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What Do I Need to Wear for Family Portraiture ?

What to Wear to your Family Portrait Session

My Guest Writer:  Fiona Rogerson

If you’ve chosen a quality portrait photographer then your family session will be 100% about you and your family and what makes you unique. You won’t need to dress everyone to match, as with the stock-standard white shirt and blue jeans. Wear what makes you and your family happy and comfortable. Your photographer will ensure that their images best capture every unique quality about your family and your clothing choices will inform your photographer greatly.

However, if you’re still unsure what to dress your family in then simple, plain, classic clothing works best so ensure the focus remains on faces, and your look will always remain timeless in the years to come. For these reasons it’s best to avoid logos and bold patterns, such as bold stripes or spots.

Try to aim for some commonality among your clothing choices across your family, for example using colours in similar tones, which will help to tie individuals together as a unit in your images, without you all having to be dressed the same. For new babies you may coordinate the colours of wraps, blankets and beanies to tie them into the family unit more. Bare feet are always a favourite, especially for young children, as they’re bound to have their shoes off at some point in the session anyway.

Just be sure to bring a couple of changes of clothes for each child for variety (and sometimes they just get messy!). It can also be a good to bring along any special pieces that may be sentimental to you or your child… if your child wants to wear their favourite tutu or spiderman costume then let them! This is a great way of capturing your child’s uniqueness. Favourite hats, scarves, shawls can all make for beautiful props and will add to your memories in years to come.

About My Author

Fiona Rogerson from Evoke Art Photography is a perth maternity pregnancy newborn baby photographer, dedicated to create art that will speak uniquely to you. Evoke Art Photography will ensure that every wonderful emotion from those fleeting moments in your baby’s early days will remain with you each and every time that you see your images up on your wall. View Fiona’s work at http://www.evokeartphotography.com.au.

How To Choose The Right Photographer

Guide to Choosing a Professional Family Photographers

My Guest Writer:  Grant Rushton

How to Choose a Professional Family Photographer

Why is this important

Getting everyone together for a family portrait is not easy, and as your children get older it becomes more and more difficult. So after you’ve gone through all that trouble, you want to hire a professional who will get it right, the first time. The moment in time you’ve worked to create will not come again.

Look carefully at the Portfolio on the websiteNext to a face to face meeting, which is also necessary, this is a good way to determine if the photographer is the right one for you. There are certain clues, or red flags, which should tell you right away whether to call this photographer, or to keep looking.

NATURAL POSING: Are the people in the photo in natural, comfortable positions, or are the bodies manipulated into contrived and forced positions? Is the posing sloppy? For example, are some peoples’ heads clearly seen while others are partially hidden behind another person? A photographer’s skill at posing is especially important when dealing with large groups.

EXPRESSIONS: Do the people in the photo look happy and relaxed, and do their expressions match. Most important, is there life in the eyes. Do these peoples’ person­alities come through, or are they just sitting there getting their picture taken. A good photographer will watch intensely as he shoots to make sure he is getting the best ex­pressions possible.

CLOTHING: Do the people in the photo look completely unrelated by their clothing, or does the photo clearly show that planning went into coordinating everyone’s attire.

CREATING MOOD: Are there examples of photos that show the photographers skill in creating different moods using studio light and natural outdoor light. For example in a moody portrait you’ll see rich shadows on one side of the peoples’ faces.

PROFESSIONAL LIGHTING: You can tell if the photographer is an amateur or a pro­fessional by how consistent the lighting is. Are the people in the back row too dark and in shadow, and the people in the front row too bright? While we’re looking at consis­tency, are some heads small and far away, while others are big and close?

VARIETY: Are there several photos of the same person on the website that look almost identical. This is a red flag. If such a photographer says he’ll shoot 30 photos, he will probably shoot 30 photos that look PRETTY MUCH the same. A good photog­rapher has imagination and will come prepared beforehand with a number of “looks” for you to choose from.

OUTDOOR SCENERY: Is the background and foreground integrated. For example, in the photo below left, a cactus is growing out of the couple’s heads, but in the right photo care was taken in handling the background.

STUDIO BACKGROUNDS: Does the photographer use strongly coloured andgimmicky backgrounds that distract from the subject, or neutral ones that complement the subject.Viewing the Portfolio on the website is a good indication of the final (unchangeable) images you will end up hanging on your walls.

Questions to ask the photographerA studio should provide you with a face to face consultation so you can determine if you and the photographer are right for each other. This is the time for you to share yourvision of the ultimate family portrait, and for other family members to give their input too. This is also a time for the photographer to share with you a variety of themes you may not have thought of (studio, portraits in the park, lifestyle themed portraits). Most important, this is a time to find out your likes and dislikes and the things that are most important to you.

