Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Photo Shoot Pointers

First of all, I am NOT a real photographer so my advice is probably not going to be what a real photographer would say. :)

When I did the photo shoot with Taeya I knew I needed good lighting. Natural is usually best and since I didn't have the help of professional lights, I decided to set up my spot near a window. I didn't want direct sunlight on Taeya because then it would be too bright and would also have stronger shadows. I took the pictures in the morning next to a window where the light was coming in but wasn't direct. (We have lots of snow right now so it helped make the room brighter).

For the backdrop, I used a large, soft white blanket that Phil bought me for Christmas. I think anything can really work as a backdrop, it just needs to be big enough and the color that you want. I liked the softness of the blanket I chose because it showed up a little in the pictures but wasn't overwhelming. Even a solid sheet can work.

I took the pictures on our bed. In order to create something to hold up the backdrop, I actually put the bassinet on the back edge of the bed and draped the blanket over it. You want to leave some space (a couple of feet if possible) between the photo subject and the backdrop. It'll help make the backdrop stay in the background of the pictures and not be as visible in the pictures.

In the JC Penny's photo studio, I saw them use rolled up blankets underneath their drape to give Taeya something to hold her or prop her against. I rolled up a towel and just put it in a "U shape" under the blanket so that she wasn't laying flat on the bed. While I took pics, I moved her into different positions, in front of it, behind it, draped over the top etc.

For the setting on my camera, I chose the flower symbol for closeup pictures. This allows the camera to focus on her and again, not get as much detail in the background. I didn't use flash at all. I don't remember actually turning it off (although I may have) but the lighting was bright enough that I didn't need flash.

Then, I just took tons of pics! Don't be afraid to keep shooting because 9 out of 10 pictures won't be one of your favorites. I have many where Taeya was moving around or her hand was in front of her face etc. I just had a lot of fun and made it work for us. I'll try to re-set-up what I did later today so that you can see pictures for a better visualization. I did find the bassinet wasn't wide enough so I had a hard time getting the corners of my pictures to have the backdrop in them.

Hope this helps. Please post some pictures if you try this at home (and leave me a comment)! I want to see your results! Have fun!


jenylu said...

Such a good teacher. :)

I would add that using a tripod or something to hold your camera steady when taking pictures without a flash helps eliminate the tendency to get blurry shots.

Good job! Aren't you just so glad your first was born in the digital age? :) So much fun!

SJ said...

Another idea that the person at JC Penney did here was to use the boppy pillow under the "color" you want - they can lay nicely in a boppy. We did a few like that over Thanksgiving.

Georgia said...

thanks Megan, that's helpful. i've been disappointed with most of our pictures of Ezekiel because they're coming out grainy. but i've been having that problem for awhile. i'm planning to get a little tripod because my hands are usually shakey.

Cierra Pera said...

Great job Megs! You're making me look bad! :) You are right on about the natural light too. Don't be afaid to do some of her sleeping too- all wrapped up like a burrito, on her back with her head tilted to the camera. Try on a bench in front of the window, or on the floor in a basket- You'll have lots of background depth and light with out the focus!
Who needs a professional with you around? If you want to send me some of them, I'd be happy to make you some beautiful announcments with my CS3. Also, I would be happy to print from my lab for you too- way cheap. Like- $3.00 for an 8x10! Let me know if I can help. Love you!

Earl's Family said...

Rachel sent me your little video you took. It was so great! You guys are so blessed. What a change in your whole life she has made, I know!

Donna T.

Alan & Sarah Martinsen said...

Hi Megan,

Thank you so much for letting me know how to format my pictures. It does make sense. I'll definetly try it when I put some more pictures up. I can't wait to be a mom. I'm ready to have baby boy but I know he's not ready so I've gotta wait. Until then it's fun to feel him kick all the time.

Sarah said...

I need to have another baby so I can try to take these kind of pictures (just what I need, more pictures right?) I tried it with Bekah but she just keeps running away and won't lay on the blanket. :o) Just kidding. I run after her taking pictures while running and try to get some good ones. It will be so fun to get Bekah and Taeya together. Can't wait. Have fun with mom and dad there.

jenylu said...

I'm needing a new post -- she's probably changed dramatically in three days! :)

I'm also looking forward to hearing about the visit. :)

Anonymous said...

Good tips!! You are quite the picture taker and the pictures even on your blog of her are ADORABLE!!!