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How To Take Better Pictures: Part Three | Placerville Family Photographer

"Every artist was first an amateur." ~Unknown The three most important things a photographer needs in order to take a photograph are a camera, a subject and light! It's funny because we don't usually think of the third one very much. But for obvious reasons, light is surely a necessity! If you don't have light you cannot have a photograph. Sometimes your camera will help you get light in dim situations (i.e. the flash) and sometimes you can add light yourself (i.e. lamp light or other alternative light). You can also just rely on the environment to give light to you (i.e. the sun or the moon). Today we will talk about the third option, taking light from your environment and making it work for you. I think every photographer knows that this is a life lesson that never stops. Learning how to manipulate light in your environment is not only challenging, it is very intricate and difficult to explain. The best way to learn it is to just experiment with it. Try different angles and see how it works for you. See what you like. Here are a few examples to get you started.

1. Side light.

Side lighting is just that: light that comes from the side. There are tons of ways to get this type of lighting. You will see it often inside homes next to your window. You can also see this outside next to a building or in a doorway when you half in the light and half in the shadows. Sometimes your subject will fall completely dark inside the shadows and other times they won't. But placing your subject just in the middle is the important step here. Anything else and it becomes a different type of light. Trust me. There are many!

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Three | Placerville Family Photographer

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Three | Placerville Family Photographer

2. Back light.

Back lighting is something that takes a while to master. When you have the light coming into your camera from in front of you a couple things tend to happen. You can get lots of glare and haze if you are not careful. And, as you can imagine, your subject will become dark because the light is behind them! You can make this work for you by making your subject a silhouette but sometimes that is not what we want! Sometimes just moving a few inches from left to right will make a difference on how the light shows into your camera. Here are some examples of mine.

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Three | Placerville Family Photographer

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Three | Placerville Family Photographer

So go out there and experiment with light! It is so fun to be able to know how to manipulate and mold the light to do what you want. Not only that, your pictures will thank you for it.

If you missed my last two lessons please feel free to take a look. It is amazing what wonderful things you can accomplish with just a few tips under your belt. First you can learn all about composition and when you are ready go ahead and read about how simple backgrounds can make your subjects pop.

Lastly, if you think this is all fun to read but are not ready to take it on yourself then please don't hesitate to contact (me!) the professional so I can do it all for you! Contact me today so we can schedule your dream session!

Much Love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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How To Take Better Pictures: Part One | Placerville Family Photographer

So as I am in the midst of getting ready for my kids photography class coming up, I have had a ton of requests for an adult class as well! Of course I teach an adult class that goes way more into depth but why wait? I decided to give you a tiny taste of the things that are taught not only in my kids photography class but the adult class as well. Super fun and super informative either way! So if you have an inkling to learn more then please contact me and we can just schedule it! Adult classes are fun and can be one on one if you so desire. Today I decided to teach you a little about composition. What is composition you ask? Well Webster's dictionary defines composition as some crazy thing that I just can't repeat! It really isn't that complicated as it is made out to be. So we will ignore that. Composition is the way you arrange the items in your photograph so that they are pleasing to the eye. Easy right? Well, for some, yes composition can be easy to "see" but there are rules we must follow. And when you get really good you can even break the rules and people will still like what you have done. But, don't think you can get away with not knowing the rules first. This is art people! It is very subjective.

Today the rule I will discuss is called the Rule of Thirds. In the photography world we abbreviate that into three letters: ROT. ROT is the easiest rule in my opinion to get down. It is very black and white. People can "see" this one the easiest. The idea is that when you divide your portrait into three sections you place the subject of your photo into the 1/3 spot. What? No one said we were going to be talking about fractions! Let me break it down for you al little bit better. Here is an diagram of the ROT rule.

How To Take Better Pictures: Part One | Placerville Family PhotographerNow, this is separated into three sections each from top to bottom and left to right. The idea is that if you place your subject anywhere on the lines, and most definitely where the lines cross you will have a good ROT portrait. It will be pleasing to the eye and it will help the viewers look around the photo. This is a very basic concept and it really is great once you get the hang of it! Here are some examples of mine to get you started. Super fun and easy to do.

How To Take Better Pictures: Part One | Placerville Family Photographer

How To Take Better Pictures: Part One | Placerville Family Photographer

How To Take Better Pictures: Part One | Placerville Family Photographer

So go ahead and start experimenting with your photos and see if you can't retrieve the same results! I am an open book so ask me any questions you want and I will answer. Most importantly have fun with this and stay tuned for another installment of this series coming at ya next week. We will be exploring more about composition and other techniques that will give you the ability to take better pictures.