LOCATION SCOUTING: Once you have selected a location, will the photographer visit the location beforehand to determine the best lighting and camera angles.

WARDROBE SELECTION: Will the photographer give you a thorough understanding of what works and doesn’t work when dressing for a family portrait.

DISPLAY OPTIONS: Will the photographer go over final display options with you in the studio, showing you sizes, frames and finishes available.

BUDGET: Will the photographer find out your budget, or price range, so he offers you proposals that are right for you.

GUARANTEE: Will the studio refund your money or retake the photo session if you are not completely satisfied with the results.

About the Author

Grant Rushton is the owner of Front Porch Photography. He has been a professional photographer for over 15 years and is a member of the Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) and the Professional Photographers of Ontario (PPO). To reach Grant, call 905-693-9331 or email grant@frontporchphoto.ca.

What Type of Photographer Do I Need ?

Photographers – Different Categories To Choose From

My Guest Writer:  Adam Reedy

Like music, photography also does have different genres. Even photographers choose their own way of taking pictures. So, if you are thinking about getting one, it would be a good idea for you to consider knowing different kinds of photographers and be able to know the one you want to take. Here are some of those:

•Family photographers- hiring a family photographer is simply the best if you would like to have the best family picture. Though the technology is quite advent today, people still needs professional photographers to make photos perfect.

•Event photographers- if you are about to gather event, be it for family or with other people, hiring event photographers will always be good. Your family camera could not actually be the best camera to use, since it could not handle everyone. So, a reliable event photographer will always be a good thing.

•Automotive photographers- people are not always the one who are in photos. Automotives like cars and other vehicles also need automotive photographers. It is one way on how one could see what’s wrong with their automotives or how they could choose the best type of automotives. Photographers could surely give the best shot of automotives you are after to take.

Children photographers – children are the one who are good to take pictures to. Apart from being cute and cuddly, they could be the light in the photo itself. So, if you would like to give your kids the chance to have the best children photo, then taking up children photographers would be a better idea.

•Sports photographers- you alone could not take sports pictures in the best way you could. So, taking up sports photographers would always be the best thing for you. With such, the best moves and best shots will be taken smoothly.

Taking the best moment in life and making it always alive in the form of pictures. So, keep those things in mind and start looking out for a good photographer around. Don’t waste up you time taking ugly pictures, simply hire a pro to do the trick and make it up for you.

About the Author

Adam Reedy writes about “Photographers” – You can log on – Photographers.com.au to find and hire the services of Children Photographers, Family Photographers and Real Estate Photographers in Australia.

Children Photographer Ideas

Child Photography Tips That Make Sense

My Guest Writer:  ”learndigitalphotography”

The field of child photography is challenging but also both enjoyable and profitable – if you like children. Don’t bother pretending, if you really don’t. You may fool a parent – but not the little one.

Tips to help are: The techniques used in most other fields of photography do not always apply in kids photography. The phrase “hold it” or “freeze” carry very little weight with children. They typically do as they please and if they please. Your assignment is to anticipate what a child may be about to do and capture it.

YOU can turn this into your advantage: Since children don’t always do what you want them to do, or what you expect them to do (actually they rarely do!). A solution often is: don’t expect them to become a cooperative little adult merely because you want to take their picture. Trick them – expect them to act like children. Don’t expect anything in particular. DO this and you can enter the fun and profitable field of child photography.

Know your stuff – Before you start booking sessions with children you must know exactly what you are capable of doing – what your camera is capable of doing – what all your equipment is capable of doing. Operating your camera and equipment must be second nature. Have your style of photography down pat, so when you start a session your mind is on the children). This takes your complete focus. This is not the time to be fiddling with you camera, or trying to figure out your light setup. Children take 100% of your concentration. For some children the entire shoot may only last 10 minutes – though you feel you have just run a marathon – so you have to be able to get in position, get the most cooperation from the child, get great shots. At times, this has to be done very quickly, BUT you cannot make the child feel they are being rushed.

Know your subjects – With children, you must expect the unexpected. At different ages children are capable of doing different things. The more you know what they typically do during some of these stages, the better images you are going to capture. And the happier you make your clients – which, in turn, makes you financially happy.

