“Autumn is a second spring, when every leaf is a flower.” – Albert Camus

I love autumn. It’s less loud than summer with all its hot weather, shouty sunshine and show-off flowers. It’s more earthy than the pink pastels of spring. And is sure beats winter. 

It also photographs oh so well! 

Over last couple of weeks we have run a special Autumn Photography Bootcamp - open to all! - all the photos below were taken by our Bootcamp participants and students.

While the ideas below should give you a great starting point to photograph your Autumn beautifully, we covered all of these in great detail in our bootcamp, explaining the techniques, showing side by side examples and more.

The Bootcamp is now finished but the materials will be available to the public for another few weeks if you want to get access to them and or be alerted to more bootcamps in the future, click here.

8 ideas for having fun with your family and photograph your Autumn beautifully



1. Go for an autumnal family walk.

I mean, a no brainer really. Don your best wellies and waterproofs and take the family out. The youngest ones will certainly find plenty of sticks, leaves, bugs and mud to collect, logs to jump off, trees to climb on, dens to build and the older generations will appreciate the scenery and the colours. Win-win-win

Things to think about:
  • Consider your surroundings and how you experience them and then take a long hard look at how your camera sees them.
  • If you want the wider scenery, reduce your zoom, if you want detail or portraits - zoom in
  • Consider your angles carefully - instinct tells us to place the subject in the middle of the frame and the horizon line to divide the frame neatly in half. Fight your instinct. Your instinct is wrong. Instead consider dividing your frame more along the one-third / two-thirds line with one third being given to the ground and the rest to the trees. 
  • Get low to the ground to use the fallen leaves to help bring additional texture into the image. 
  • Turn around - especially if your light is quite strong - the same scene from two different directions can look entirely different! Light will make WAY more difference than you think. 

Photo by Olivia BIanchi Bazzi

Photo by Jo Napier

Photo by Hannah Slater


2. Kick’em high and  throw'em far

An all time fave of all the kids I know. Build a leaf pile and get your kids to annihilate it by trying to kick it as high as they can or just run through it or have a good old-fashioned leaf fight. I DID mention the waterproofs at the start of this article... Wit younger kids, you can just throw them above them as they sit down and capture a bit of a leaf rain.

Things to think about:
  • Consider your background – you need to make sure your leaves mid flight stand out against it. Look for either simply sky or a darker, uniform background with which they might contrast. Backlighting them might help to bring them out of the background too.
  • Where is your light coming from? If you have strong light behind your subject, the leaves are likely to be backlit beautifully, but your subjects may be in their own shadow. With soffer light from an overcast source you will have a more forgiving scene. 
  • Go for full length or crop to just the feet sending the leaves fly from a close up
  • Move around and capture the action from multiple sides – go for a side view or from behind or have them aim their kicks in your direction ( just keep your camera safe)
  • Experiment with angles – try different vantage points – shoot from the ground pointing your camera upwards or from standing height, OR if you find the right set up – perhaps from above?
  • If you can control your camera, go for fast shutter speed to capture the flying leaves sharp or slow it down  for a bit of motion blur
  • For some variety, shoot from below, with leaves falling right down on you.

Photo by Jennifer Thomas 

Photo by Carly Morgan

Photo by Hannah Slater


3. Use the leaves on the ground as a colourful, seasonal carpet 

Things to think about:
  • Where is the light? If you’re getting your kids down on the ground and you’re in plain sunshine at noon, your kids will keep their eyes firmly shut. Opt for some shade instead. If your kids are still still struggling to keep their eyes open, play a game with them where you ask them to keep their eyes shut until you tell them. You could either make it on 1,2,3 or go for some bonus giggles and insert a silly word when you’re meant to say three.
  • Be careful what else is on the ground. I once got my daughter to lie down on a carpet of leaves and only discovered later she was inches away from some dog poo that was hiding among the colourful foliage.
  • Look for trees that are dropping colourful leaves rather than just brown if you can
  • Experiment with composition – tight crop or a wider image? Subject in the centre or side of the frame? Horizontal or vertical?
  • Change the vantage point – with your kids on the ground, get down next to them and photograph from the ground level.

