Monthly Archives: May 2014

Planning for a photo shoot

One of the keys to having a great photo session is for you, the subject, to properly plan ahead.  The following suggestions should be helpful in this regard but you should also talk with your photographer before your appointment about his or her suggestions.

Let’s first talk hair.  When you tilt your head, your hair should move with you and blow nicely in the breeze or a fan.  You want to avoid a lot of hairspray or similar product in your hair when you come in for your photo shoot but you might want to bring a little for touchups.   If you are looking for a more natural look in your photos, avoid having a shoot only a few days after you get a haircut or styled. You should bring a hairbrush or com.  For women, check with your photographer about recommendations about bringing a curling iron, straightener, or electric curlers for an indoor photo shoot.

Some people may consider getting a sunburn or a tan before a photo session.  Please avoid tanning or sun burning right before your session.  If you are out in the sun, vary your shirtsleeves and bathing suit tops when tanning to avoid the lines if that will matter in your actual photos being taken.  However, avoid spray tanning or a tanning salon for a period of three days prior to your photo shoot.  Spray tans may photograph orange during this time period.

Clothing tips for a shooting

Another major consideration for your photo shoot is clothing.  The proper clothing to wear in a photo session will allow your face be the focus of the portrait.  Avoid stripes, plaids, busy patterns and bright colors that focus attention on your clothing and not your face.  Wear solid colors, no large distracting bright patterns especially outdoors.  If you want to wear bright, colorful clothing, have a second outfit with softer colors and tones for variety.  Go for a classic, timeless look rather than an outfit that dates the photo.  Check with your photographer about the number of clothing changes allowed in the professional shoot.  Bring multiple changes of clothes to fit the theme of your session!  Have a few different looks with you and just not all formal and not just all one style.  Plan all your outfits because some photos may be close-up, full length and in between.  If you are trying your outfits on prior to your appointment, make sure you all try on the same underwear or under garments.  Look in the mirror and how does each outfit look on you, your arms, etc.

photo close-up

Some final brief hints for clothing: (a) Avoid a lighter colored pant with a darker colored shirt as it will have your bottom half look larger than your top; (b) for men, a dress suit with a tie has been a standard.  If you want to wear only a dress shirt and tie, wear a colored shirt.  (c) If session is outdoors, bring an outfit that blends with the outdoors.  Certain colors look best for different seasons outdoor.

Hopefully this article has provided you a number of tips and suggestions when planning to have a photo shoot.  Remember, these suggestions are informational but you should check with your own professional photographer prior to your appointment about his or her own advice and guidance.

Using framing when taking a photograph

Framing a shot is one aspect of taking a great photograph.   Consider it as the placement of your subject in the context of your photograph.  It is one of the most important ways to focus interest on your subject that you are photographing.  It is done by being aware of and setting up the subject and background you are shooting to get the ultimate picture.  In the picture, the dog is the primary subject and the grass is the primary background.  If I wanted to, I could edit out the top of the photo but wanted to leave it as shot.  The dog caught looking at the tennis ball just adds more focus.  framing a photo
Let’s define the frame itself as the area that you see in the viewfinder prior to taking the  photograph and prior to any later editing.  You need to be ware of your subject and also the background in the entire frame and how your subject appears in the overall scene.  In most  cases, you may want the subject to be the prime focal point in the frame.  Remember that a subject is not necessarily a person but could be a pet, or an object such as a vase.  Check how your subject looks in the frame and if you are actually seeing what you intend to shoot.  Are you accidentally cutting off a subject’s arm or leg that you want to include?  Take a few seconds if possible to double check. .
Finally, check the background in the frame and see if here is anything distracting  or unwanted.  A great shot can be negatively impacted with the background that takes away from the focal subject.   Also, you can actually enhance a photo by being sensitive to your background  and possibly how your subject lines up to the background in the frame by rearranging the subject slightly.  In most cases you want to ensure the subject to be the prime focus in the shot and not lost in the background. However, if you are aware of the background, you can use it creatively to your advantage.
With the age of digital editing, you can change the frame at times by cropping after the shot but some background but if the subject’s hair is cut off, it is probably a wasted shot.  Hopefully this article provides you some helpful advice in taking photographs.