During a session photographing children you can get a variety of poses, expressions and antics. In no other field of photography are you liable to get such variety. The more you learn about little ones the better child photographer you will be. Children are not just children until they become adults -they come in all sizes. Between four months and four years you can place them into quite a few categories: 4-6 mos, 6-12 mos, 12-18 mos, 18-24 mos, and then you can lengthen out the age span. Awareness of these ages are needed to help you – the photographer – be aware of the limitations children (especially little ones) have.

Listening to the parent can help toward a successful session. You can learn specific things about their child that will make it or break it: Are they afraid of certain things or sounds? What are their special likes? Do they like books? How comfortable are they with a stranger approaching them? You do NOT want to spook a little one; the scheduled time may not allow for you to win their confidence.

Be ready with that camera when you first introduce something new -you do not get a second chance to get first reactions!

In most areas of photography a tripod is great for sharp photos. However with child photography you do not always have such a luxury. Once they reach the moving around stage, a tripod limits your ability to capture expressions and poses. Be mindful of your camera settings – keep that shutter speed fast enough to prevent blurring – and be ready to move quickly!

Child photography allows for close-up portraits as well as the child engaged in some activity – taking their socks off – in a box / tub with toys – climbing on or out of something. There is really no limit. As you continue to gain experience in working with children of various ages you will become more adept at learning what typically works with different age groups.

Child photography is a challenge – but don’t worry sometime it turns into children photography. Mom has twins – big brother / little sister – maybe three little cousins. The list goes on! Imagine two sister and they both have triplets! Other than the obvious difficulty of getting multiple little subjects in any semblance of position, conducive to a memorable photo you need to bring everyone’s eyes to a central focal point. Tricky, but not impossible. Adding something NEW to catch their attention, at the moment you press the shutter, can work. Use this sparingly, because when child photography turns into children photography getting all their attention on the same thing is quite a feat. The beauty of digital is no limits to the exposures you take and you can take a quick peek on the spot.

Parents can be quite helpful during the photo session. Children often are more confident with a parent nearby. Also, do not overlook the value of older brother and sisters. They have a relationship with the little one like no one else! Often they can get their little brother or sister to giggle, make faces, hold things and a host of other things that may be exactly what you need. Plus, you have the opportunity of including more subjects in the photos, which translates into a larger photo package for the customer!

As you advance in child photography you will want a lighting setup and a backdrop. A three light setup – consisting of a main light fill light and a background light – is ideal. However if you are just beginning you can do great photography with a lot less. Experiment, and add as needed. If you are using a backdrop keep the child at least four feet from the backdrop (if possible). This eliminates shadows and prevents the backdrop from competing with your subject.

Take your act on the road – You can do child photography at the park – on the beach – in the backyard, just as easily as in a studio or home – maybe more so – and nature will take care of the lighting for you, as long as you select open shade.

Items to have on hand: Depending on the ages and whether you are shooting indoors or outdoors you need a supply of items to catch and keep their interest and that look great in a photo: rattles feather dusters soft toys dolls hats mirrors a telephone (the bigger the better) a big whistle duplicate toys (for twins & overly competitive little ones) treats & snacks

About the Author

Did you like this article? Interested in Dominating Digital Photography? Well now you can by reading this Digital Photography Tutorial…what are you waiting for?

All About Classic Portrait

Classical (as in Contemporary) Portraiture

My Guest Writer: Stan P. Cox II

Classical (as in Contemporary) Portraitures, Ultra-Conservative, Stiff & Staid Portraiture

I fell in love with the Old Dutch Masters paintings way back when I was “knee-high to a grasshopper”, mostly because of the way they depicted light and shadow. I’m particularly drawn to the chiaroscuro style, or what might be referred to today as ‘Low-key’ portraits.

Of course, I have no way of judging the accuracy of the Master’s portraits, as far as the actual countenance or expressions of the subjects, but looking at them, you get the feeling they are more than accurate. More than simply recording a likeness, these guys painted in some real personality! And, of course, it is partly because of their uncanny ability to disclose the genuine personalities of the subjects of their portraits, that their works are revered even today.

Some of the other reasons for the extreme success of the Dutch Masters works include their beautiful interpretation of the way light and shadow interplay to reveal forms, animals, places and people common to our experience. And their techniques in applying colors and texture to their canvases.

As a modern, contemporary portrait artist, working in Light and Shadow, (photography), my goals are to 1) show my subjects in the best light, 2) portray them honestly, so the viewer gets a sense of their personality, and 3) make them look better in the finished portrait than in real life!

I’m sure that at least for the commissioned portraits, the goals of the Old Masters were identical to mine!

When I studied photography and portrait lighting, I learned about Classical, or “Rembrandt” lighting, (along with a bunch of other stuff!). So, as my personal tastes run that way, I’ve always considered myself a “Classical” Portrait Artist.