Photo by Kerry Anderson

Photo by Namra Wasm

Photo by Colette Poore


4. Single out a beautiful leaf and photograph it from different angles and against different backgrounds.

Things to think about:
  • Light will have a huge impact on the way the leaf will look depending on the kind of light you have ( direct and intense or soft and diffuse) but also where it’s coming from – front, side or back light?
  • You have a lot of options when it comes to backgrounds – place it against a similar colour background or go for contrast – both colour and textural, keep it ‘in nature’ or take it home with you
  • Play with camera angles – it doesn’t have to be just ‘from above’ – unless it’s been flattened like a pancake, it should have a little curl to it which could help you show off its texture.
  • Experiment with different placements within the frame, go for both vertical and horizontal, crop in to it or leave a generous amount of negative space
  • Can you get your kids to accessorise wuth the leaves? 

Photo by Lindsey Gaut

Photo by Hannah Slater

Photo by Emily Robinson


5. Have a good puddle splash!

Wellies? Check. Waterproofs? Check. Let's go! 

Things to think about:
  • What you want from a good puddle splash is one thing - and that’s a crown or water splashing out and being frozen in time and space with your camera. To get that, I am sorry, but if you want to get a really good picture of that, you will again, need to get very low on the ground.
  • Go horizontal : by placing the camera nice and low and pointing it at your subject, parallel to the ground, you are building in depth in your image which will allow for the crown of water to truly stand out. If you shoot from CAH ( comfortable Adult Height) - your shooting angle will be pointing downwards, which means you will get that crown agains the ground and it won’t make the best of images. 
  • Go fast - if you can control it, make sure your camera has a good shutter speed. If you can shoot in shutter priority or manual, aim ofr 1/500s or faster. If you don't switch your camera over to Sports mode or similar.
  • Finally - again, experiment with your light direction - especially if the sun has come out - it can make a world of difference


Photo by Hannah Louise Andrews

Photo by Sarah Collins


6. Look, really look into a puddle!

Puddles are not just for splashing in you know! They are also magical mirrors into the underworld


Things to think about:
  • Even a tiny puddle can look great if you angle your camera correctly. And by correctly, I mean again, very very low, pretty much on the ground ( just make sure to protect it from the wet).
  • You want to get your camera seeing from right at the edge of puddle to create that illusion of infinite water. By using a short focal length ( aka - not zooming in at all) you can stretch that puddle and still fit a lot of your subject in. With longer focal lengths ( aka - zoom in) you can bring more of the detail in. 
  • Light direction matters! Walk around your puddle and take test shots from a couple of different directions to make sure you get the light right.  If the light is behind them, you may get a great reflection of the sky, but their reflection will look shady and muddy. If the light will be behind you, you can get an almost perfect, mirror-like reflection of your subject in full colour.

Photo by Sarah Collins

Photo by Jenn Thomas

Photo by Kessia Kowalska


7. Create a flat lay - seasonal art

Flay lay is when you arrange a number of different elements on a surface and photograph from above. It’s great for showing different colours and textures and including other autumnal elements too.

  • Think of a theme or concept for your flat lay – perhaps the same leaf type with different colours, or same colour, different shapes?
  • Consider the colour and texture of your surface – to contrast or complement your subject
  • Your light is crucial here – you want soft, diffused light which will not distract from your subjects
  • Think about how you will use the space – will you fill the frame with leaves or leave a good amount of negative space?
  • Will you keep the leaves as they are or turn them into art or have a little fun drawing faces onto them with your kids?

Photo by Olivia BIanchi Bazzi

Photo by Namra Wasm

Photo by Lucy Pritchard


8. PUT IT ALL IN A COLLAGE

Finally, take all the awesomeness and put it together - side by side! 

  • Pick a selection of wider and more detail shots to end up with a complete story
  • Ist there a colour or a theme that unifies them?
  • Many little ones or a few, more carefully chose big ones? 
  • Good balance of colour and texture, evenly distributed through the frame.

Photo by Marie Devine

Want more autumn photography advice? 

Get access to all our Autumn Photography Bootcamp materials, including 4 bonus lessons! Learn how to capture a great autumnal portrait, get ideas for rainy day photographs and even advice on your next camera or lens! 

By requesting access to the Autumn Bootcamp materias you agree to be contacted ( infrequently!) by Photography for Parents with our info, invitations to more free Photo Bootcamps and occasional seseasonal offers. 


Are you a parent? Do you have a camera? Will you be taking photos of your kids this summer? Then you've got to join our Summer Photo Project and our Summer Photo Bingo! 

