has reached internet mainstream.  People who use the internet have become more interactive and expect visual content and text content in whatever they do online. Having the option of offering video tutorials would give you further reach in a possible client base.


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Understanding How Color Temperature Works

Color temperature is a fundamental aspect to consider when considering lighting in photography. Unbalanced color temperatures can greatly affect the final outcome of your images and is a primary concern when trying to create visual impact. 

color1 Understanding How Color Temperature WorksIn order to have a better grasp of understanding color temperature, try to imaging that when we view a piece of paper by candle light, fluorescent lighting or in daylight, paper will always look white. But in actuality, our brain tells us to ignore the variations in color the different light sources produce and only see what we expect to see as paper being white. Light is actually comprised of a multitude of different colors, and the human eye can only perceive the difference in hues at the extreme ends of the scale.  

Color temperature is usually measured in degrees Kelvin (K), and this type of scale is a feature in some digital cameras as an acute way of manually setting up the camera for lighting situations.Butcolor2 Understanding How Color Temperature Works all digital cameras have a useful function that automatically adjusts the color of the pictures they record to fit the lighting that is detected in a particular scene. This is more commonly known as auto white balance (AWB). This uses electronic filtration at the processing stage to correct the color temperature it detects in a scene and is probably one of the essential factors you may have to consider when preparing your lighting for a shoot. It is easy to conclude that indoor lighting can have an orange tinge in color, but in actuality, even daylight can have varying colors. Natural lighting depending on the time of the day, clouds and weather conditions all impact color temperature. They all contribute in affecting the mixture of colors or wavelengths. The camera detects the whole surrounding area and automatically assesses the white balance in every shot.

Color balancing is different for every type of source of light you will be using whether it be for tungsten lighting or daylight. The easiest way to check for white balance is to use the white balance option in your digital camera, find a white cardboard and hold it up to your cameras lens making sure that the card fills the whole lens, and finally push the set button. This would allow you to notice the distinction on the LCD screen. You can then gauge the correct whiteness and make the necessary adjustments based on what you see. 

Balancing color temperatures color3 Understanding How Color Temperature Workscan be tricky, but you can purchase color correction gels, tinted cellophane or you can even switch bulbs to go with the color temperatures for the scene. You can even pay around with color balance for artistic output. You can also rectify unwanted color casts in post processing with the use of the Color Balance, the Hue/Saturation or the Selective Color adjustment options. Your images don’t necessarily always have to be properly balanced. When you can play around with color temperatures and create artistic effects that can complement your images when used in the proper way.

Always remember that photography is a way for creative output, have fun experimenting, who knows, you just may create your very own masterpiece.


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Reinventing the Darkroom Techniques

Since the digitized era penetrated the world of photography, the underlying dynamics of the art has been revolutionized enabling its ream to be practically limitless. With the many types of software available in the market such as Photoshop allows you to do things that was not possible in the days of film and the darkroom. There are extensive techniques and useful tricks that are still waiting to be discovered even by the most skilled photographers.

Even with all the newly developed methods that are waiting to be discovered, there are still the ageless practices that many photographers never get tired of recreating since the art of photography started over 160 years ago. Converting images to black and white and toning digital images with the use of Photoshop give the opportunity of showcasing your images in classic photography styles.

darkrm2 Reinventing the Darkroom TechniquesManipulation software is ideal to give your images a distinct style from a wide range of older techniques that were obscure or more popular at the time. These programs often have plug-ins or applications that can be downloaded and used on your images. But by using the standard adjustments and effect in Photoshop, you can make your ordinary images standout and add a lot more character.

Some of the more popular effects that you can try are:

Split-toning – this is an old darkroom practice where a black and white film is treated with two metallic tones in succession to make some of the midtones in the image become the same color and other are another. This can be done using an RGB scan of a black and white negative or to a desaturated digital image file. The adjustment is made by using Curves or Levels tool to the red, blue and green channels.

darkrm1 Reinventing the Darkroom TechniquesCross-processing – this is a technique that was popular in the music industry and many fashion photographers. Here color print film was processed in slide chemistry or slide film was processed like they were color negatives to create strange distortions in color and contrast that was very much the rage for magazine art editors.

Similar to split-toning, this can be done using Photoshop by adjusting the Curves of each channel such as using a full color image. Portraits yield better results. This type of adjustment typically recreates the processing of C41 negative film in E6 slide chemistry.