The other day, I had a client call asking about my studio portrait sessions, and said they wanted something different from what they had done back in their home country. What they had was “very classical, and formal”, they told me. I didn’t know quite what to make of that, but I was sure I could do something different from what they had, if I knew what they had..exactly. They came to the studio and we talked further.

While waiting for them to arrive, I was thinking about my concept of “Classical Portraiture”. I really see photography as painting with light and shadow. I favor the medium to high ratios from highlight to shadow in my portraits, and the classical style of lighting. I think it’s very flattering. I always recommend to my clients that they wear solid colors, or very low-contrast prints. And keep all the colors in the same tone range.

Again, I think of myself as a Classical Portrait Artist, and so I was wondering what could this client, or anyone for that matter, object to in portraits that are beautifully lit in a flattering way, and are constructed to make them look better than in real life?

Turns out the client didn’t have any examples with them to show me, so I have no idea how they were lit….but I can tell you this: It’s about the POSING! Apparently they had been to a studio back home where they were sat down together, facing straight ahead, hands on thighs, and I assume in formal dress, and photographed that way.

I can tell you from the short experience I had meeting these people so far, (their session is scheduled for next week), what that was, was not a portrait! And I can see why they want something different.

It’s true that a high number of Old Masters Portraits feature their subjects in static, rather stiff poses, but even so, that certainly isn’t the case with most of their expressions! The reasons for the stiff poses include the fact that many of the subjects were noblemen of various ranks, and the poses suited their, (at least imagined), dignity…

Of course, when the ‘Classical” portraits were being painted, they were ‘contemporary’ for their time. So, I am putting forth the definition of “Classical Portraiture” as portraiture that adheres to the Classical goals: Beautiful Lighting, Flattering Views, Personality, and a finished presentation more beautiful than the real thing!

Contemporary Classical Portraiture then, adheres to the classical ideals, and in doing so, takes advantage of the wider range of socially accepted expressions, and connections within couples and families, even co-workers relationships, when developing poses.

I say developing poses, because, most often, I find that when I give just a little direction to people, they will find the most natural-for-them pose. And what that does is to allow the individual to express their own body language, which is a revealing aspect of personality. And in any case, when the subject is comfortable, they are more naturally ‘themselves’.

When I was first trying to make a living as a full-time portrait photographer, I was doing a lot of promotions where I would give a short portrait session, and a free print for a small registration fee. These sessions were 15 minutes, and I would literally grab people by the arms and move them into a position! I would push on their shoulder to get the right angle, make them cross their legs even if they never did that…. I had to in order to get it done. But I was forcing poses that weren’t necessarily even close to natural for the individuals.

I was lighting them beautifully! Often people would say how much better they came out than they ever expected! And I’m guessing now, that had a lot to do with the way they were posed! They didn’t expect them to come out very well because they were posed in a way unnatural for them. Good pose maybe, but just not natural for them. Now days I still hear many wonderful expressions of how beautiful my clients’ portraits turn out, and how much they love them, but I haven’t heard the part about not expecting them to!

The biggest difference is that when people have a great experience during the creation process, they fell good about it, and expect good results! What I do hear quite a bit is, (usually the husband say at the end of the portrait session), “That was a lot more enjoyable than I expected it to be!” And I love hearing that! Often I’m told, “You made that fun! We really had a good time!” Guess how the portraits turned out…

Out of an average of 90 exposures per portrait session, most clients “must have” 30. Generally that is 30 different poses, groupings and variations. You can bet that’s a lot better than what I used to get with the 15 minute promos! True I take one to two hours on portrait creation these days, but it’s well worth it! Both the client and I have a much more enjoyable time with the process, and that has more value than I can tell you! We get far better results, the client is happy, and that makes for better sales! And of course that leads to referrals.

Is there a place for the Ultra-conservative, stiff, staid and boring, “Formal” “Classical” portraiture? Well, I guess there must be! What comes to my mind is those life-size painted scenes with Ma & Pa Kettle with cutouts for people to put their faces in and have a picture taken. But obviously my client I mentioned earlier had been to a studio producing just that kind of photography, and they probably aren’t the only ones! But in my opinion, photographs of that nature are for novelty purposes only. They certainly don’t fit my definition of a Portrait!

About My Author:

About the author: Stan P. Cox II runs a Portrait and Commercial photography studio in Honolulu, Hawaii, and has been a professional Hawaii photographer for 31 years. His web address is: http://www.ParamountPhotography.com This article may be freely distributed if this resource box stays attached.