Best Natural Backdrops for a Photo Shoot

There are plenty of reasons to shoot outdoors for any portrait shoot. You have the natural lighting, the weather that can enhance the mood, and the simply picturesque scenery. It doesn’t matter if you live in the city or the suburbs there are plenty of natural backdrops you can use during your photo session if you know where or what to look for. Consider these top natural backdrops when scouting out a location for your next shoot.


  1. Wooded areas

Shooting in the woods can be a little more challenging than with other natural backdrops but it is well worth the challenge. If your shoot is on a cloudy day than you have the perfect lighting to take some amazing portraits. If it’s a sunny day than you can creatively capture the rays of light coming through the treetops. In either case, you will have stunning images that will be a little mysterious yet beautiful


  1. Sea, Beach or Lakes

If you are lucky enough to live near the water than you have an amazing backdrop for your photo shoot just waiting for you. These locations are some of the best because they tend to look different with each session. Since the tides are always changing, the weather may be different and the light is cast in various colors you can have a unique location every time you shoot.


  1. Fields

In the spring and summer time, you can’t go wrong shooting in a field of flowers. They can add pops of color to your shoot and can capture a whimsical or fairytale mode perfectly. While fields of flowers can be colorful, cotton fields can also add a whimsical touch to your photo shoot. Shooting as the sun is going down will allow you to capture the light and buds of the field.


  1. Sunset

No matter where you end up shooting capturing the sunset is always a perfect backdrop. From the orange and pink colors reflecting off the water to the golden rays dancing on flowers petals or through treetops, sunset is one of the most picture-perfect settings to capture.

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Posing Tips With Just One Child

Planning the perfect family portrait can seem to be more stressful than it should be. From what to wear to how to pose there is more thought and planning that goes into a family portrait so your images turn out beautiful and memorable. When you have a child not only do you have to worry about what you look like in front of the camera but also what your little one is doing as well. Finding the perfect pose with one child doesn’t have to be complex or stressful. Instead refer to the suggestions below to capture your child’s joy, excitement, and your family’s personality.


  1. Holding

Whether it’s a baby or a toddler there are plenty of ways you can hold a child to get the perfect portrait. Holding your child can make it easier to direct them where to look and can keep them more still for the photos. Consider having one parent holding the child while the other kisses them on the cheek or forehead. Or have both parents hold the child between them.


  1. Swinging

Toddlers love it when someone is swinging them around and this can be ideal for getting a genuine smile or laugh. Each parent can take hold of the toddler’s hand and swing them between them.


  1. Parents in the background

Let your child take the spotlight in some of the images. If they can sit on their own, have them in front of the parents who look adoringly at their little one in the background. Keep the child in the foreground in focus while the parents are just out of focus in the background.


  1. Walking together

While you can certainly do the traditional sitting poses with one child there are plenty of sweet moments to be captured by just going for a walk together. Having the child in between both parents hand in hand walking down a tree-lined path or on the beach as the waves hit your feet can be the perfect setting for a family portrait. If the child is too young to walk consider pulling them in a wagon as parents walk with their arms around one another.

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  1. Having fun

When it comes to taking images that involve kids, whether it is just one child or multiple children make it fun. You want to capture the true happiness of the family so play around in the fall leaves or kick your feet in the water. When you have more fun during your shoot you will capture the most memorable poses that won’t need any direction.

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Best Props for Family Photos

You have coordinated your outfits perfectly and chosen the most stunning location. But aside from the clothing and backdrops how else can you make your family portraits more memorable and meaningful? Sometimes it is the smallest details that can make your family photo stand out from all the others and these small details tend to be the props you use in your photos. While you can use just about anything as a prop, the ones you choose for your family portrait should have meaning to your family. The right prop will not only give you something to interact with and make you feel more comfortable in front of the camera but should also share who you are as a family. When choosing the perfect prop for your family portrait session consider these suggestions.


  1. Think about what you do together as a family.

You want you family portraits to really capture you as a family so when thinking of props just think about what you all enjoy.


  1. Quilts.

Quilts that have been handed down from generation to generation or just one that has been handmade by a family member are great for photo shoots. They can be used to sit or lie on, wrap up in or display in the background.


