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.
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I started my photography career over 9 years ago after walking past a digital photography school for a year in Georgetown, D.C. While at school I enjoyed taking studio lighting classes, on-location portraits, wedding photography and a lot of computer classes. After graduation I started my photography career in the sports and fitness industry. I traveled for two main clients, the largest being Reebok. For years I captured fast action-packed sporting events, lifestyle fitness photography and portraits. (view portfolio here) It was no surprise that once I had my son I ventured into family lifestyle photography and captured the action of babies, toddlers and children during family photo sessions. Those who have kids understand that kids are always on the move.
This spring my son started exploring different sports. It wasn’t until I stepped back onto a sports field that I felt a full circle moment, action sports photography was back in my life. This time around there was a big difference than in previous sports coverage. I was not out to capture the critical winning point, pain of defeat or strain of moving a big weight. My goal was to capture the experience of a child taking on a sport that was new to them. The thrill of kicking a ball correctly, friendships being made, the smile of pure joy running to a base and/or climbing to a new height on a rock wall. I’m excited to capture all these new discoveries and document the experience of sports from where it all begins. Below is the start of capturing this type of sports photography. Stay tuned for more adventures. If you have a sports photography project that needs a professional touch, please email me at Nicole@nbphotog.com
Family photography is evolving to more than just the traditional portrait. It’s always nice to have a perfect portrait to look back on and reflect on a specific time and place, but what if you had high quality photos of how your family lived their daily lives. All the silliness, crying, climbing, jumping, spinning and running that makes up your everyday, sometimes chaotic life. Yes, it’s not always glamorous and many times it’s ridiculous, but that is real life. We all have camera phones and try to capture those fleeting moments but with low light or fast moving subjects the pictures never become worthy of a second or third look. I know I have had moments when I thought, “now this is a photo” and I was holding my child on one hip, carrying multiple bags and then trying to open the door to the house. Ridiculous, but if I had that image now, I would love to see how I was “living” during that stage of my life. Maybe ten years from now I would reflect back to that old house or my son wearing his favorite shoes or hat, so many memories captured in one image.
This new session offering is called “A Slice Of Life” and will be a 1 hour session and cost $325. Included in this cost is 5 digital images of your choice, photography time, editing and a private album to view, order and share. This is a spin off of a session many photographers offer called “Day In The Life”, which requires 4-6 hours of your time and over $1,000.00. I believe that so many families would cherish these photos that can be attainable during a “A Slice Of Life” session. So who’s ready to capture all the “fun” that makes your family unique? Have questions? I would love to hear from you. Email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out my portfolio of “A Slice Of Life” work
This family mini session was full of fun, dropping temperatures and a lot of wind, but you wouldn’t know it from the photos we were able to capture in just a 25 minute mini session. The chosen location was full of unique backdrops which made for great photo set ups. This fall to winter shoot was a perfect way to kick off the holiday photo season. I had scouted the location prior to the photo session so I had a general plan of where we were going to start and with the 25 minutes timeline the location had all these different areas to discover only a few feet away from each other. Did I mention the wind? The wind coming off the Connecticut river was pretty intense but luckily the sun peeked out at the end of the session to warm things up and end on a fun and smiling photo session.
Interested in booking a mini session? I would love to capture fun photos of your family. Email me at Nicole@nbphotog.com to learn more, ask questions and book your session now.
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.