Ice cream faces, muddy knees, sprinkler high jumps, beach days, park days, flower fields, paddling pools,  bike races, picknics in the park - SUMMER is all about fun for the little ones! Join in the fun with the camera and capture their summer beautifully!

We're here to help!

 

Join our FREE Summer Photo Project

and get clicking


✔️ weekly lessons with a wealth of tips and inspiration for photographing your family in summer

✔️ tips and techniques of how to capture these moments best ( how to use composition and your camera settings for the best impact )

✔️ brilliant Facebook group to keep you going through the summer

✔️ weekly Summer Photo Bingo challenge to help you focus and grow your photography

✔️ LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of photo inspiration for any camera, level and ability!



Wait, did you say BINGO?

Yup, a printable weekly sheet full of photo prompts for you or your kids to tick off to GUARANTEE a summer's worth of varied, fun, exciting images at the end of August. 

Parents love it, because it gives you something to focus on. Kids love it because - well - it's a bit like a game! 

'It's like a Mummy's treasure trail!'

If you join us, you  could be capturing photos like these: 


3 more reasons to join us: 


1. HANDS ON LEARNING

Because NOBODY learns just by watching. The format of the Summer project is very much about having a go - whether you're a complete beginner or further along in your photo journey. Every week will come with a specific photo challenge so you'll know exactly what to focus on - and have some fabulous photos to cherish at the end. 

2. PLENTY OF SUPPORT

You will be joining our dedicated FB group where you'll be able to share your photos, get advice, ask for help and get inspired by your fellow bootcampers.

3. IT'S FREE!

Free, no charge, gratis, no tie-ins, nothing. Just click on and join the fun! 

How to join us:

1. Click on one of the buttons below to be redirected to a registration page

2. Complete the registration  - if you are an existing or past student, you need to enter the email you already have registered with us. If you're new to us, you'll need to set up a learning profile on our site - don;t worry - it's free 🙂 

3. You'll be redirected to our learning pages instantly - jump right in ( and don't forget to join our Facebook group as well - there will be additional resources added there!) 

This category includes our current and past students on paying online courses as well as past bootcamp participants - in short those who already have an account registered on our Learning site.

It does NOT include those who just downloaded our freebies or took our self-paced email based courses.

If you're never attended any of our courses ( even if you joined our free email based course) this is a category for you. As part of the registration we will be creating you a brand new account on our learning pages which you'll need to access the material.

lets have some fun!


Fake smiles - be gone!

Awkward poses - no more! 

Boring photos - never again!

We're bringing the FUN back to photography!

THE BEST childhood photos are those that make you smile. The ones that want to brurst out of the frame for all the joy and happiness they spark. The ones that show TRUE emotions!

You know what I mean - belly laughs, not stilted half smiles,  armes spread with joy, little feet leaping off the ground, imagination and creativity at their best.

If 'Smile for Mummy!' is not working for you, we've got something else - a mini online photo course that's all about fun


✔️ we'll give you ideas for capturing genuine moments of fun and joy  (and ideas for fun things to try with different kids ages!) 

✔️ we'll give you tips and techniques of how to capture these moments best ( how to use composition and your camera settings for the best impact

✔️ we'll show you how to use body language, colour, props and storytelling to create photos that SCREAM fun

✔️ we'll talk to you about how to be in the moment and notice the loud and quiet joys in your children's lives

✔️ we'll encourage you to get in on the action and get into the photos yourself

 


photographing joy

starts Monday 27th May

AND IT'S FREE!

  • 5 daily lessons covering different ways of capturing the joy of childhood - from colour, movement, body language, light to storytelling, and more! 
  • Support Facebook group so you're never left to your own devices with unanswered questions
  • A CHANCE TO WIN our full flagship online Photography course! JUST for taking part!


Is this for you?

Are you a parent? Do you have a camera? Then the answer is YES

While our full paying courses cover both the technical and more compositional elements, our bootcamps are for anybody, of any ability! 

Because what you could be doing, is capturing photos like these: 


5 more reasons to join us: 


1. HANDS ON LEARNING

Because NOBODY learns just by watching. The format of the bootcamp is very much about having a go - whether you're a complete beginner or further along in your photo journey. Every day will come with a specific photo challenge so you'll know exactly what to focus on - and have some JOYFUL photos to cherish at the end. 

2. PLENTY OF SUPPORT

You will be joining our dedicated FB group where you'll be able to share your photos, get advice, ask for help and get inspired by your fellow bootcampers.