Sabattier effect – also known as solarization, is used to involve exposing the film or printing paper to light before it was fully developed. This can cause sight reversal to some of the tones darkrm3 Reinventing the Darkroom Techniquesand creating a tinge that is somewhat an in-between color of the original. This technique only allows you one opportunity to get the desired effect you want, and can rarely be replicated.

In Photoshop however, there is no such difficulty, and the Sabattier technique can be used in both monochrome and color images with definitive control. The basic technique is to make adjustments I the Curves to form a U shape line. And by further distorting the curve you can create even wilder effects. When you have the effect you are satisfied with, you can then make further adjustments to the color with the curves in each of the channels or by utilizing the other color adjustment tools. You can also try Filter>Stylize>Solarize in Photoshop for a quick effect.

The digital era has made photography limited only to your imagination, and with knowing how each tool works, you can apply it to you photographs to create visual depth in your work.


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The Beauty of Twilight Photography

The moon has always been held as a sense of wonderment, it has been the centerpiece for many a romantic or horror scene. It has also played a big part in impacting the many cultures of the world. More so, it influences the gravitational pull of the earth and is responsible for casting the tides of the oceans. The moon as opposed to the sun, can be gazed upon directly. You can stare into the very depths twilight3 The Beauty of Twilight Photographyof its character and be awed by its wondrous beauty. It is in itself a beautiful subject to be photographed as part of a scene or all on its own. When you include the moon while taking a photograph of a scene, whether it is in the countryside or in an urban setting, it adds to the sense of harmony. Whenever a night photo is viewed, there is always a sense of something missing when you do not include the moon and the stars in the frame. The perfect opportunity to photograph the moon in its full glory and make it part of your scenery is when it is almost full. This is usually when the sun is about to rise and the moon is about to set (or vice versa). This makes it idea due to the fact that the moon will be low in the sky, which happens at twilight or at dawn. 

Take composite shots to keep both the moon and the foreground defined and in focus. To do this, the first shot should focus mainly on the foreground scene and the second shot should have the moon in focus. During post-processing, you can combine the two images together and …..

If your idea of an image is to still have the sun providing natural lighting for your scene, you can utilize the same type of exposure for the two types of photographs. However, if you plan to shoot after the sun has set or is about to rise, you may require a longer exposure for the scene and shorter exposure when photographing the moon.

 twilight1 The Beauty of Twilight PhotographyIf you are using the moon as your main subject and you want to capture more of its details, such as its craters, you will need a long lens and the stability of a tripod. For a long lens, at least 300mm would do for the actual details to show in your image. 

For the aperture, it can vary depending on the weather, the density of the clouds, etc. For a clear night, an aperture of at least f/8 would be ideal. First, it will give you great depth of field while allowing for a relatively fast shutter speed. This is mainly so because the moon moves extremely fast for slow shutter speed. That can cause you to have undefined edges.twilight2 The Beauty of Twilight Photography

The light emanating from the moon can change depending on the weather, its height and location in the sky. Therefore, there is no definite shutter speed to use and you will have to base it on the conditions at the night of the shoot. Ideally, you want to achieve bright pixels in your image but make sure you do not overexpose your shot. Always remember that it is not just the full moon that can give you a great photograph. The other phases of the moon can give you an equally beautiful subject by giving you more character with the shadows it creates in the craters which give more depth. 


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Things You Should Know About the Useful Features of Your Camera

The usual things we hear when it comes to camera features are aperture, ISO, white balance and other familiar terms. But there are a lot of other features you will also find useful in your DSLR camera. Here are a few of them:

features1 Things You Should Know About the Useful Features of Your CameraFlash exposure compensation – a common question we ask is why do our images, whenever we use the flash, become under or overexposed? When we hear automatic flash, we always assume that this feature can calculate the precise amount of light needed for the shot. However, the camera’s ability to adjust to certain environmental lighting is not always as accurate as we want it to be. That is where the definition of a great photographer versus an amateur photographer is defined. To get excellent images, you have to help your digital camera to get the exposure perfect. When you compensate your flash exposure by selecting negative numbers, this will reduce the flash power and will allow you to keep highlight details. Positive numbers will allow you to add illumination to your subjects from further away. When using the built-in light meter, it can be fooled by placing something bright within the frame of your shot. 