How To Take Better Pictures: Part One | Placerville Family Photographer

If you are interested in getting your kids into this class and having some fun please let me know as spots are filling up quickly and preregistration is required. I can't wait to do another one of my adult classes either so if that is something you are interested in then please let me know so I can give you the details.

And as always if you are interested in me taking your portrait rather than you learning then don't hesitate to give me shout out for this too! I love making people's dreams a reality in photos.

Much Love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Member of Red Thread Sessions

Follow me:

www.floydfamilyphotography.com

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Kids Photography Class | Placerville Children Photographer

"You don't take a photograph. You make it." ~ Ansel Adams It's that time again. I am so excited for the next run of my kids photography class. It is so much fun to teach these littles about how to compose things properly or how to try and be creative. Furthermore they are like sponges and inevitably they end up teaching me something as well! What I love about it is that they come willing to learn this awesome craft of photography. You never know who will be inspired to become the next Ansel Adams.

Kids Photography Class

So if you have a child itching to learn the art of photography then come on out and let us have some fun! It's always exciting to see what they come up with. The class only lasts two hours but it's jam packed full of information and fun experimenting with the camera.

Wondering if I will add an adults class to the schedule? If you want to take my adults class then please contact me today so I can let you in on my little secret.

If you would like to schedule a time for me to come out and take wonderful portraits of you and your family then please let me know! Spring is coming fast and my schedule is filling up quickly!

Much Love,

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Heather Floyd NAPCP

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How to prepare for your photography session | Folsom Family Photographer

I am always asked this question and so I thought I would share some tips with all of you. How do you best prepare for your next professional photography session? There are many questions that people have when it comes to this to let's begin to explore what is involved in the process. Folsom Family Photographer | Placerville Children Photography

1. Pick a photographer

Yes! You first must choose a photographer that you are moved by and one that you would be excited to work with. How do you know that? Please refer to my previous post in regards to this matter. There is a lot to be considered when choosing the best photographer for you. 

2. What type of session do you want?

Ok so this obviously has a little bit to do with what type of photographer you find is best for you, but truly it is a really important question! Do you like studio photography or outdoor portraits with natural light? Do you like a more lifestyle portraits or posed portraits? Choosing what you like best will help you determine not only your photographer but it also can help you determine other aspects too. Determine what you think will look best in your home when its finished. If you have a more modern taste then studio photography might be for you whereas if you have a more natural earthy vibe then an outdoor session may be for you. These are not values that are set in stone so bottom line is that you have to choose what best fits your personal style.

Placerville Lifestyle Photographer | El Dorado Hills Children Photography

3. Where will this take place?

Ok so if you have chosen the "studio" route then obviously this step can be eliminated for you. However, if you prefer outdoor settings then you really need to start thinking about what is most important to you in the outdoors. Is your favorite place the beach on a hot summer day - or at sunset when its calm and dreamy? Do you like the forest with all its natural beauty? Do you live in the midwest where there are great plains everywhere? Do you like to play sports? How about a cool baseball diamond for some neat lifestyle portraits? Is this just too much for you to decide? Don't worry! Your photographer will likely have tons of options for you and if you want you can let them do all this for you. Part of a photographer's job is to know where to go and when so you don't have to. But if you want to have a hand in choosing where your dream session takes place please don't hesitate to ask! A good photographer can go anywhere and take good portraits for you.

child photography | children photographer placerville

4. What do you wear?

The most often asked question is, "What should I wear?" This is such a personal choice and throughout history the best "what to wear" recommendations have surely changed over time. The best thing about it is that is a personal choice! There are some basic recommendations that will never change. Don't wear white!! Don't wear anything with a large logo! Don't have clothes that EXACTLY match. Matching colors and textures is helpful if you can but most importantly you also have to be comfortable. Here are some recommendations I have found to help my clients on what to wear on my pinterest page. Your photographer can't pick your wardrobe for you and its also very possible that your photographer won't edit out a lot of bad wardrobe choices on your part without charging a lot of extra money. Editing out something large like a hat or a large print on a a shirt takes a lot of time and I am sure they will want to be compensated for his/her time. Choosing the right wardrobe in advance will help greatly.