3. BABIES AND BEYOND

Maybe you have a baby, maybe your kids are at school - their smiles, their cuddles still melt your heart - you'll get to photograph both in our bootcamp

4. IT'S FREE!

Free, no charge, gratis, no tie-ins, nothing. We make no mystery of doing this bootcamp to show you how much fun you could have in our 'full' courses but there is absolutely no pressure to sign up! A tasty taster.

5. WIN OUR FLAGSHIP ONLINE COURSE!

Yes, you can win our Flagship online Photography course ( value £229) JUST for taking part. AT the end of the course we will draw a lucky winner who will get their pick of our online courses. It's that simple. 

How to join us:

1. Click on one of the buttons below to be redirected to a registration page

2. Complete the registration  - if you are an existing or past student, you need to enter the email you already have registered with us. If you're new to us, you'll need to set up a learning profile on our site - don;t worry - it's free 🙂 

3. Await confirmation email and get your camera ready for the course start! 

This category includes our current and past students on paying online courses as well as past bootcamp participants - in short those who already have an account registered on our Learning site.

It does NOT include those who just downloaded our freebies or took our self-paced email based courses.

If you're never attended any of our courses ( even if you joined our free email based course) this is a category for you. As part of the registration we will be creating you a brand new account on our learning pages which you'll need to access the material.

lets have some fun!

In the last post we explored a few different way in which you could approach photographing an egg. Today - we have a fewmore for you! 

This one egg is not like the other...

This composition principle can otherwise be called 'pattern disruption' but come on - doesn't mine just roll off the tongue? 

The idea is that as we look at anything, we are pre-wired to look out for things that might potentially be important to us, carry some information, or just be different enough from the rest to 'mean' something. 

So if you create a repeating pattern, and then replace one of the pattern elements with something else, you are drawing the viewer's attention to that particular thing, and that's what makes it stronger and makes it stand out. 

This photographic principle is really widely used - once you know it, you start noticing in lots of places! 


Strength in numbers:

If you want to highlight multiple subjects and not necessarily only draw attention to one single 'thing', you could consider grouping objects. There are generally three ways to do it : 

Like with like 

when your objects are pretty much the same - grouping them together can make for a more dynamic composition, especially if you set their 'sameness' against a contrasting backgound.

Opposites attract

We're going here for drawing attention to what makes the subjects different, while still showing they have commonalities - such as shape for instance! 

Alike but different:

when the subjects in question are 'nearly' the same, but not quite and it's those minute differences that make them interesting

Now, WHICH of the three approaches you choose depends entorely in the subjects you have and what's important to the story. It's fun to play around! 


The broken egg

'You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs' goes the old saying. 

As much as eggs are beautiful objects, ultimately, what we want from them is to be yummy. And to show that I'm afraid it will reguire us to break them. 

Here is something that food photographers know well - we respond more to photos of objects which display some sort of tension.

Maybe they promise some action and make us want to respond to it - like watching a drip of yolk bursting over the edge of the egg and about to make it's way down ( which makes us want to catch it.

Maybe they simply imply that something has happened that altered the state of the object, which makes our subconscious brain wonder - what happened? why? Like showing an egg that's a little craked - who did it? can we peel it now? what's hiding inside? 

Sometimes just a simple action of placing an instrument of 'threatened destruction' - like putting a knife next to an otherwise perfectly fine objects will create a response in our brain.

In short, when it comes to food photography, don;t be afraid to break a few eggs...


Have you read part 1 of our guide?

It's HERE - How to phhotograph an egg part 1


How did you like our little mini-egg series? And did it inspire you to capture some photos of your own? 

If so, you should DEFINITELY be intering our Easter Egg photo competition! Ends Monday !


PHOTO COMPETITION !!!

You have a chance for to win a place on one of our online photography courses! 


All you have to do is to take a photo of an egg ( any egg - chocolate, fried, hatching)  and post it to Instagram or on our Facebook Page , tagging us in, at any time between now and end of Monday 22nd April. 


You MUST tag us in (otherwise we won't know to include it in the draw) and hashtag  #photoparentsegg

 

The winner will be picked at random on Tuesday 23rd April

We have a little Easter treat for you!  There is no Easter without eggs and so today, we'll give you a little tutorial on how to photograph the humble egg.