Depth of field preview button – this feature will show you how an image will look, not just based on what you see in your viewfinder or LCD screen. When you use this button, you can see which parts of an image are in sharp focus and which parts are blurred. You can also determine what aperture settings you have to use to get the effect that you want. To use this, simply adjust the aperture to get the exact balance between the blurry and the sharp portions. 

features2 Things You Should Know About the Useful Features of Your CameraMirror lock-up – using a tripod doesn’t necessarily mean you will not get blurry shots. DSLRs are made with an interior mirror that flips upwards to reveal a digital image sensor whenever you press your shutter button. When you use heavier lenses, this shutter movement or ‘mirror slap’ can cause vibrations. By turning on the mirror lock-up setting, the shutter remains stationary which will give you sharper images. 

Rear curtain sync – this feature is a phase in your shutter speed. A conventional flash is always the first curtain. The second or rear curtain is usually used for a more dramatic effect to create a trail of subject movement. You can create patterns in the motions that cannot be seen by the naked eye and the effects can be magical. To get this effect, set your camera to manual exposure, usually at one second at f/5.6 and set it to the second curtain. Make sure the subject is moving before you take a photograph of your image.

features3 Things You Should Know About the Useful Features of Your CameraLong exposure noise reduction – for exposures longer than ten seconds, this feature can eliminate some of the digital noise and effects caused by long exposure. If you plan to take consecutive shots of the same subject, this can hinder the speed because the image sensor has to reset and take a blank exposure after each and every shot. This is the same length of time as the actual shot so it is double the time. But the shots that you produce can be worth the wait. 

AI Servo AF – with the newer types of DSLR cameras out in the market today, you can set the perfect combination of exposure, aperture and lighting. Your main hurdle would now be your subject. Especially with sports photography, dance photography or other genres that involve movement, this smart feature allows the camera to detect the speed and direction of movement of the subject so that your lens can focus on the position to eliminate the chances of getting blurry shots. To attain the AI Servo AF, press the shutter release half-way and your viewfinder will show that you are tracking your subject with an in-focus indicator. 


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More Tips on How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots

When photographing scenes that include trees, one should keep in mind how to present trees in an interesting manner since they can make or break the shot. It is not easy to ignore trees in photos due to their huge size. We had previously given you several tips on how to photograph trees, and these are some more to help you when composing trees in your images:

tree6 More Tips on How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots1. Check the weather – the weather directly affects the outcome of outdoor photos and it is best to know beforehand what to expect. Mist, rain, snowfall, wind, heat and such would give your image a certain atmosphere and you can take advantage of it or wait until the skies clear up.  Extreme weather can damage the camera gear so always make sure these are always protected. Of course, your own personal safety is more important than the shot so dress appropriately.

2. Use it as foreground or background interest – in landscape photography, trees are often used to add interest to a certain area in the image frame. They can be in the foreground with a majestic mountain or a house in the distance, and they can also appear in the background of the main subject. When using it as a secondary subject, keep in mind that it should not steal attention away from the main point of interest.tree4 More Tips on How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots

3. Shoot its color – with the change of seasons come the change of leaves and trees that look vivid green and brown in the summer may have fiery red leaves in the fall. Also, the bark of trees also differ in color compared to other varieties. Why not focus on the color of trees to further enhance your shot.

4. Try different lenses – wide-angle lenses take in more of the scene and make the distance between objects seem longer. Telephoto lenses, however, magnify the subject and decrease or compress the distance between objects. These also offer a shallower depth of field compared to the wide-angle. You can stand in the same spot and take photos of the same trees but the results would look different if you used different kinds of lenses. 

tree5 More Tips on How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots5. Shoot variations – trees not only come in all sizes and shapes but they can also grow all alone without any other tree nearby or clumped together into a dense forest. Shoot as much as you can of the trees while trying as various compositions. Step away or go closer, angle your camera upwards or climb up the tree and shoot downwards, shoot the trees as a group or single one out.

6. Experiment with both vertical and horizontal framing – the horizontal or landscape format is ideal for subjects that are wider than they are taller. For instance, this would be ideal if the subject were a row of trees. On the other hand, the vertical or portrait format would be great for the lone tree where you might want to include it all in the frame. Of course, these are simply guidelines and you can try switching formats to see which works best for the scene.

