Posts Tagged ‘photography cambridge’

10 Ways to Take Stunning Portraits

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

1. Alter Your Perspective

Most portraits are taken with the camera at (or around) the eye level of the subject. While this is good common sense – completely changing the angle that you shoot from can give your portrait a real WOW factor.


photography cambridge ontarioPhoto by striatic




Get up high and shoot down on your subject or get as close to the ground as you can and shoot up. Either way you’ll be seeing your subject from an angle that is bound to create interest.


photography cambridge ontarioPhoto by TeeRish


2. Play with Eye Contact

It is amazing how much the direction of your subject’s eyes can impact an image. Most portraits have the subject looking down the lens – something that can create a real sense of connection between a subject and those viewing the image. But there are a couple of other things to try:

A. Looking off camera – have your subject focus their attention on something unseen and outside the field of view of your camera. This can create a feeling of candidness and also create a little intrigue and interest as the viewer of the shot wonders what they are looking at. This intrigue is particularly drawn about when the subject is showing some kind of emotion (ie ‘what’s making them laugh?’ or ‘what is making them look surprised?’). Just be aware that when you have a subject looking out of frame that you can also draw the eye of the viewer of the shot to the edge of the image also – taking them away from the point of interest in your shot – the subject.


photography cambridge ontarioPhoto by monicutza80


B. Looking within the frame – alternatively you could have your subject looking at something (or someone) within the frame. A child looking at a ball, a woman looking at her new baby, a man looking hungrily at a big plate of pasta…. When you give your subject something to look at that is inside the frame you create a second point of interest and a relationship between it and your primary subject. It also helps create ‘story’ within the image.



photography cambridge ontarioPhoto by paulbence



3. Break the Rules of Composition

There are a lot of ‘rules’ out there when it comes to composition and I’ve always had a love hate relationship with them. My theory is that while they are useful to know and employ that they are also useful to know so you can purposely break them – as this can lead to eye catching results.

The Rule of Thirds is one that can be effective to break – placing your subject either dead centre can sometimes create a powerful image – or even creative placement with your subject right on the edge of a shot can sometimes create interesting images.


photography cambridge ontarioPhoto by reportergimmiâ„¢


Another ‘rule’ that we often talk about in portrait photography is to give your subject room to look into. This can work really well – but again, sometimes rules are made to be broken.

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Summer Photography Tips For Families

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

Summer offers an opportunity for parents to spend more time with their children. To capture some of those special summer memories, now is a good time to brush up on basic photography knowledge.

Any parent who has tried to photograph young children can attest to the squirming, pouting and unceasing movement that contributes to poor photos.

Abilene photographers with many years of experience photographing children offered the following tips for getting good shots:

Follow the trend

A big trend in family photography is getting candid shots, according to longtime Abilene photographer and owner of White’s Photography Paul White. Parents can capitalize on that trend by getting natural photos of their children doing everyday things.

“When I first started, it was the child all dressed up in his Sunday-go-to-meeting clothes,” he said. “Those are the more classic type of portraits but that’s not what too many people are wanting now.”

Capturing the moments of a child just being a child should be easy for parents, White said.

“That’s easy for parents to do themselves,” he said. “If they’re going to do it they need to learn the basics of composition, how to isolate the subject, things like that.”

Abilene photographer Stephanie Hunter specializes in candid shots and said the best ones come when photographers get on the level of the subject.

“I think the more challenging part is trying to pose children and make them stay in one position for too long,” she said. “It’s definitely possible to get good candid shots of kids. I recommend bringing a prop the kids love, interact with it, have fun with it. Get down on their level. Get on your knees or stomach, play with them, interact with them, that’s when you’re going to get the best pictures.”

Learn some basics

If you’re truly lost behind the lens, White suggested taking a class to build basic photography knowledge. White teaches a variety of photography classes, with the basics course being the most popular. The class assumes attendees know nothing about photography. It is presented every Tuesday evening for six weeks.

“By the time they finish,” he said, “they’re able to operate the camera well, they understand the basics of composition, utilize controls on their camera.”

The class costs $169 and each class lasts between two and three hours, White said. Students have ranged in age from 12 to 83, proof it’s a class that truly is for everyone.

Shoot a lot

“Especially when I was first starting, that’s what my mentor told me,” Hunter said. “Take the camera everywhere and shoot a lot.”

The more photos taken, the greater the chances of getting something good. Hunter recommends parents who want good family photos take the camera on many outings, whether it be the zoo, the park or vacation, and take plenty of photos.

Pay attention to the environment

Surroundings play an important role in getting a good photo, Hunter and White agreed. Especially with children, White said, the environment should be pleasant, something that encourages a smile.

“One of my pet peeves is telling people to smile for the camera,” White said. “People don’t do it and children certainly don’t. They give you that fake grin.”

A simple background that doesn’t compete for attention is best, he added.

Many people think the best time to shoot is in the middle of the afternoon when the sun is the brightest, Hunter said. Actually, better photos come from softer lighting like that available when the sun is rising or setting.

Additionally, Hunter said she is often asked about when to use the flash. READ MORE

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