One of the wonderful things I know about my jewellery business is that it attracts other creatives, makers and small business owners. My clients are artists, writers, photographers, knitters and gardeners. They create softies, write calligraphy and throw pots. As creatives at heart, they appreciate the quality and value of handmade and prefer to purchase from a maker than a chain store. As a result I have had the pleasure of meeting an amazing variety of makers and creatives, and now have the even greater pleasure of introducing several of them to you here on my blog in the 'Maker to Maker' series each Friday!
This week, Brisbane/ Logan photographer and Mama of two, Trudi Le Brese shares her tips with us to help capture those everyday moments in the home with our children that we will look back on in time to come with longing. Keep your camera handy and create cherished images for the future now.
(You may recognise Trudi's name, as she is the amazing talent behind my styled jewellery photos shoots!)
STORY TELLING IN THE HOME - KIDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY
We have all seen it, you know, those photos of the kids in what looks to be the most beautiful home you have ever seen, no mess, no clutter in the photos, everything perfectly placed. If you have a small home like I do, you probably think that capturing those keep sake moments and making the photo’s look good at the same time is just not going to happen. Well, today I want to share some tips that I use for snapping keepsakes in our home while dealing with tight spaces and yes, clutter.
Firstly, I get in close. Zoom in with a zoom lens or move yourself closer to the subject/s in order to take most of the distracting background clutter out of the picture. You will want to capture the detail. Those little fingers and toes don’t stay little for long. A close up of a favourite toy will stir memories when little ones are all grown. If moving in close is not an option, changing your position or angle also helps. (see example photo)
I didn’t want to move in too close for this photo and interrupt what she was doing. Instead, I bent down to her level from another room so I could capture her sitting in the doorway without the mess of her room (arghhh, so messy!) Secondly: if the kids are doing something you really want to capture but don’t want to move in close, can you remove certain objects without them being distracted? Of course you only want to do this if it’s not going to stop them doing what caught your attention in the first place. Try removing things while you DON’T have your camera so they have no idea you are clearing to take photos of them. Again change of angle might also work.
My third tip is to plan ahead. This doesn't mean creating moments that aren't real and honest. But rather, setting up a natural situation/scene with clutter, light and space in mind. If painting or match box cars are their favourite things, lay out their toys and get your camera ready. Think about choosing a spot in your home that is free of clutter, the less distracting elements in the background the better. Chase the light. Try and pick a location near a window where it is naturally bright. The more light the better your camera will handle it. Avoid using the flash. You really need to know how to work your flash if you want it to look natural - and its distracting for the kids at play! Also think about allowing yourself some room to take the photos that you want. If you can take these photos with as little interruption to the kids as possible you will be capturing the real moments that will bring it all back in years to come.
Finally, I would suggest experimenting with Black and White. I love love loooove black and white for documenting our story for many reasons. It looks great (of course), it has a journalistic feel which is great for story telling, but probably the most important reason for us Mama's as to why black and white is great for this type of photography is it helps reduce the look of clutter! Clutter is usually made up of many different colours. By turning to black and white you help the viewer focus on the subject and the story. If you just can’t get any of the other tips to work in a situation, black and white is your answer!
That’s it! These tips should get your story telling going and give you loads of wonderful memories to look back on. Keep your camera close by. Don't be afraid to experiment with your shots. Children move quickly, so if you only have enough time to snap a pic without taking any of these pics in to consideration…. TAKE THE PHOTO anyway! Emotion wins over planning and technique anytime.
Thanks for the inspiration Trudi!