A sweet blogger and fellow Canadian , Gillian of Crafting a Rainbow, recently asked me about my pictures...and who took them. I shared on Flickr for Me Made May that my daughter, Emily is a budding photographer and offered to take my pictures for May. I was thrilled to say the least! So she has been taking the pics, doing her thing, including adding her awesome watermark and then generously allowing me use them on my blog and the flickr pool. This is not the norm though and won't likely continue because she is a busy girl. And despite my begging, pleading and bribing...she will someday move out. So that means my boys (husband and son) will be back at it in no time.
I thought I would share my tips, although limited, to getting a better outfit picture.
Be relaxed. This may sound obvious but when I'm relaxed, it shows in my picture. Your photographer has a lot to do with this too. My boys are funny and they like to make fun of me. Laugh at yourself... it's funny to be outside taking pictures of yourself. Be silly!
Know your camera. I have a good Canon camera and use a 50mm lens for my outfit pictures but it would all be useless to me if I didn't read my manual. Cameras have so many great features and functions that we never use. Most of us just open the box, point and shoot. Try different settings, take the same picture repeatedly on different settings to compare. This may take some time but life is about learning new skills. Practice on your loved ones...I always think that taking someones picture even when they say they don't like it, makes them feel loved and special. As well, you will have some fun memories.
Go outside. If you'll notice, about 95 percent of my pictures are taken outside and usually in bright sunshine. The sun makes my hair look shinier, the colors are brighter and I'm just happier outside....
You can see the difference in these two pictures, the one on the left is when the sun was behind a big cloud.
Shine some light on your butt. Standing with the sun shining behind me and slightly to my right works best for my pictures. I don't squint so much and the colors in my outfit are not as washed out.You can see in these pics that my shadow is cast mostly in front and slightly to to my left. Have the photographer stand where the light isn't directly hitting the lens. Also,don't be afraid to use your flash outside as well to light your face. This is one I often forget to do myself. Trial and error..find out what works best for you!
Put some shades on. When I have to take my pictures in direct sun, I put my sunnies on. My eyes are very sensitive to sunlight. VERY. So you will usually see my sunglasses on my face or at the ready.. on my head. For pictures in direct sunlight I can't seem to keep my eyes open... so on go the sunglasses and you don't even know that my eyes are closed under there! I just close my eyes and smile!
Have a set of standard shots to take. By this I mean...head to toe shot (front and back), upper body, lower body( which ever you are showcasing) and a few detail shots. Explain this to your photographer and they will know what to take. It can speed up the process and not frustrate you or them. Of course you can always crop but I find that the pic can get blurry and I don't know enough about editing or have the editing software to fix that. These pics were too bright but they give you the general idea..
Strike a pose. This part always feels silly. But so what!! Just go ahead and do it until it starts to feel natural and have a good laugh in the process.
Edit. I don't have much to say about this one because my laptop is as old as the hills and I don't have Photoshop. There is an edit feature on google + but again my laptop is too old to be compatible. This isn't a bad thing though, it forces me to learn about photography and my camera. The most I can do is brighten and saturate the color an bit. Which I do to make the colors more true to life. When a skirt is hot pink in real life I want you to see that it is really HOT pink. So there will be no surprises when we meet on the street. I don't use contrast because I don't know how and I think it makes my wrinkles more prominent. We don't want any of that now do we!
So there you have it...my two cents on photography. I am no pro and maybe some of these tips would make a pro cringe but...hey...they are working for me until I learn more, which is what I am always striving to do.
For anyone interested in my camera details...I use a Canon EOS Rebel T3 with a 50mm lens with lens hood to protect my lens and keep out unwanted sun glare.
Note: The pictures used in this post were not taken by my daughter but by my son, husband or mom. :)