Lockdown doesn’t mean that you have to miss out on capturing your little one’s milestones. Since no professional photographers are currently available for photo shoots I have decided to do a series of blogposts to take your everyday photos to the next level, starting with this fruity shoot to show you some basic home photography tips and tricks.
In Malaysia we are almost done with week 4 of ‘lockdown’ or also known as ‘Movement Control Order’. During the past 4 weeks I have seen so many events (that we usually photograph) happen. From a couple getting married in their own garden (with cardboard boxes as their guests), new babies making their arrival and even the coolest drive thru birthday parties. It’s heartwarming to see the positivity and creativity all over the world.
My little one will be turning one tomorrow and while planning a cake-smash shoot for him I realised how disappointed a few mums must be, not being able to capture special milestones during this lockdown period. So I decided to create a series of mini projects to help YOU capture and document these special moments all by yourself!
First things first! Before I focus on themed projects I want to introduce you to MY 5 GOLDEN RULES FOR TAKING BETTER PICTURES! For this project you will only need your kids’ favourite fruits! For the purposes of this blog I used an iPhone S6+ and did minor retouching in Lightroom Mobile. You can have a look at the pictures taken with a professional camera here.
It is imperative to choose a spot with good lighting, especially when you use a smartphone. 99% of the time I opt for natural light. My go to spots will be any shaded outside area or a room with a big window. Try to avoid direct sunlight, dark areas and any source of artificial light (anything that has a switch). The examples below (left taken in bright sunlight) shows you the difference between harsh shadows and soft light.
2. Cohesive backgrounds
Another important rule is to always check your background for ‘noise’! Take away or adjust objects that might distract attention from your main focus. I try to remove any bright coloured objects and add neutral coloured objects. Some examples are plants, wooden toys and furniture. Have a look at the images below and notice the busy/colourful background on the left versus the cohesive plain background on the right.
3. Colour Palette
When styling a shoot try and stick to a colour palette but try to avoid overly matching outfits. Keep your environment in mind when planning outfits and choose complimenting colours. To achieve a cohesive look (without every member of the family wearing blue jeans and a white shirt 😆) try and choose 4 – 6 complimenting colours for the outfits. Pinterest is a very helpful source for inspiration and I alway keep a board on hand with a few examples when doing a shoot – here is an example.
4. Tell a story
Have you noticed the emotional effect some photographs have on you? Especially photographs capturing real feelings? My “in the moment shots” are usually the shots my clients love most! To achieve these candid moments your subject will have to do some kind of activity (even if it is staged). In the example below I photographed my boy eating watermelon on our wooden deck, instead of using his high chair. Not only was the light outside so much better than my kitchen, but the the background was cohesive and him being able to explore, resulted in ‘cutesy’ and emotional captures!
Rules 3 and 4 goes hand in hand! Your angles wil make the story you tell stronger, try and make your Angles purposeful so that they add weight to the story. Break each little scene into angles to portray progression. Feel free to play around with different angles (straight forward, top view, side view, close up etc) to create more drama.
I ALWAYS use these 5 rules! With my next project I will show you how exactly how I incorporate them in my themed mini-shoots. Feel free to comment with any questions and requests you would like me to cover 🙂