Six Holiday Photo Tips – #4

Tip 4. POSES.

Posing people for a photo is tough.  They’re going to be looking to you for some direction and it helps if you  have a few ideas, otherwise they’ll just stand there staring at you with blank faces  :0)

A few suggestions:

  • Make sure they get close together. If they’re too far apart it can look like they don’t really like each other. LOL   This will also help you with cropping a photo to a standard size.  *
  • Put the family elders in the middle and have their kids around them.
  • Separate them into small groups.
  • Stagger the tallest in the back or have the kids sit on the ground.
  • If you have things to lean on (like a lamp post or railing) use it.  If you have objects for them to interact with, something meaningful or fun for the group like presents, cocktails or anything fun, bring those out and play with with them.
  • Also: Be ready for spontaneity. Sometimes the best photos come when people don’t know it’s coming; they happen between shots. Look for those moments! You’ll catch people laughing, goofing around or being silly. These moments can be the most precious. A.B.S = Always be shooting! You never know what you’ll capture.

* If you think you’d like to print the photos: frame your shot with a little room on all sides so you can crop the photo. (roughly: a little on the top and bottom and a bit more on the sides) Most digital cameras, including iPhone photos are 4:3 ratio so if you want to crop these photos to a standard 8×10 crop, make sure you leave that room to crop it the way you want.

Next week:  CHECK YOUR ANGLE AND AVOID THE ZOOM.

Six Holiday Photo Tips – Tip #3

Tip 3. LET THEM KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT.

Shooting a big group can be challenging. Let’s face it, most people don’t like getting their photo taken and when you put them in a big group, a few of them can get impatient with the process. Let them know what to expect; tell them how many shots you’re going to take. If they know that you’re shooting a dozen shots to make sure their eyes are open and they all look fabulous it helps – everyone wants to look good.  If it’s a simple shot with one pose – take about 10 shots.  If you have an energetic group that wants to have fun or you have a few poses or actions to do, take 20 or more.

If you have an action; like, for instance, everyone jumping or a specific theme in mind, get them on board with it. Sell your idea,  get them to visualize the photo.  I find that if they know what’s coming and they understand where you’re coming from they will have more fun with it.

Be open to suggestions – you may know exactly how you want to shoot a group but if you stay in the moment, sometimes the energy and suggestions of the group can uncover some really fun photo ideas.

Make sure they all know to look directly into the camera – I know that seems obvious but once I’ve downloaded the photos, you’d be surprised how many people are looking off to the side or distracted by something.

Make the process fun for yourself and for everyone in the group and you’ll end up with some really exciting photos!

Next post:  POSES.

Six Holiday Photo Tips – Tip #2

Tip 2. TAKE SOME TIME TO SCOUT.

Do some scouting before you gather your group. It can be a little stressful to wrangle a small group for a photo so if it falls upon you to take the family photos, take some time, go outside and scout for the best places to shoot. I actually like this process quite a bit.  It kind of meditative and it gives me a little time to feel centered and visualize the shots.  Plus it gives me a little break from the energy of the group.  Find the best light and the nicest backgrounds. Take a look at the background to see if anything will be sticking up or across people’s heads. Take some test shots to see how you like the background and the quality of light (See tip #1 for finding the best light).   Maybe find one willing test subject and put them in different locations for test shots.

A few other things to pay attention to:  If the background is really overblown and too bright.   Are there poles, branches or signs that might stick out of the top of people’s heads when you crop the photo?  Simple backgrounds are usually the best.

Advanced tip: Play with depth of field. If you can, pull your subjects away from the background far enough so it falls blurry behind them. You want to make sure everyone is in focus so make sure your F-stop is at least 5.6 or higher but keeping the background far enough away will help in making it soft focus.

 

Next week:  LET THEM KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT.

Six Tips for taking the best family and group photos for the holidays.

It’s the time of year; your family and friends are getting together to celebrate the holidays! Whether you’re a professional amateur or prolific Instagramer on your iPhone; if you are the designated photographer this holiday season I have a few tips that will help you make the best of your photo opportunities.   Every Tuesday and Thursday in December I’ll update this blog and give you a new tip. Stay tuned!

 

TIP #1 . FIND YOUR LIGHT.  

You can’t beat beautiful diffused natural light for getting beautiful photos.   If you’re lucky enough to have some good weather get your family and friends outside for some shots – later in the afternoon when the sun is low is the best time to shoot.

If you have to shoot mid-day, look for a nice shady spot so the sun isn’t dappling on peoples faces or creating unflattering shadows. If you’re shooting later in the day, put the sun behind your subjects so they have a lovely back light and then adjust your camera to expose for your subjects. For iPhone users: Put you finger on the screen over your subjects and hold it. This will lock in the exposure and focus point. You’ll see a little slider on the right; slide that up until you like the exposure and the take the photo; it’ll make sure they are exposed properly.   If you have a flash on your camera don’t be afraid to use it to fill in the darker areas.   Again, for iPhone users there is a little ‘lighting bolt’ icon on the top of the screen, press it and you’ll see three options – the default is “auto”. Press the “On” button to insure the flash fires.

Also, if you’re shooting indoors, look for a big window as a great source of natural light. It’s great for shooting one or two people.

 

UP NEXT:   TAKE TIME TO SCOUT A LOCATION….

Professional Photo Shoot day at STRUT in the CASTRO

I’m doing a photoshoot fund raiser for Strut health clinic in the heart of the Castro in San Francisco.   Strut is a non-profit organization and offers free and low cost health care to the community.  The staff at Strut does some amazing things for our community and I want to be able to do what I love and give back!

Here’s a link for all the information:  PHOTOSHOOT DAY

Sat, Nov 3, 2018 10:30am – 5:00pm
WHERE:
Strut
470 Castro St
San Francisco, CA 94114
USA
CONTACT:
 Baruch Porras Hernandez

Joe Mazza wants to take your picture!

Need new head shots? Want to update that Linked in Profile? Queers are always out and about doing things and making waves in the community and often they don’t have professional head shots! Who has the time? Or the money right? Well join us Nov 3rd to get your portrait taken by professional photographer Joe Mazza for only a minimum suggestion of a $25 donation!
All donations go to support Strut and out mission of queer sexual health and wellness!
(No One Turned Away from Lack of Funds)

Come get a serious picture taken, or a silly one! BYOT, Bring Your Own Tiara!

Come sign up, this will be a first come first serve basis, sign up list will not be put out until 10:30am, on the dot. 

•Up to two people per shoot.
•Your shoot will last about 10-15 minutes and will have a variety of poses and crops.
•A link to a private proof page will be provided so you can download your photos 10 days after the shoot. The proofs will be fine tuned for contrast, tone and color, and be cropped 8×10.
•Copyright usage: You are welcome to use any of the photos taken during your photo shoot to promote yourself either professionally or on social media for fun! You may not give permission or license any 3rd party to use the photos for any purpose.
•Wardrobe suggestions: If you just want to have a fun shoot, come as you are and have fun! If you’d like shots to use professionally, we want people to focus on your face and eyes and not your wardrobe so wear solid muted colors that you feel good wearing.

If you have any questions feel free to contact our community events organizer Baruch Porras Hernandez at bporrashernandez@sfaf.org