Tuesday, January 5, 2010

WFMW: Having fun with photos

Hey, this week is the Works for Me Wednesday backward edition, so not only do I have some ideas today, but a question, as well.

If you want advice on how to take great photos, I'm sure you already read one of the many blogs by expert photographers.

But if you are looking for a couple of tips from someone who usually takes mediocre photos and is shocked when her photos actually turn out well, then you have come to the right place.

I've been taking lots of photos the past month. And I have to say no one was more surprised than I was when a lot of them turned out really well!

Here are my completely amateur tips for taking better-than-blah photos:

1. Candy.
If your photos involve children, do not hesitate to bribe them with candy if they cooperate. Feel free to up the ante if they continue to smile for additional poses.

NOT ENOUGH CANDY:

2. Natural light.
Rearrange the furniture. Take down the curtains. Go outside. Do whatever is necessary to get as much natural light behind you as possible.



3. Turn off the flash.
You will need lots of light so the camera shutter won't stay open super long, which causes the photos to be blurry. (I'm sure I could use some technical term like aperture or ISO at this point, but I can't remember what those mean.)


4. Keep shooting.
We took lots of posed photos, but some of the best ones were taken without any preparation, "smile" warning or countdown.



5. Get close.

OK, closer.



Now, closer.


A little closer.


6. Have fun.
Sometimes the best photos are the ones where we aren't in a traditional pose.



7. Crop.
Crop like crazy. I use either iPhoto for simple editing or Photoshop if I want to try a tiny bit more editing.
BEFORE:


AFTER:



8. Increase the color.
You can do this using the "effects" button in iPhoto. Or switch to black and white for a cool effect.

BEFORE:


AFTER:





9. Remove any unwanted blemishes.
The "retouch" button in iPhoto can work miracles. It not only removes unwanted shelf-hanging brackets on the wall (see below), but can work magic with blemishes on the face. (IF you have any. NO ONE in our family would possibly have any blemishes though. Ahem.)

BEFORE:


AFTER:



I have been taking my photos with a very simple Canon point-and-shoot camera, which has been working for me.

But this week is a reverse edition of Works For Me Wednesday where I get to ask YOU for advice. I have been thinking about buying a better camera and I would love to get your input.

What higher end, but not super expensive camera would you recommend that I could use to improve my photography? I also would love to hear your tips for taking better photos.

Go ahead and give me some advice! Then head on over to We are THAT Family for more Works For Me Wednesday tips.


Don't miss a post. Subscribe in a reader!

11 comments:

Jenny said...

I LOVE my Nikon D40! Seriously, even on Auto it takes amazing pictures!

Michelle said...

Those are awesome tips! And for sure something I could do! Cute family pictures by the way. I just got a Canon Rebel and am in love with it, it was kind of pricey but I got it at Costco on sale and it came with an extra lens and the carrying case so I splurged.

bethieboo said...

Emily, you are the blogging genius...I haven't been here in awhile and I LOVE your heading with the picture of you hanging on to the retreating Alayna! Hilarious...great photo tips, too...I can use all I can get...our point and shoot (Kodak) is always blurry and I'm beginning to wonder if I have some shaking disease..but Daniel's pics don't come out much better...do you think the natural light and flash off really will help with the blurriness...that part made you sound a little more than just a mom trying to push a button!!!! I haven't tried importing pics to my blog on my new mac, but our old computer gave me fits after i did the initial ones...hmmm. Anyway, keep up the good work!

The Prudent Homemaker said...

I have a Nikon d-40 with the kit lens. If I had to do it over I would have bought the body seperate and the lens that gets more close-up (I forgot which one it's called; I'm doing okay with the kit one and I can't see spending the money for the rest.) Also, shop online. My husband found mine for a great price.

Another thought, since you have photoshop--adjust the brightness and contrast (but mostly the brightness) on your photos. Some of your photos are a bit dark. You can EASILY fix that in photoshop.


You can see my photos on my site. Most were taken with my Nikon, but many (including my header) were taken with a point and shoot digital camera (before I had the Nikon).


My other advice--study what you like! It will give you more ideas. There are some great photography blogs out there. It's like studying to paint a picture. The more you recognize WHY you like certain pictures, the more you can incorporate those things into your own photos.

Jenny-Jenny said...

Love Love Love the tips! Great photos too! I thought you had those pics done professionally! Good work!

Kent N said...

As you know I'm a big fan of Cannon products. Someday a Canon D series camara would be great purchase.

Jane Anne said...

This is such a good post. I enjoyed your tips and especially all of the wonderful photos that went a long with it.

If I had the cash for it, I would get a Cannon EOS Rebel.

Your family is beautiful. I know you know it but I had to say it. :)

Michelle said...

Another Canon fan here! We love our Rebel and it is really user friendly for a beginner to DSL. I'm still working on learning the manual settings, but the rest were mastered pretty easily.

Vanessa Washburn said...

I love my Cannon Rebel. If your looking to buy a nice camera you can usually find a body pretty cheap on craigslist, then you can spend money on different lenses.

Heather said...

I love my Canon Rebel. It's worth the money, I promise you!

Elizb said...

Bob could tell you more about our camera. He loves it!

So, it looked like Everyday Dad needed more candy in the first pic! :)

Related Posts with Thumbnails