7. Have the model interact with the tree – when doing a fashion shoot or portraiture, try to have the model acknowledge the tree instead of simply standing beside it. By having the model lean on it, look at it or touch it, there is an apparent connection between these two subjects which can give greater visual impact, as well as send the message across more clearly. 


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The Art of Photographing Dance

One of the basic forms of human expression that have continued to be a part of our culture is dance. This form is one way that communicates beyond speech, much like the art of photography. Both do not have a specific dialect or language. Dance conveys raw emotion through movement that extends over all kinds of boundaries.

Here are effective tips on how to shoot fabulous dance images:

 dance6 The Art of Photographing Dance Shoot with manual settings at the widest aperture possible – more often than not, most of the dance performances involve a lot of dramatic lighting. This can be a reason to lose a lot of detail pertaining to highlights and shadows in an image. Always remember, though, that it is better to lose details from shadow than details from highlights. To get the best possible outcome, manually set your camera to the widest aperture. Also remember to adapt the exposure to the performer’s skin tone.

Do not even bother using spot metering. Another way to tackle exposure is to adjust shutter speed setting until you are able to see details in the performer’s face. However, whenever the lighting changes you will still have to adjust the settings each time.

Shoot in RAW – as much as possible, shoot in RAW format. Although it can slow you down in post processing as you make adjustments to your images, you will be able to capture more detail. But always remember to use a memory card with adequate memory since RAW files are rather huge.dance7 The Art of Photographing Dance

Familiarize yourself with the camera – stages have lighting that is usually centered on the performances and it varies depending on the tempo of the music or the type of mood that the performance wishes to convey. In most cases, you will probably have to be working in the dark. So it is best to familiarize yourself with all the buttons of your camera to make sure you are pressing the right one. Also make sure you know the proper settings to adjust your camera.

Have the right timing – the more performances you attend, and the more times you persevere to capture great dance stills, the more chances you will have of ddance5 The Art of Photographing Danceeveloping your skill. It takes more than just constantly being on the look-out for a great move because once you see a great movement in your viewfinder, chances are it is too late to capture it. You must always anticipate what will happen next to get the perfect opportunity. There are plenty of opportunities for you to be able to gauge when a highlight moment is about to take place, such as a change in music, lighting or movement of the dancers. You can sense that that something big is about to happen. It helps to love your niche because there are different types of dance performances that do not always follow the norm in lighting and music.

Capture the perfect pose – the visual impact of a perfect pose immortalized in a photograph is a rarity because you only get one chance when the whole body of a performer is in the right position allowing it to speak to the viewer when looking at the image. It will be pointless to set your camera to continuous mode and take random shots because the only way for you to get the precise moment is through patience.


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Is Stock Photography Suited For Me?

Weigh your options in the business of photography and try to decide if stock photography is one of them. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help reach a decision:

suited1 Is Stock Photography Suited For Me? Do my images have good composition? Are they nicely lit and free from visual clutter? 

Whether you are a seasoned or an amateur photographer, a blurry image is still a blurry image. Getting your images in any microstock site does not require you to be a professional. All you need are good images.  Stock sites have reviewers who peruse each and every uploaded shot before they are accepted in the system. If you plan to have each of your photos pass this rigorous test, learn to do quality checks yourself and be objective when analyzing your images. 

Is photography fun for me?

Photography is not all about money. If you are doing it for the money, then you are in for disappointment. It takes hours of patience and hard work to get the perfect images that would sell, not to mention post processing and getting them approved for uploading in stock sites. If this does not appeal to you, then it will definitely show in your work.

suited2 Is Stock Photography Suited For Me? Do I have adequate photography equipment?

The most important thing to have is a digital camera. For stock sites, your camera should be capable of at least taking 4megapixels. Having a digital camera is a great way for you to practice and develop your skills without having to worry about cost of film, developing negatives, and the like. Just remember not to be too trigger happy and always spare the time to go through your images and find out the areas for improvement. You will also have to learn how to use photo editing software since this will greatly aid you in the post processing stage so you can correct all the minor errors appearing in your photographs.

Can I spare some time to focus on creating stock images?