3.Sports items or hobbies.

Does your family sit down to watch a favorite team together? Do you all play a sport together? Wearing your favorite sports team jerseys, bringing along some golf clubs and balls, footballs, bat, and gloves, can be great for family shoots. These items not only give you something to interact with but also let everyone know what you like to do as a family.


  1. Holiday props.

Family portraits are great to use for cards or gifts so the holidays are the perfect time to book a photo shoot. Bringing items along that relate to the holiday season are great. Whether it’s tinsel or tree ornaments, or scarves and gloves, the holidays offer a number of fun and unique props to use during your family photo shoot.


  1. Something for the kids.

Balloons, bubbles, finger paints, ribbons or simply their favorite stuffed animal. Having a variety of items for the kids to play with not only keep them occupied and more cooperative but will also help capture their genuine joy.

Top 7 Milestones For Your Family Photo Album

Family photo albums, digital or traditional, hold unique and special memories. They are filled with the life you have created with the ones you love and the family you grew from the very beginning. But with so many years of time spent together how do you know what moments you should include in your album? Here are the seven most important moments that you’ll want to have documented so you can look back on and smile on years later.

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  1. Baby Firsts

Documenting your baby’s firsts are memories you’ll want to capture and reflect on in the years to come. From the first steps, first holidays and first birthday, these are all special occasions that you’ll want to photograph.


  1. Birthdays

It not uncommon to have pictures of every one of your child’s birthdays but there are a few that you’ll want to have some extra picture of. As mentioned, the first birthday is always a significant milestone but so are 13th, 16th and 18th birthdays.

  1. School days

The difference a year makes will astonish you when you compare their first day of school image to their last. Have your camera ready for their first day of preschool, kindergarten, 1st grade, middle school and then high school. Then capture them on their last day of school so you can compare the two. Once your children get to a certain age they most likely won’t be as cooperative for the first and last day of school picture so when they are young you should take full advantage of it.


  1. Dances

When your little one gets ready for their first school dance is a moment you’ll want to have in the family photo album. Whether it’s their first middle school dance, high school dance or prom, this is a moment that you’ll want to look at and enjoy when they are older.

  1. Achievements/Hobbies/Activities

Kids will bounce from one activity to another rather quickly. Whether it’s different sports like baseball, gymnastics, or golf or more creative hobbies like pottery, painting or dance there will be times when you’ll want to have your camera close by to get a quick picture. Including these types of images in your family album will not only bring a smile to your face as a parent but will also remind your kids of the things they used to love to do when they need a reminder.

  1. Graduations

While you have many proud moments throughout your child’s life, watching your child graduate will bring on a whole new level of pride. From kindergarten graduation to their high school graduation, these are significantly important days in yours and your child’s life.


  1. Weddings

From your wedding day to your child’s wedding day and even your parents 50th wedding anniversary, you’ll want to include these in your family album. Weddings are not only one of the most important days in your life but they are a day that marks a new beginning. The new beginning for your family as well as the one your children will have. They are days filled with love, joy, and laughter which is what your family album is all about.

Please visit Third Eye Photography to book your next event!

How to Achieve the Best Lighting in Every Photo Session

Of the many aspects that play an important role in achieving the perfect shot, lighting is among the top 10. Light can change the mood of a photo completely, adding depth and contrast to each shot.53634_2018.09.22_WED_Haughey

In order to ensure that you always achieve the best possible lighting before you start shooting, follow these tips:

  1. Understand your camera.Your camera was designed to help you take the best possible shots in different locations and situations so it helps to go through your camera’s settings in order to understand how you can still take good photos in low light scenarios.If you’re unsure, just place the camera on auto mode.52211_2018.09.17_SEN_Elliot
  2. Consider your location. You will always get the best natural light by shooting outdoors but good light can be found indoors too. Choose a spot near a window or door where there is natural light streaming in. A subject that is lit from the side makes for some lovely photos.
  3. Light direction plays a role.If you know that you’ll be shooting outside, try and find a shaded area as this will provide even lighting on your subjects as opposed to dappled lighthing. You also don’t want your subjects to be squinting so make sure the sun is not directly behind you when you’re taking photos. With that being said, if you’re outside in the sun with limited alternatives, adding some sunglasses could be a good fix. 52085_2018.09.16_SEN_Smith
  4. Choose the right time of day.If possible, choose to shoot earlier or later in the day to take advantage of the best natural light. This is, of course, most applicable if you’re shooting outside.Try taking advantage of “the golden hour” which is 15-20 minutes before and after sunset.
  5. Pay attention to the weather.An overcast day often provides some really great lighting because the clouds act like a filter for the sun.
  6. Keep your flash handy.While using your flash is not always ideal, it definitely has its place and you should always keep it handy if you want to have a good backup lighting option available to you.49035_2018.08.29_POR_Schaul

