Monday, January 24, 2011

photo tip: photographer becomes the subject

Getting in front of rather than behind the lens is often the hardest part for a photographer.
I do the majority of the picture-taking in my household because well, my camera isn't exactly easy for anyone to pick up and just start snapping. Not only that, but I take more of an interest in taking pictures than my husband. And that's okay. This sometimes means though, that if I want a really good picture of myself with my kiddo, I've got to do it myself. NOT so easy with a camera that isn't light and that has a 50mm lens. Holding out an arm is just not an option.

When I wanted to take our Christmas card picture, I finally figured out how to use the self-timer on this camera. So easy and I can have up to 20 seconds of delay! Many cameras will only give 5-8 though, so make sure you are aware of how much time or how many beeps you are getting.

You'll have to read your manual to get exact directions on how to use your own self-timer, but I do have some tips on how to get a really good picture.

First set up the shot. You'll ideally want the camera to be between the light source (i.e. a window) and you.
Then focus on your kid or on something that will be exactly where you are planning to land when you run to get in the picture. Adjust settings accordingly. I am a wide open shooter most of the time, which means that I am shooting at (aperture) f/1.8 on my lens. This f/stop has a pretty shallow depth of field which means that if I use this for a 2-person shot, more likely than not, both people won't be in focus. So this is my first concern. I set my aperture to around f/2.5 for a shot of just Evan and I. This way I know we will both be in sharp focus. If you aren't shooting in manual, you don't need to concern yourself with that stuff though.
Now, set your self-timer. Focus. Take the shot, making sure not to move the camera too much. And RUN! Get in the shot. Do whatever it takes!

A lot of times I end up with pictures of me looking rushed and unnatural.
Other times, I get the perfect smiles from both subjects.
And sometimes I get something so much better. A moment. And that's the keeper.

I have gotten quite a few requests for invites for Pinterest. I am glad you are excited about it! I have invited those who I could. If you did not get an invite, it means that you did not leave me an e-mail address, your blogger profile is private or it doesn't contain an e-mail address. If this is the case, feel free to contact me and let me know what that address is. My e-mail is

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