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  • Writer's pictureAshley Bringenberg

Taking Great Photos on Your Own

Scheduling a family photo session is a wonderful way to ensure that you have beautiful, keepsake images for your walls, your albums, and to share with family and friends. However, as a mom, I know that there are so many times outside of a professional session, that we want to have amazing shots of our family and kiddos to mark special moments, big and small. To help ensure you get quality photos every time, I have put together for you, 4 tips for taking great photos. Have fun!

1. Face your subjects away from the sun. - This does a couple of things for you. The first is that it provides beautiful backlighting for your subjects. This is best achieved when the sun is not directly behind, but at a 45 degree angle. The second thing this does for you, is that it ensures your subjects will not be squinting into your camera. If the cloud cover is thick, occasionally you can get away with facing your subject slightly toward the sun. However, even with cloud cover, the sky will often be too bright in that area for your subject to relax their eyes.

2. Shoot from above. - Shooting at a slight downward angle often provides a much more flattering photo of your subject. It allows them to look up at you through their lashes, and ensures that you're not shooting up their nose (which is never a good look!). I often carry a small stool with me on photo sessions, but have been known to use a folding chair, couch, tree stump, whatever is available!

3. Be intentional about what is in the background. - You will love your photos so much more when you're conscious of the items surrounding your subject. Before you start snapping, take just a few seconds to survey what else will be in the frame. If you need to move a tissue box, a piece of trash or even a small piece of furniture, do it! When your background is less busy, it allows on the focus to be on your precious subject and it will help them really pop off the image.

4. Try not to cut off hands and feet. - This one is tough! Sometimes there is not enough space to back up, or we're frantically trying to capture a toddler on the move. It happens. I am always a fan of moments over perfection. If you have a beautiful image that happens to have cut a hand or foot out of the frame, love it and hang it on your wall anyway. That being said, try to be conscious of keeping the whole hand or foot in the photo, when you can. When cropping for a close up, it's best to crop midway between joints, not at them.

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