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Lifestyle family photography, is it a minefield?
When I get an enquiry for lifestyle family photography I never know where I’m going to be. It could be that when I pull up I’m faced with a huge mansion with large windows and high ceilings, or it could be a small one bedroom flat.
Which ever it is though I don’t prefer one property over another. To my clients this is their home and where they have chosen for their photographs to be taken. Lifestyle family photography isn’t about creating the show home look, it’s about creating images that represent the families lifestyle.
Lifestyle family photography is about embracing what you have in a way that will create images that you can treasure.
So how can you do this in your own home? Well the first part is that most of us these days have a camera in our pocket, your mobile phone. If not or you prefer to use another camera remember to keep it somewhere that you can get to it easily. There is no point having it upstairs hidden in the wardrobe when most of the action take place downstairs in the lounge or kitchen. If my phone isn’t in my pocket i know that I always have my Fuji camera on my desk ready for when inspiration grabs me. Oh, did you notice that part of read? Make sure the battery is always charged as well. There is nothing worse that seeing that shot and grabbing the camera only to find the battery is flat (trust me I have been there).
With a camera ready how else can you capture that perfect shot? There are a few little tricks that I use to help with this and they mainly involve changing your perspective and controlling what the eye sees in the photo.
(n.b. Please note that I have purposely not used my own images to show how you can create these images in your own home)
Change the way you look
No I don’t mean go out and buy a new outfit before taking every photo (although I guess there are some of you reading who have been waiting for just that excuse).
Changing the perspective that you shoot from will not only allow you to minimise the clutter or distractions in your home it will also add a new and interesting look to your photo.
A bird's eye view
If you really don’t have time to tidy up or if there is something that just catches your eye shooting from above is a great way to get rid of the clutter around your subject. You may have to be a bit nimble though as I will often find myself standing on a chair, bed or other such object to get the shot that I want.
Taking a photograph from a bird’s eye view also allows you to capture a parents point of view.
A worm's eye view
This works in the same way as the bird’s eye view for hiding those distracting items that you don’t want to appear in your shot. Get as close to the ground as you can when taking your shot. Crouch down or even lay on the floor, yes I have even wanted a shot so bad I have been laying in a puddle on a November morning.
Taking a photograph from a worm’s eye view also allows you to capture a child’s point of view.
Fill the frame
There will be times when there is either too much clutter or you simply don’t have the energy to move anything or tidy up. All you need to do in those situations is get up close and fill the picture with what you want to see. It is also really handy if you want to capture the emotion or details of their faces as they do whatever ever they are doing.
Filling the frame is also great for when there are other children around who you don’t want in the picture.
Move the essentials
With photography there will be times when you have no other option than to move distracting objects or clutter. Don’t panic though as it doesn’t mean you need to clean the whole room. It does mean that this type of shot will need a little bit of homework and you may lose a bit of the spontaneity.
To save you moving everything simply view the shot through your camera and make a note of where the distracting objects or clutter are. Then all you need to do is move those objects a few inches to the right or left so that they will be out of the shot. Who would ever know that they were there?
Embrace the mess
When you live with children you can’t escape the fact that mess will be a part of your life. Why not just embrace it and capture it as a memory. It is after all a part of your child’s growing up.
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High Wycombe, Aylesbury, Chesham, Beaconsfield, Marlow, Cookham, Wendover, Great Missenden, Slough, Maidenhead, Thame, Chorleywood, Burnham, Gerrards Cross, Little Chalfont
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire
Tel: 07534 075091