In this, and a couple other tutorials following in the next few days, we'll be showing you a few differenet ways to capture THE EGG, paying attention to a number of different composition principles and style conventions. 

Today, we're giving you a few examples on how light can affect the way that your egg looks and how to achieve it without studio lights, constly props etc. 


Let's start simply: 

The minimalist egg

White egg ( mine was duck's ) on white plate, and white background. Pure simplicity. Nothing there to distract from the oval beauty of the egg. 

What I did:

I placed the egg and the other props by a window with indirect natural light coming in. That means, the sun was not directly opposite the window, so the light was gentle, rather than harsh. 

I used a white foamboard as a background placed on the table and put a simple white plate on it. Then I placed the egg on one of the edges of the plate and composed so that I could capture a fragment of the plate in such a way that the curve of the plate creates a partial frame, bringing the eye to the egg. 

All elements - the backdrop, the plate and the egg were white - allbeing in slightly different shades of white - this allowed me to create a minimalist, shades of white image that uses shapes as its main composition principle. 

I used solely natural light from the window - the gentle light created only gentle, wrap-around shadows which highlighted the eggy shape and made the egg look three dimensional rather than flat but were not too harsh at the same time. 

I experimented with reducing the shadows by bringing another foamboard to the side of the picture, but found that the added extra light didn't work out in this composition - it took too much of the shadow away and made the composition look flat. 

Important note on exposure. The images you are seeing are SOOC ( straight out of camera) = no editing beyond a gentle crop. To make sure I got the right look and the right exposure in this white on white on white image, I ended up overexposing by 2 exposure stops - otherwise the image was looking very ashen. I did that in manual, but if you're shooting in semi-auto modes, you can use the exposure compenation button. 


The drama egg

Just as our last photo relied on small and gentle shadows, this one takes full advantage of more dramatic light to highlight the egg's texture ( I just loved how freckly it was ) and shape. The shadows are deep and sharp, the backdrop inpenetrably black. The light shines and reflects of the shiny egg, giving it a bit of a sheen. 

What I did:

This is a tale of 3 black tshirts which I used to 'dress' my white foamboards. My egg was placed in virtually the same place as in the last picture, with the window by its side, slightly elevated compared to the plate I used previously. 

I then used the curtains to narrow down the beam of light coming onto the egg - I wanted the light to be coming from one direction only and since it was overcast and all I had was indirect light ( which worked so well in the previous image) - I needed a way to shape it a little. 

I dressed my whiteboards in the black Tshirts and placed one behind the egg and one on the side facing the light. By using a dark surface there, it meant that the light which would be hitting it from the window would be absorbed and not reflected back onto the egg, allowing me to shape the light more precisely. I used the third Tshirt to drape over a little box the egg was resting on. 

How is the egg staying up? Bluetac and a match placed strategically behind it. 

Composition wise, I used an approximation of the rule of thirds and allowed more space on the side the light was coming from. 

From exposure point of view, the same way as our cameras make white look ashen, they make black look a little more charcoal like. But I wanted black-black and a good contrast with the shiny part of the egg.  So I ended up underexposing by -1.7 stop to make it look just right. The image above is again unedited, straight out of camera. 


The double egg

This, to a degree is a version of the Drama egg from above. 

I used to intertwined forks to create a little seat for the egg and placed them on a shiny surface. I wanted an uninterrupted black background but to achieve it, I had to improvise. The only shiny black surface I could find in my house was the surface of the cooker. I used my black tshirts draped over my foamboards again, this time using 3 of them and creating a mini booth for the egg so that I could direct the light to come from one direction only to limit the glare on the cooker surface. 

I was careful to compose in a way that highlights the symmetry of the composition.

Exposure wise, I had to underexpose again to make sure my black background showed up as true black. 


I did perform one small edit after downloading the images from my camera. Due to the nature of my shiny surface ( - working cooker!) , I couldn't get away from the white markings ( to regulate hobs and temperature)  and they showed up in the original image. I used adjustment brush in Lightroom to get rid of them. See the photo of my set up and the  unedited image below - the white markings are showing in the bottom right part of the frame.

If you enjoyed this little round up of ways to photograph an egg, you'll be delighted to find out we have a couple more to come over the next few days! 


PHOTO COMPETITION !!!

You have a chance for to win a place on one of our online photography courses! 


