I recently hosted a number of Mommy & Me Photography classes and had so much fun teaching tips and tricks to a group of moms who wanted to learn how to take quality photos of their kids. When setting up these classes, I stressed that no fancy equipment was necessary. The only prerequisite was an interest to learn and eagerness to apply the new skills instantly with hands-on guidance by me. Throughout the class I reinforced the process composing a great image by thinking of background, position and light. At the end of one particular class I was asked “What do I do when there is nothing around and the sun is really bright?” My first thought was the beach. With summer quickly approaching I wanted to provide my top 3 beach photography tips that will improve your images instantly.
A beach provides a variety of frame worthy photo opportunities, however it is not short in photography challenges. Depending on the time and location a beach can be crowded, which causes cluttered backgrounds and not so flattering beach goers. As you see in the images below my background is clutter free and celebrates the sand, surf and sky.
Tip #1: Get Low
When working with clients or even my own child you will find me constantly moving into various positions to capture the right angle. Being in a squat or even laying down provides a unique perspective. On a crowded beach you could also use this “low” position to your advantage by minimizing the amount of “clutter” in the background. In the image of the child throwing the rocks I actually used a waterproof go-pro camera, which is a fun creative tool to use at the beach. You can even allow your kids to participate in taking images and capture memories from their perspective.
Tip #2: Details
Detail images really enhance the story of a beach vacation or day trip. Those little things that might only happen at the certain time in life, for example, baby toes in the water, sand on a toddler’s face, a special toy car that is brought everywhere they go. A detail that when you look back marks a certain time and fond memory.
Tip #3: Light (morning, mid-day and evening) Light is one of the most important elements of photography. As a professional photographer I am constantly looking for the best light when working on-location with a client. Capturing the light correctly will transform a good image to great. You might not have the opportunity to be on the beach at the ideal morning or evening light, but you can still take great images during the mid-day sun.
Utilize a sun umbrella, sun tent or even a hat to soften the light on a child’s face and prevent them from squinting and/or having a harsh shadow on their face.
Move around your subject to test where the best light is falling, start with the sun at your back.
Always take more than one image, as soon as you stop that is when a child will crack a smile or make a cute face.
This year has been full of fun and exciting projects. When I was building this post I couldn’t believe all that I accomplished during the past year. I landed my first magazine cover, which was a huge bucket list item for me. Lifestyle photography was a large part of my assignments this year and I was happy to capture images for families and incorporate this style of photography to my new big project, Make & Taste blog. Make & Taste has also brought on food photography assignments and I’m so happy I can apply both styles for one purpose. I’m looking forward to what 2017 will bring and grateful for all your support along the way. The below work is a small snippet of my favorite images over the year.
This week I wanted to demonstrate some quick editing tips to show you how a great image can turn into an amazing image. I recall one of my photography school instructors quoting Ansel Adams “You don’t take an image, you create an image”, which struck a cord with me because I believe most people click the button, download and share with family and friends. Editing an image enhances what is already there. So before you hit the share button, take a few minutes and edit.
The image below was taken by a friend of mine, who is not a professional photographer, but has been shooting for a number of years and is always working on improving his photography skills. When he showed me this image I thought it would be perfect for this edit demonstration. I knew the image would benefit from a few simple adjustments. My goal was to bring out the texture of the back wall, decrease the highlights on the toddler, since it was a bit overexposed, and a simple crop to remove the grass and straighten out the composition. Watch the video below to see the step by step edit!
LIGHTROOM (full desktop version used)
Snapseed is an app I often use to edit images taken on my phone. I wanted to use the same image to demonstrate the simple edits one can make to enhance a photo.
I recently had the opportunity to photograph Baby K and her family. Here are a few newborn lifestyle images, as well as sibling interactions, captured during their session. Watching these two grow up is going to be so much fun.
Many of my clients ask for advice on what to wear during a photo shoot. I alway have two pieces of advice for a family, couple, maternity, and children’s photo shoot.
Coordinate but don’t Match. You want to display individual personalities and have colors be cohesive vs the same color. When you break up the color scheme with patterns and tones, the image is visually more appealing. The above mood board is an example of this point. The pink dress compliments the various shades of blue found in the dress, polo and button down. The lighter color of the button down also helps to break up the other colors.
Be Comfortable. If you are comfortable during the photo shoot, it will show in the images. You want the experience to be positive and being comfortable is key. If you don’t enjoy wearing dresses or your husband never wears a suit, photo shoot day is not the time to break out these items.
You have made an investment in both your time and money to capture images and memories of you and your loved ones, so working with your photographer prior to the photo shoot is important. Other factors to consider when dressing for your photo shoot are: location, weather and time of day.
Here is some additional Spring inspiration for Children and Maternity Portrait Sessions:
Nicole Bedard Photography is now offering Mini Sessions!!! Learn more and book your session by clicking on the image below