Hello All

So last week we looked at ISO, before we move on to look at Shutter Speed I thought we would take a little change of direction in this blog. We are heading fast towards Valentines day and then Mothers Day in March. As you probably know I am not a great fan of staged portraits of children or couples smiling to the camera, all neatly composed. Yes, it captures an image of your child or family smiling, which don’t get me wrong is very nice, but if you are going to spend time and money on an image how much nicer to show children being children, how much better to show relationships, attitude or affection! In all my photography I aim to capture natural character and emotion.

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In this blog I am going to give some top tips for on how to capture emotion in photography. As always I would love to see some of your results.

Capture Emotion in Photography

Break The Ice!

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When I meet a child, couple or family for the first time and start to photograph, I am never going to get a fantastic photograph immediately. A very important part of my job is to engage with my clients no matter what their age so they warm to me and become comfortable around me and my camera. My first tip is to take lots of ‘warm up shots’, have some fun snapping and engaging with your subject to get them to feel comfortable about being photographed and to relaxed and happy around you. The first shots may be discarded later but it is worth getting your subject familiar with you.

Use An Activity

Go for a walk with the family and ask the kids walk ahead holding hands, suggest parents or grandparents lean over the gate and chat, use the environment you are in and encourage your subjects to interact with each other. These portraits will feel more natural and as a result will express much more personality than a group photograph on a white background. Even if you are in the house, get the kids to play with flour, wooden spoons and mixing bowls in the kitchen, yes there will be a bit of a mess to tidy up but I guarantee loads of smiles, lots of flour on noses and some great emotive photographs.

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Never Ask A Child to ‘Smile’

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This is always such a big mistake! Firstly children don’t like being asked to do something on request, especially if you have a camera pointed at them, secondly, if they do smile it will be their ‘camera smile’ which is rarely natural or emotive. You need to make a child, or family laugh! Tickle toes (maybe not with your grandparents), tell jokes, pull faces what ever works. You need to give people and children something to do, a couple to have a quick hug, children to play together, maybe if they are outside to throw leaves or balance on a log, run through the trees or look for fish in a stream.  A photograph of a natural hug, or of children playing together is far more emotive and tells much more of a story than a simple smile to the camera.

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Capture The Out-Takes

A lot of the best photographs happen between moments. Candid photography is just that, taken of someone without them being completely aware of you. Take photographs when your subject doesn’t expect it. Take the photograph when your child turns away from the camera or reacts to something. Okay so a finger up the nose is not too flattering but a thumb in the mouth strop-pending, could make a beautiful natural portrait. During the group photographs at a wedding while confetti is being thrown, I ask my assistant or second photographer to zoom in and photograph details in the crowd, these photographs taken from the periphery and without all the guests looking down the lens are always really lovely natural photographs.

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Mothers Day Sessions

So that’s it this week. A reminder that mothers day is approaching and I am taking bookings for portrait sessions over the next two weeks beginning 16th and the 23rd February to get orders completed for the 15th. If you are interested in booking a session I am running a special offer for £125 to include session fee, a £25 credit towards products and a Bamboo Panel desk block, a perfect Mothers Day Gift. Please contact me for my new brochure which has details of all my products.

Thats it for this week.

Kyra. x