9 Ways to Get People to Smile Naturally for Family Photos

Not everyone feels comfortable in front of a camera and this generally leads to forced smiles, something that can easily ruin a really good family photo.

If you have recently booked a photographer to shoot your next family portrait, here are some top tips for getting everyone to smile as authentically as possible.

  1. 55615_2018.12.01_POR_TrailheadWinter-2Get them laughing.Get someone to tell a great joke or a funny story to get everyone laughing, which will produce some real genuine smiles.
  2. Look at each other. Sometimes all it takes is looking at the people you love to achieve the perfect smiles for your next family photo.55113_2018.12.01_POR_TrailheadWinter
  3. Forget the cheese.Instead of using the classic ‘say cheese’ line, incorporate something unexpected into the sentence to elicit smiles and laughter. Using the word ‘money’ instead of cheese also produces a more natural smile.
  4. Take a breath.If you have people who are really nervous, get them to close their eyes, take a deep breath and smile as they open their eyes again.55406_2018.12.01_POR_TrailheadWinter
  5. Give them a compliment.A compliment makes anyone feel good so why not give each other a genuine compliment to produce some natural smiles.
  6. Fake your laughter.While it may feel strange at first, getting everyone to fake a laugh leads to some of the best smiles.
  7. Be silly.Get everyone to stick their tongues out or wiggle their bums for a fun reaction.55254_2018.12.01_POR_TrailheadWinter
  8. Happy thoughts.Get everyone to think of something that really makes them happy.
  9. Relax those facial muscles.Very often a forced smile is due to tense facial muscles. To prevent this, get everyone to scrunch up their faces and relax them to achieve a natural smile.

Overall, make this a fun day out for everyone to set the right mood and the genuine, happy smiles will follow.

Third Eye Photography

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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.

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  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.

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  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.

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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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

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  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.

Visit Third Eye Photography to book your next session!

 

Studio or On Location Shoot? Which One is Right for You?

Every photographer has their own preferences when it comes to where they love to shoot. Both indoor and outdoor settings have their own advantages and disadvantages and if you are trying to decide where to have your next photo shoot, here are a few factors to consider:

588832019.03.03_POR_NolandThings to keep in mind with inside shoots:

Indoors shoots can be ideal for all types of photography sessions. From family portraits to engagement sessions, indoor shoots offer a great deal of versatility. You don’t have to worry about what the weather will be like, scouting out the perfect location and any other distractions that can make you feel uncomfortable or self-conscious.

Many people choose to do an indoor shoot because it can be a more comfortable setting. Often, indoor shoots allow you additional privacy to relax and be able to communicate better with your photographer. With outdoor shoots, you may feel more self-conscious with people passing by or how the wind is blowing your hair.

Indoor shoots, either at a studio or in your own home can be a good fit for shoots that involve younger children. It can be easier to schedule an in home session when there are babies and toddlers because it allows them to be in an environment that they are familiar with. This can also help them act more naturally in front of the camera.

55212_2018.12.01_POR_TrailheadWinterThings to keep in mind with outdoor location shoots:

Outdoor shoots add a different dynamic to images. Being able to utilize the natural sunlight is something that cannot be easily recreated within a studio setting. If you’re looking touse natural light to your advantage, overcast days are perfect for this. The clouds act like a filter and can help soften the harshness of the shadows from the sun. If you don’t live in an area like Seattle where cloudy days are quite common, be aware not to shoot in bright light as your photos will look harsh and your subjects will probably be squinting. The golden hour, which takes place 15 – 20 minutes before sunset up until 15 – 20 minutes after sunset, is the best time to shoot outdoors.

Outdoor settings are great for engagement shoots as well as family photos. You will have more choices of where to shoot and you may also discover that one location will provide a variety of backdrops. While shooting in a public space might make some feel a little more self-conscious with people passing by and wind blowing in their hair, these same factors can make your images much more interesting.

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When deciding on a location for your shoot, keep your shoot’s theme as well as your subjects in mind. Preparation also goes a long way in making a certain setting work for you.

Visit Third Eye Photography to book your nest session!