Monday, September 11, 2006

Point-and-Shoot

I know most mommies would agree that the best photos to scrap are none other than their children’s photographs. With the advent of digital cameras, computer hard drives are now clogged with gigabytes of photos waiting to be printed and scrapped. CDs of photographs pile up month-by-month as mommy and daddy trigger-happily shoot all those cute smiles and candid expressions. But at the end of the day, when mommy sits down on her desktop and starts viewing these loads of photographs… mommy finds out that a lot of the photos taken ended up with blur images, unfocused subjects; some even had faces of subjects washed out because of the flash. Then mommy begins to ask… why can’t I get good shots? Why can’t my photographs come out the way I want them to come out? For a mom and I mean a scrapping mom, this indeed is very frustrating.

Now wait! Before you despair and think of throwing that point-and-shoot digital camera out of the window, read on and you might just find these simple mommy photography tips helpful.

First tip: Know your gear. If you just recently bought a camera, spend a few minutes in reading the manual. You’ll be surprised what other features you might just discover on your camera besides turning it on and pressing the shutter.

Ok, so you’ve read the manual and you’re itching to
press the shutter button and start capturing those precious giggles and smiles. Here’s my second most important tip: If you can do away with the flash, do so. Well I’m not saying you don’t use the flash, but as much as possible, avoid using it. The automatic flash that comes built-in with your cameras are actually the culprit for those “red eyes”, the “shadow outlines” produced in the background and the “washed-out faces” of your subjects. Why not try using natural light? Turn off the automatic flash function in your camera and try shooting in well lit places like beside a window or a door where natural light is available. Or if possible, try shooting outdoors. So remember, use natural light… use the sunlight, it’s free!

Alright, so you got the children to play outdoors and here you are shouting: “Smile! Smile! Look at mommy! Smile!” Well, there’s actually nothing wrong taking pictures this way. Point a camera to a child and they will instinctively strike a pose and a smile. But wouldn’t it be great to capture your child’s expressions and movements when they’re not even aware of the camera? The best way to do this is to get involved! Have fun and play with your kids until they forget that you’re even carrying a camera, then go ahead and snap some shots! Another tip to get their attention off your camera is to keep them busy. Give them activities they will enjoy doing. Like drawing, sports, or just let them play with their favorite toy. It’s amazing when you get to capture children’s facial expressions when they’re fully absorbed doing something.

So now you got their attention off your camera and focused on something else; and you’re ready to take the shot. Then you ask yourself, how do I take the shot? What angle is best? Or what composition would work? Well, there’s actually no strict rule on how you must take the shot. Though you may consider shooting at your child’s level. Most people take pictures from their own eye level, thus, looking down on the kids.

I suggest you try getting down to your child’s level. Bend down if you need to. Just try it! This will give your photos a whole new perspective. And if you’re using a digital camera, be as trigger-happy as you could be. Take lots and lots of shots! Don’t limit yourself to just one shot. Taking lots of shots increases your choices as well as chances of getting that great photo you really want.

Happy Shooting!

- jeff -

1 comment:

Ella said...

jeff and pia,
nice to meet you last saturday.

pia, thanks for the tips on buying papers.

jeff, these photography tips would really be helpful someday... (no kids yet).

hope to scrap with you guys soon, sana mag meet na sched natin.