5. Prepare your kids!

A lot of work goes into a session from start to finish. The last thing that anyone wants is a child who won't cooperate or have fun during the session. Plenty of times there is a way to prevent this. If a parent is stressed out about a session because they are nervous to be in front of the camera, then the children will be the same way. They mimic what you do in everything. Its really hard to be calm when you're not but putting on that brave face will not only help you - it will help your them too. Explain the process to them a couple days in advance and talk about it often. Eliminating the unknown will ease fear. Telling them it will be over soon also helps because depending on the age of the child they often don't have a good concept of time. Bribe them if you have to! Make it so they are comfortable and cooperative. All good photographers will have a couple tricks up their sleeve to help calm you and the kids down but no one can work magic if there is not a good foundation present. ;)

children photography | children photographer placerville

6. What products do you want?

Understanding what you want to get out of the session in terms of product will help you greatly when the session is over. Thinking ahead of time about this will speed this process up tremendously. do you want wall portraits? Do you want digital files? Do you want a lot of gifts for family and friends? No idea? Let the photographer you chose help you through this process. Any full service photographer will know how to help you figure out what you want. That is their job.

I hope these tips will help you when getting ready for your next professional photography session. If you have any further questions about this please don't hesitate to contact me or better yet- just schedule your custom session today. I would love to talk to you in person about these things in your consultation so book today.

Much love.

Heather

_________________________________________________

Member of National Association of Child Photographers

Heather Floyd NAPCP

Follow me:

www.floydfamilyphotography.com

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Clickin' Moms Educational Opportunity | Placerville Family Photographer

So today I just want to give a little shout out to the group that has done me the biggest favor in the world. Not only has it given me the strength to move forward in my business but it has also done me the favor of actually teaching me the things I need to know to flourish in this business. Photography is tough and no one understands that like another photographer. I guess that is pretty true of any job really huh? Everyone has a special talent- be it an astronaut or a sailor or a train conductor or a mom, we all do special things. We all have a special ability that will allow us to do our every day job. There are difficult jobs like being a lawyer and important jobs like being a doctor and there are pretty simple jobs like working at McDonalds. However, no matter what job you have I am sure it comes with its challenges. If you own your own business it will come with competition and the need to strive for the best and don't lets forget about the all important customer service! Working with other people is hard. Lets face it. Its really hard work to make sure that your customer is happy. Sometimes people can be the WORST but 99% of the time they can be the BEST. Working in the photography industry I get to see people mostly at their best. Actually, I have not met a difficult client yet! I love each and every one of the families I have photographed. There are some problems that may come up but we always work through them. It is important to keep in mind that people don't usually like being photographed and its hard for them to be in front of the camera. Keeping that in mind will help with the sensitivity issues you will face in my business. I am completely going around my topic here- lets get back on track! Folsom Family Photographer | Placerville Children Photography

As I said earlier I wanted to thank this company for everything they have done for me! What is this company, you ask? Well Clickin' Moms of course! Completely an online forum of other women (and some men!) that are there for you every step of the way through your photography journey. When I joined this group I thought I knew everything there was to know- ok actually that is not true at all!! I can't lie! I joined because I wanted to know everything there was to know about this business and how to make beautiful photographs. What I didn't realize at the time is that there is more to know about this business then I care to even dream about and I am learning new things every day. But keeping up with everything is only half the battle- you have to implement it into your work flow and your business model. Its not that easy to be successful in this business and we are all trying to hit our mark when it comes to that. Some of my learning is done online and some is done with just getting out there and trying it out! Clickin Moms has a magazine out as well. I read it every other month I get it in. From the front to the back- every page is read, highlighted and ear marked for something. I keep them all safe on a shelf so I can get back to them if I need to. I read the ads and I look things up that I didn't know before. I can't tell you how much I have learned just by reading this little magazine. I love, love, love it!!

click magazine | placerville family photographer

Most people don't know that I offer photography classes. If you ever want to step a little out of your comfort zone and learn something new then come join me! For only $50 a person I can get you taking better photos in no time. I am not here to advertise about my classes though. I would however like to show you some before and after shots of my work. Some past work and some current work. I know I have improvement to do but who doesn't? I love my job and its worth the struggle daily. As any artist will understand there are ups and downs when it comes to your own abilities and public approval of your work. I figure as long as I am happy and staying busy then it will always come back to me full circle. I love that about life in general.

So here is a photo I took a couple years ago. It was my best photo at the time. I actually was so proud  of it. Today I can find a million mistakes and I cringe just showing it to you. I don't post it anymore like I used to and I can't believe at one time that I thought this was good work. At the time it was the best I had done and I was really proud of it!

Two cute kids | placerville children photographer

Now I am pulling out images like these and although I know they still need improvement I love them and I see a huge improvement in my own personal work. I just absolutely love my job!!

Placerville Lifestyle Photographer | El Dorado Hills Children Photography

Placerville Lifestyle Photography | Folsom Children Photographer

So to finish up I just can't say enough about this online community that I love and I just wish I could marry it...ok well you know what I mean. Wish me luck as I embark on my continued future as a photographer! If you like my work check me out! Then... please contact me today!

Much love!

Heather

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