All you have to do is to take a photo of an egg ( any egg - chocolate, fried, hatching)  and post it to Instagram or on our Facebook Page , tagging us in, at any time between now and end of Monday 22nd April. 


You MUST tag us in (otherwise we won't know to include it in the draw) and hashtag  #photoparentsegg

 

The winner will be picked at random on Tuesday 23rd April




“Did you SEE that Mummy! We can go an build a snowman! And play snowballs and …”

Here are out 10 top things to do if you want your snow photos to look beautiful.  Illustrated by our very own students photos!

Before you go anywhere – take steps to protect your camera.

Snow is water and water is your camera’s enemy so make sure you don’t let it into your camera. How? While there are some dedicated camera sleeves and protectors out there, a humble thin plastic bag wrapped around it will do the job just as well. Cling film will work too! Oh and remember that batteries deplete much faster in the cold so make sure your is charged fully and ideally, have a spare somewhere warm! ( like your pockets )

Change your White Balance to ‘cloudy’ or ‘shade’

Your camera doesn’t really understand pure white ( and pure black for that matter ). Because of that, it tries to bring it down to a pale shade of grey and we all know how attractive grey snow looks. If you leave it to its own devices, the effect will be greyish, blueish photos. Changing your White Balance ( WB) – warmifies the image, making it closer to how we perceive it. Where to find it? – Look for either a button with WB on it or a setting in your camera.

Overexpose.

I know, counter-intuitive, but hear me out. This is again down to the whole not understanding white thing and trying to bring it back to grey which essentially ‘dims’ the picture. Find a button on your camera with a +/- on it ( that’s your exposure compensation button) and use the scroll wheel ( if you’re on DSLR – this might differ for bridge cameras) to push the meter towards +1. Take a few test pictures to double check and adjust as necessary but you should find them looking better than on ‘correct’ setting. Just don’t forget to bring it back to zero later!


Keep your shutter speed fast for pictures of falling snow unless you want them to look like lines.

Start from 1/250s and adjust upwards if necessary to preserve the roundness of the falling snow flakes. Go even faster for the obligatory snowball fight  of course! Just make sure your camera is nice and safe (snow = water = trouble)

Photo by Lisa Friday

Think of your background and foreground.

Want to make it clear in the picture the snow is falling around your subject? Make sure your background has something dark in it ( trees are good) so that the bright snow flakes have something to stand out against. Using a shallow depth of field will help to blur some of the snowflakes in the front creating a layer of depth.

Photo by Claire Fay

Shoot the action

Being out in the snow is all about having fun – whether it’s wild tobogan rides, building a snowman or a snowball fight – make sure you get right there with your camera. Catch the snow flying, the tobogans flipping, the cheeks rosy from frost and  eyes sparkling with laughter.

Photos by Karen Baker, Sarah Honey, Sarah Collins and Ruth Harvey

Notice the light

If you’re having one of those wonderful snowy/sunny days you’re in such luck! The sun makes the snow sparkle, shine and shimmer – it brings extra magic in and can easily take your photos from ‘meh’ to AMAZING! Let the sun backlight the icicles, highlight the flying snow, reflect from the snow. And sometimes, all you need is a little creativity as one of our students has shown with the help of a security light!

Photo by Teresa Foyster

Think of the larger picture as well

Head out to the park or a wide open space and show the beauty and calm of the snowscape. If your child is wearing contrasting colour – even better – it will make them stand out against the background and draw the eye. Take a family portrait in the middle of a winter wonderland – all it takes is being able to put your camera down no something and self timer!

Photos By Kerry Anderson, Amanda Vickers and Ruth Harvey

But don’t forget to focus on the details

The wonders of winter lie in the details too – the snowflakes landing on the eyelashes, the icicles sparkling in the sun, the state of your son’s gloves after building the snowman. Don’t forget to get in nice and close to capture those details.

Photo By Amanda Vickers

Too cold to go out?

The falling snow is beautiful to watch from the inside too! Just because you’re indoors, doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it!

And above all – have fun!

 

MORE SNOW PHOTOS BY OUR STUDENTS!

oct2014_holly_park-210

A few times a year, Mother nature creates the perfect conditions to capture stunning, truly memorable images. It just suddenly gets generous with colour and light and textures and makes it almost a sin not to try and capture all this beauty. These perfect windows of opportunity don’t last long but when they do, you should absolutely make sure to try and make it out to get shooting.