Whether you decide to upload in microstock or macrostock sites, make sure you upload only the best images you have. Check on the current trends, what are the images that sell the most, and always upload fresh images so that the clients always have new options. All these require effort and a certain amount of time devoted to building your stock portfolio, especially in the beginning when you are still making a name for yourself. 

suited3 Is Stock Photography Suited For Me? Do I want to earn from my photos?

Many good photographers take pictures because they love it and do not really think of the monetary aspect of it. If you are doing stock photography as a hobby and not as a main source of income, you might be satisfied with earning a few dollars now and then from your images. If you want to earn more than what would amount to spare change, you will have to be more serious as well and try to learn the tricks of the trade to get the most out of it. 

Am I willing to accept image payment of only a few cents each shot?

For some people, there is still that mindset that a photograph is certainly worth more than a few cents and microstock sites are harming the value of a high quality image.  For others, the low rates being offered in microstock sites is not considered an issue since there are thousands of potential buyers who can acquire the same image and these few cents will accumulate into hundreds of dollars over time. Your personal perception of how the stock system works will affect your decision whether or not to join stock sites.

Am I known professionally in the photography world?

Once you have already gotten the hang of the skills and expertise of being a good photographer and are earning a living out of it or are well-known in the craft, you might prefer having your images sold at macrostock sites rather than microstock.  Macrostock sites are much stricter with image quality and not just anybody can become a member. However, once you are in, you can sell your images at a much higher rate. Some people even choose to use the services of both microstock and macrostock sites. Just be wary about the sites that you decide to join because some have exclusivity quotes so read the terms and conditions carefully. 


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How to Shoot Family Portraiture

With the new year just starting, you can look forward to the many birthdays, dinner parties, trips, anniversaries and yearly holiday gatherings and plan ahead for the perfect family portraits. These photographs will serve as a celebration of your life and will be a memorabilia of priceless moments spent with your family and friends. Family portraits are probably the most treasured keepsakes handed down to you to remind you of your lineage. Nowadays, with the convenience of digital photography, you can record images of the happy gatherings you have experienced to keep the tradition going. 

Shooting the whole family within a single frame is probably the most challenging thing you may encounter in family portraiture. Especially with a growing brood of children running around all over the place, you cannot just ask them to sit still for a few minutes for a photograph.

Here are a few tips to help you capture the bond between the family in the form of an image:

family4 How to Shoot Family Portraiture1. Familiarize yourself with your subjects – since your main subjects are friends and family members, you may already be familiar with what they are conscious of and what they do not want to be glaringly obvious about themselves in a photograph. Reassure them that you know what they want and that you will try your best to get the outcome they expect and you are sure to have genuine smiles.

2. Be stealthy, move swiftly and have fun – candid shots make for great shots. Make sure your subjects are comfortable and are in their element. Allow them to move spontaneously and be ready to capture those rare moments. Have your camera ready at all times and check battery life and camera settings so that you are always prepared.

cjsun How to Shoot Family Portraiture3. Pay attention to the background  -neutral and solid colors are ideal for backgrounds. If you are shooting outdoors, make sure that you use a variety of angles for your shot. A low or high angled shot can remove unnecessary clutter in the background that can be distracting. 

4. Get color coordinated – it would be ideal to have family members wear color coordinated outfits. It can be quite tricky, though, but pastels and vibrant colors can enhance the final outcome of your photographs. If celebrating a birthday party, you can have the birthday celebrant wear a bright colored garment while the guests can wear muted tones to make the celebrant the main focus of attention. Keep in mind that a lot of clashing colors and busy patterns can be an eyesore.

family1 How to Shoot Family Portraiture5. Have adequate lighting – lighting is always important in any type of photograph. Even lighting is ideal but may not be available all the time. The best times for even lighting are at 8am and 5:30pm. These times are known as the golden hours, when natural lighting is warm and soft and can flatter any subject. Remind yourself to notice that the faces of your subjects are equally lit. When shooting indoors, utilize a flash or any type of natural soft lighting emanating from the windows. Try to arrange the subjects close to the light source and position them slightly to one side of the direction of the light. This will create the illusion of depth through shadows as well as highlights. Another tip: frontal lighting is the most common way to shoot family portraits. However, the image could come out flat and dull. The best way to avoid this is to use sidelighting with a reflector such as a white sheet or cloth to bounce back the light to the group. This will lessen hard shadows and further enhance your subjects. When shooting outdoors, try to position yourself and your subjects under a tree or a shady area to get even lighting.




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