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How To Take Better Pictures: Part Two | Placerville Children Photographer

We all know that photography is art. It is a very subjective type of art just like all other forms of art media but there is a good way to go about starting out and a not-so-good way about starting out. The good way is to learn the rules. For some people it can take years to learn photography. Everyone not only learns at their own pace but they learn different things at a time making it a really intricate type of art.  Those of us from the photography industry know that it takes a lot to be happy with your own work. Sometimes, I myself, go through periods of self doubt and then the next day I will feel better. It really depends on your personal learning curve and what you are learning. I have compiled a few things that I think will help anyone take a photo better. Whether you are taking portraits of people or pets or the field next door to your house- all of these learning tricks will make a difference in your own personal work. If you joined us last week we talked all about composition in How To Take Better Pictures: Part One. Composition is really important to your photo- it tells the viewer where to look in the photo and it makes things either pleasing or not based on what your mind likes to see. Please go back and read it if you haven't because I think it is a very valuable lesson.

This week we will explore how to focus on your point of interest and make it look more appealing. For most people the point of interest seems really obvious. If you are taking a picture of a person then that person is your point of interest right? A lamp on a table or a flower on the ground, the main object in your photo that you want everyone to see is the point of interest.

But what if you have an idea of what you want others to "see" in your photo and they don't see it right away? What have you done wrong? Let's explore some scenarios that make sense.

1. Make sure your background is pleasing and not distracting. What is a background and what makes it pleasing? A background is any part of the photo that you have taken that is behind your point of interest (your subject). If you take a portrait of a person at the park- the background is all the trees and the bushes behind them. The key to a good background is one that is uniform and not too busy. You want your subject to stand out but also be separate from the background. When they blend too much you don't have a good solid portrait. Sometimes people forget to check to see if there are any "tree branches coming out of heads" or other distracting elements in the frame. The best photographer will sometimes miss this. Sometimes just stepping a couple feet to the right or left can make a huge difference. Let us look at some examples.

In these photos- there are nice pleasing backgrounds. The first one has a solid color and no distracting things are surrounding the subject. It forces the viewer to see what you want to them to see- the subject.  The second photo also has a solid background and forces you to see only the subject on front and nothing behind.

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Two | Placerville Children Photographer

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Two | Placerville Children Photographer

2. Make sure your subject stands out from the crowd. It is really important that people know what you want them to focus on. Sometimes there are too many distracting elements to a photograph and it won't allow your viewers eyes to settle on what you think is the most important thing in the photo. Also, contrasting colors can help too so things stand out a bit more from the rest. When we are in "snapshot" mode the background is not really important but when taking a portrait it is an certainly something to consider.

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Two | Placerville Children Photographer

How To Take Better Pictures: Part Two | Placerville Children Photographer

Well I hope these things have given you an idea of what it means to have a good background when photographing your subjects. Sometimes we get so focused on our subjects that we forget to think about the details in the rest of the image. A good photographer will know how to do this well. That being said- if you like the photo then nothing else matters. All of the "bad" photos that I have taken are still important to me because they remind me of a time and place that I never want to forget.

Portrait photography is my passion. It is so important to me that I make you look good. I will not rest until I can get that perfect shot. If you want me to do this for you then please contact me today. I would love to make a custom family portrait session just for you. It is what I do best!

Don't forget that this weekend is my kid's photography class. If you want your child to be a part of it then contact me ASAP so they can get on the list!

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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Creativity and Me | Placerville Family-Child Photographer

"Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties" --Erich Fromm So as many of you already know I am a member of Clickin Moms and I have to say that over the last year I have learned so much and I can't even tell you how many friends I have made. I am so thankful and grateful that I can call this my job. But sometimes it's really hard. Sometimes you get that feeling that you have messed up and it screws with your confidence. And when I say that, I mean that this happens to me daily. I look at my work and I see EVERYTHING that can be improved upon in a photo. I NEVER look at a photo and think that it is perfect. I also don't think of myself as a very creative person. I do feel that I am talented but I don't really like to toot my own horn so that being said I do think I have a ton to learn in this business and in the world of photography. It literally is a never-ending journey of learning. Clickin Moms is a great place to learn all this and I love that I have the opportunity to be a part of it.

Placerville Lifestyle Photography | Folsom Children Photographer

This month, Clickin Moms is holding their first annual conference for learning. Unfortunately I was unable to attend this year, but luckily they were giving away opportunities to listen to some online classes that they were streaming live online. The best part was that it was all for free! So this morning I sat down at the computer and I decided to watch my first talk. A wonderful artist named Megan was going to talk about creativity. Now, I want to be honest with you. I actually was kinda disappointed when I learned that this was the only program I was going to be able to watch today and it wasn't anything that I really had any interest in. I figured it would be very boring. Twice during the program I actually considered turning it off! I couldn't bare to however and I have to say that I am so glad I kept watching. By the end I had learned some very important things and I want to share them with you.

Placerville Lifestyle Photographer | El Dorado Hills Children Photography

1. Being creative is being prepared to fail.

Wow, that is so true. For anyone that knows what it is like to fail, it is so heart wrenching. It cuts you to the core sometimes. Now granted, it all depends on how much you have laid out on the line. To me, creative people are those that think of something and make it happen. Inventors, writers, artists, children, the list goes on. Now of course I can lump photographers in this group as well. The important thing to note here is that what ever you are trying to accomplish- if someone doesn't like it and you don't succeed, then you will feel like a failure. When I take a picture, I don't always strive for people to like my personal work. I do that for me. Now, when I am working for someone else and I am making photos for other people I will surely want my clients to like the work I have made for them. I am risking failure each and every time I go out to a session. It's that risk that makes us unique and sometimes makes magic. But you have to prepare yourself for failure and move on when you do or you won't improve.

Placerville Lifestyle Photography | El Dorado Hills Family Photography

2. Being creative isn't just for you- it's for other people. You have to give your creativity away.

This one hit me hard. I actually thought long and hard about this one before it made sense for my own life. I can totally relate to this. It is my true belief that the things we create should be passed down not for you but for them- our children. A strong sense of history in a family can do wonders. The things my mother has made for us aren't just special because they are beautiful, they are special because they were made with love and they were made for us. I have scrap books and I have pictures and that is why I have the love for photography. It means a lot to me to be able to give my children the same gift- the gift of my creativity. This gift can be for people in your family or just simply the people around you. That is why I love my job. I can give my creativity to others daily and they actually like it. They actually want it to be a part of their family for generations. It is just an amazing feeling.

Placerville Lifestyle Photographer | El Dorado Hills Children Photography

So after the talk, I was sitting at my desk thinking. I don't want my photography to be the only thing my kids will have handed down to them. Although its not a bad thing- it actually is just a personal thing. I want them to have multiple facets of my creativity and I want them to see how much their mother cared for them in many ways. For a while now I have been wanting to learn how to sew. I actually really want to learn very badly. I don't have a sewing machine and I have only done it a few times when I was little with my mom's machine. I honestly feel that I can attain this goal quite easily with some hard work. I really want to learn how to make a quilt and I want to learn how to hem my own kid's clothes (not to mention my own). It's a freeing thing being able to do things well and by yourself. I am a good cook and I can do other things that I am proud of but now I am ready for a new challenge. Anyone with me? Think of something you can do and hand that down to your children or to your neighbor. Make a cake and give it away. Make a handmade item and gift it away to a friend. It's an amazing feeling to be able to give such a creation and it's amazing to see the reaction too. The possibilities are endless. What kinds of things will you create?

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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