Autumn, especially at the peak of the season is one of those times. It just looks so pretty – the multitude of rich and saturated colours trying to make up for the fact the summer is gone. But blink it, and you miss it, so time is of the essence. After all, you want to capture the rich, saturated glory, not the sad, crumpled browns.. ( well, actually hold that thought, because you might find those worth of a few photos too). Wondering if you missed your window? Look outside – if you still see some trees with green or otherwise coloured leaves, you’re still on time. Just don’t delay it any longer.

So what to photograph? And how?

1. The autumnal portrait with soft, dreamy background:

autumn_2014-173

The kind of photos people tend to comment about when it comes to autumn, are those with a soft, dreamy, delicate background. And for good reason – a curtain of colourful leaves turned into a soft backdrops makes people really stand out and adds instant WOW factor to your images. But there is a skill in capturing pictures like these and we’re about to break to you exactly how to get what you want.

What we want to achieve is a  lovely head and shoulders portraiture with a soft, dreamy, colourful background.

How to achieve this effect:

  1. Find a bush or a tree with some lovely colour on it.
  2. If you’ve not really explored your manual camera settings, put your camera on Portrait mode. If you know what you’re doing – Aperture Priority or full Manual with as wide an aperture setting as you can get – F1.8 would be great here, but if not, just pick the lowest you have.
  3. Unless you have a very wide aperture setting, you will want to make sure that your child is not standing right by your colourful tree, but at least few feet away. Better still, pick a tree  at a bit of a distance from your child and frame the image from such an angle that their head looks set against the backdrop of the tree. More distance between your child and the background helps create a greater degree of blur to your background. 
  4. Now you need to stand a few feet away too and if your lens allows it, zoom in on your child (if you’re more technically advanced, you will want a Focal Length of at least 50mm or more). Please bear in mind that you don’t want to be too far from your child either – when zoomed in, you want the child’s face to fill approx no less than 1/3 – 1/2 of the entire frame, maybe even a little more. Yes, you can achieve it without zooming in, but trust us, you’ll get much better results if you do.
  5. Make sure the focus is definitely set on your child’s face and take the picture. If you’re not sure if your camera is getting the focus on your child, look for little light-up dots or squares on your screen or through your viewfinder as you take the photo.Voila!

2. Fun with the crunchy, fallen leaves

 

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The key to capturing these kind of images is making sure that the leaves flying in the air are captured nice and sharp and that they are actually visible against the background. In order to achieve it, you need to ensure that you’re in the right position and that the photos can be taken quickly enough.

If you’re using your camera on auto, select a Sports mode ( or similar) – your camera on that mode is pre-set to take the photos quickly and ( at least for some cameras ) that the potential camera shake is minimised. The faster you ‘re able to take the photo, the more chance of the leaves appearing pin sharp and crisp 🙂

If you’re using your camera on semi-manual settings, such as Shutter or Aperture priority, select the Shutter priority setting and make sure that it is set to a minimum 1/250s and preferably faster. being outside, with generally a good quantity and quality of light, this should be relatively easy, but if your camera is struggling, increase your ISO to 400 or even 800 if needed.

If you want both your subject and the leaves to be sharp, they should be both within the same distance from you – so, if your child is throwing the leaves up, or to it’s side, you’ll catch them both sharp. But if your child is throwing the leaves towards or away from you and as a result one of the two will be further or closer to you than the other, chances are, they won’t both be sharp. Not always a bad thing, but worth remembering!

3. Just having a bit of a laugh!

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In my experience, there is (almost) nothing that kids hate more than being asked to stand or sit still, waiting to be photographed, whilst Mum or Dad spends ages fiddling with the camera. Even if they oblige to begin with, they’re quickly bored and want to go and just have fun.

So my advice is – let them. No, scratch that – encourage them and have fun with them – you’re bound to get much better photos and kids that’ll cooperate with your photo demands more readily in the future. And if the photos aren’t perfect – oh well, I guarantee they’ll still make you smile!

 

WANT TO LEARN MORE? 

Join our photography classes – in LONDON and ONLINE Click on the images below to find out more! 

London classes

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Want to capture your kids under water? Not as hard as it looks! We explore equipment options, technique and composition – ready? Splash!

Capturing beautiful and simple images of your baby needn’t be hard and complicated and it doesn’t need to include lots of fussy props. This guide is non-technical and instead focuses on simple instructions you can follow with any camera.