Overall, when it comes to achieving the best possible light, planning is key. Visit Third Eye Photography to book your next event!

How to Get Clearer Images With Your Point and Shoot Camera

While it’s easy enough to take photos with a smartphone or a point and shoot camera, it isn’t always easy to get a shot that isn’t a bit blurry.

It can be rather frustrating to think that you’ve just captured an amazing photo only to find that the image isn’t good enough to share online or print. Below are a few pointers that you can use to stop this from happening in the future.52315_2018.09.17_SEN_Elliot

  1. Keep your lens clean.We are always using our smartphones, which means they can get dirty and grimy quite quickly. By making a point of cleaning your camera or phone’s lens on a regular basis, you’ll automatically get clearer shots.
  2. Make use of natural light. Using natural light when taking your photos will give you much better images. Positioning your subject near a door or window will make a massive difference to your photos.
  3. Keep it steady.Most people who own a smartphone have mastered the art of taking photos with one hand but if your hand isn’t steady enough, you’ll almost always end up with blurry shots. Try holding a camera with both hands instead to see what a difference it makes. You can also rest your phone or camera on a table or pole if that will help you take a steadier shot.
  4. Forget the zoom.If you can help it, rather don’t use the zoom on your camera as this can detract from a photo’s quality, especially if you’re using a smartphone. Rather take a wider shot and crop the photo later on.
  5. Take more than one photo.Sometimes it’s best to take more than one photo so that you have a better chance of getting one great shot.
  6. Leave the flash off.Your phone or camera’s flash can be handy at times but it can also be the reason for your blurry images.

54439_ 2018.09.27_ENG_BensonAlong with using the above tips, you simply need to practice if you want to learn how to take the best possible shots with your smartphone or point and click camera.

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How to Take Great Candid Shots of Your Kids

Those times when your kids are just being kids make for some of the most precious photos. There’s something about capturing those naturally playful, thoughtful or silly moments that are so different from posed photos.

If you are looking to capture more candid shots of your children, here are a few tips that will help.

55176_2018.12.01_POR_TrailheadWinterTip 1: Get down to their level.

As adults, we’re always taking photos from our height, but if you really want to capture special shots of your child so that their emotions come through in the photos, you need to take the shot from their level. Sit, crouch or lie down so that you’re at their eye level.

54596_ 2018.09.23_POR_NolandTip 2: Prepare for those candid shots

If you know that there’s a special event coming up or that today’s weather means your children will spend time indoors reading books and playing, have your camera ready because you never know when the perfect shot might present itself. It also helps to know your camera and its different shooting modes to increase the chances of capturing quality photos using the right settings.

Third Eye Photography-18-03-110Tip 3: Don’t aim for perfection

Candid shots aren’t meant to be perfect, they’re meant to capture everything about a certain moment so when one of those moments arise, snap away and find your favorite shot afterward.

55522_2018.12.01_POR_TrailheadWinterTip 4: Keep your distance

Sometimes the best candid shots need to be taken from a distance. Once your kids are aware that you’re taking photos, it can ruin the moment. It helps to have a zoom lens for these instances so that you can keep your distance but still get quality shots.

47401_2018.08.18_WED_HutchinsonTip 5: Lighting is everything

Natural light does wonders when it comes to achieving the best possible photos so try to capture shots of your children while they’re outside or in a room with lots of natural light. If possible, stay away from the harsh midday light and if that’s not an option, some shade should help soften the images.

Capturing candid shots of your children allows you to relive those special moments time and time again and is a skill well worth mastering.

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