How to take better candid photos….{Loudoun County Photographer}

So I promised you some tips and tricks on how to take better photos this year and I want to continue what I started a couple days ago with some tips for using those pocket point and shoot cameras everyone has now.  I’m not ignoring those of you that ventured into the DSLR thing, but I do assume if you went for a camera with those kinds of features, you have an interest in photography or you have played around a bit and are already researching how to improve your photos.  A lot of what I’ll talk about this year will also relate to you, though, so ignore my stuff if it’s beneath your capability, but feel free to email me more technical questions also and I’m happy to address it in a future blog post.

The thing I want to talk about today is perspective in your photos.  The little pocket cameras are great and I see folks all the time trying to hold them at arms length in front of themselves with fingers on the edges and push the little button at the same time.  (I don’t know if the stance is that important, I just get a giggle out of folks who hold the cameras out so far in from of them like that sometimes)  As you can tell, I’m a DSLR snob, LOL.  I don’t get the “frame the photo in the LCD” thing, but I know that’s what most point and shoots do.  I’m a viewfinder girl, always have been….

The problem with the form of holding most folks use for point and shoots is that very few folks are straight – seriously, stop laughing.  I mean, you don’t hold the camera perfectly straight, or know how to angle it so the photo is attractive vs. making someone have a VERY long face…or distort their bodies in an odd way.  It is a minor adjustment to make, but pay attention to how you hold the camera and then see your results – if you hold it straight on, your perspective of your subject is one way, but if you angle it about 20 degrees it’s different.  Angle it more severely and you have changed completely how someone’s face is shaped in a straight on portrait.

For me, perspective is usually an issue of my not getting low or high enough in my photos cause I’m short, but for the point and shoots it’s different – and it all starts with your stance and how level you hold that camera (or not).

But another thing to remember, if you are shooting kids for example – get down on the floor with them!  If you take the photo from above, you will distort their features.  Cute has limits, know what I mean?  Unless you want your kids to look like Fred Flintstone.  Shooting from above has it’s time and place, but with little kids you need to get down on their level – so break out the ibuprofin and get down on the floor, folks.  It’s a whole new world down on their level.

That’s today’s installment of taking better candids.  I look forward to more of these, and hope you’ll help me by giving me ideas of things you don’t like about your own photos so I can help you understand why and how it happened, and how to fix it.  Who knows, I might even buy a point and shoot someday again and be able to totally relate, LOL!

As a plug to my business – if you don’t subscribe to my newsletter you didn’t get the info on some GREAT specials I’m running right now for Business Portraits, Extra print credit for bookings in Jan/February, Wedding Bookings for 2010, and my soon to be release AMAZING Class of 2011 Senior Special.  Things are ramping up right now and I want to be YOUR photographer, so email me at patty@pattyschuchman.com  to get my last newsletter before the specials run out!

Also, you can always find my latest pricing at www.pattyschuchmanseniors.com/Guide – an online brochure for my business prices, offerings and things to consider when booking a session.

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