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Photographer in Columbia Missouri at KatFour Photo
Photographer in Columbia Missouri at KatFour Photo

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Tips For Taking Your Own Photos At Home

You can't possibly have your photographer around all the time. But life is made up of all those moments that happen, that you just cannot plan for! So how do you capture those moments between photo sessions? Especially now, where we're all spending so much more time with family at home. Though these tips can be used any time.

Before we get into the tips, let's chat about your camera. Whether you have an amazing DSLR or a great pocket cam or a cell phone with a camera, it really doesn't matter. The best camera for these moments is the camera you'll have with you and use!

1. Find Your Light

Photography is all about light! So the first and most important step to any great photograph is to find the the right light.

If you're taking indoor photos, first - don't use flash! Flash gives your photos weird shadows and makes everything lose it's depth. Instead open a window and let in some beautiful daylight! Get a white board (or wall) opposite the window to reflect some light back as well. Avoid shooting toward the window because light behind your subject will cause them to appear much darker, unless you want to play with light and get a silhouette photo.

If you're outdoors, avoid bright sunny spots. Instead choose a spot with nice even shade, from trees or buildings. Don't make anyone face into the sun, to avoid squinting. Don't shoot directly toward the sun unless you'd like to try a silhouette.

On your phone or camera you can also increase your ISO to let in more light, but this can lead to graininess in the photos. You can also decrease your shutter speed, but keep in mind if anything in the photo is moving, this will cause motion blur.

2. Try a Different Level

To keep your photos interesting, consider changing the angle of your photos. If you're photographing kids or pet, consider getting low, to their level and shooting at their eye level. This can help your photo feel more connected with the subject, putting all the attention on them.

Or change it up and shoot from all the way over their head and get a new, fun, interesting angle. This can give you a different perspective and make the photo shoot more fun!

By changing up the angles at which you shoot - way up above, getting down into a crouch, or even laying on the ground - you can break up the set of photos and make them more visually diverse and interesting.

3. Play with Props

Do your kids have a favorite toy? Family member have a favorite book? Pets have a cute chew toy? Does someone in the family love their cup of coffee or ice cream? Include it in the photos! Don't try to clear the space and photograph everyone just looking and smiling. Capture photos with everyone's favorite objects or favorite foods!

Make some home-made biodegradable confetti and throw it up in the air or blow it at the camera. Blow bubbles together as you take photos! Play with some colorful balloons or balls. Or even splash some water around.

Get creative with what you include in your photos and just have fun. Don't worry as much about getting rid of the toys and books, and instead make them a focal point in creating your memories.

4. Don't Pose

Instead of worrying about posing, try to have fun! Pick an activity you like to do and photograph everyone in action. Let people laugh, play and just be themselves. And your photos will reflect some beautiful family memories.

Posing can make your family members look stiff, feel uncomfortable and resist taking photos. But if you continue to participate in fun activities - baking, playing games, running around the back yard, playing with your pets, and just being yourselves, photos will feel more like documenting the great times you're having!

5. Get Closer, but don't use your zoom!

Unless you have a lens that actually extends (optical zoom) on your camera, avoid zooming. Optical zoom actually changes the way the lens in your camera functions and allows you to photograph high quality photos close up. Digital zoom (what your phone and many digital cameras do) is a feature that is cropping your photos as you take them. Instead of using digital zoom, just get closer to your subject.

Speaking of getting close - after you've taken some photos, try taking a few steps closer, and then a little closer still, and then maybe a little too close! You never know what type of great photos you'll get by just changing your perspective a bit.

6. Use an App to Edit Your Photos

Now that you've taken that fantastic photo, bring into an app to edit. Brighten it up a bit, straighten the image, adjust some of the colors, and play with the general look and feel. Some great apps to check out are:

When You're Ready for a Session

And when you're ready for your next session and want everyone to come out from behind the camera, let me know and we'll get you scheduled. You can reach out by going to my Contact page or you can buy someone you love a Gift Certificate!

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