Documentary Photography

Choosing the Right Props for Your Next Photo Session

Have you ever thought about adding props to your photo sessions? Props can add interest, depth and an extra flair to your pictures. Get your children to hold coordinating flowers for a spring or summer shoot. Love sports? Then use baseball bats in your next family photo to bring out your passion. Here are a few tips for ways to incorporate props in your next photo session.

1. Avoid trends.

 While you might have recently seen a few photos that incorporate a specific prop, try not to use something that will not look really dated in 20 years’ time. Classic is definitely better and there are many fun options to choose from.

2. Be realistic. 

It’s easy to go wild when thinking of a theme for your photo session. You should decide on one that you can actually find props for. For example, if you want to use seasonal props, try and source them in that season as they’ll be easier to find and before you decide to remake your favorite movie scene, think twice about whether you’ll be able to find suitable outfits for everyone in the photo.

3. Size matters. 

There are some larger props that work really well in photo sessions such as using your grandpa's farm tractor as a background piece. However, there are some larger props that can take away from the beauty of the photograph altogether. Make sure that your prop enhances the photo and doesn't detract from it.

4. Make it meaningful. 

If your child has a favorite stuffed animal or if you have a musical instrument that you treasure, try and incorporate it into your photos. This way your pictures will have more meaning to you and your family.

5. Use what you have. 

Make the current season work to your advantage by using what’s available. Leaves in the fall make for amazing props in photos and don’t cost a thing.

I am home a lot ( being that I homeschool 8 kids) So, naturally I get a lot of practice in Lifestyle/ Documentary work and so number 5 here is huge for me. I am constantly just using what I have available to me in my images. Remember, using props can be the perfect addition to your photos but make sure that they don’t become the main focus.

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Photographers Who Inspire: Getting to Know Amanda Barrick

Photographers Who Inspire: Getting to Know Amanda Barrick

What got you started in photography? 

While I've always known the importance of taking pictures, when my son was born in 2013, things got real. My own parents passed away when I was 9 years old, and growing up, photos of us became incredibly important to hold on to the memories of the details of our everyday life. Becoming a mom made it even more important to capture memories for my son to look back on in the future. Eventually I started to fall in love with the art of photography and I've been trying to capture our memories with that in mind ever since. 

Top 5 Tips for Making a Photo Session with Kids Easier

 

If you’re preparing for a photo session with your children, you may be feeling a bit apprehensive. Children aren’t always easy to deal with, which is why the below tips will definitely come in handy before your upcoming photo session.

1. Don't make a huge deal out of it. 

If you're stressed out and cranky, your kids will usually pick up on it and act accordingly. Their behavior will usually be better if you are relaxed and having fun. You may have to make some compromises to keep the peace such as letting your energetic daughter's hair stay straight instead of curling it into because she won't sit still. Focus on the big picture and don't sweat the small stuff.

2. Make it fun. 

Let the kids have a couple “fun pictures” where they get to pick their own pose or props. You get to keep the more serious photos while they get to keep their silly photos. This way everyone wins. If you are struggling to get your kids to sit still, turn the photo session into a game. Simon Says usually works like a charm.

3. Be prepared. 

If you're going to be out for several hours, ensure that your children are well rested and have had their nap. Bringing some snacks and activities along is also a great idea. If you are having your own photos taken too then you might want to bring a babysitter or family member along to watch the kids. If you happen to be shooting in a remote location, you never know when you might need something like bug spray, tissues or a first aid kit so bring that along too.

4. Be patient.

 Save your sanity by trying not to control the photo session too much. Sometimes the best photos come from kids just doing their own thing. Work with your photographer and your photos will look fantastic.

5. Have a chat. 

Get your children talking to both you and the photographer about topics such as school or their favorite songs. This allows them to feel more comfortable around your photographer and will also give your photographer a chance to capture a few candid and cute expressions.

As you can see here, I just let the child do what he wanted, just watched him play and documented what unfolded. 

As you can see here, I just let the child do what he wanted, just watched him play and documented what unfolded. 

Same thing here. Kids love to climb trees and this made for a cute image. 

Same thing here. Kids love to climb trees and this made for a cute image. 

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As you can see, this session went really well and I was able to get some really good Lifestyle images because The Littrell Family were so good at following these 5 tips. 

What are some tips you can think of that may help to make sessions easier? Comment below, I'd love to hear from you!

Growing your Photography Business with a Blog Loop

Growing your Photography Business with a Blog Loop

I Happy New Year!!!  What are your goals for your business this year? I for one, am really hoping to  get going in taking clients on,  and creating a succesful photgraphy business this year. Every where I research I read about how blogging is THE way to grow your business and really get recognized and ranked in Google. I absolutely HATED writing in school and as you can see.... am not very good at it, BUT I LOVE photography and will do anything to really grow my business!

Storyteller's Blog Circle

I am so excited to be a part of this monthly educational blog circle with my fellow storytelling photographers! Take a look at my storytelling image and read about my thoughts behind it and then click on to the next amazing artist and so on... follow around until you have completed the loop! I hope you enjoy!

"So, what is a storytelling image?" You may ask. Well, that is a great question! Just as with reading a book that has a main subject and supporting elements, so does a  storytelling image. You will usually have a main subject ( or two) along with an supporting  enviornment and extra objects in the shot that help to tell you who they are, what they are doing and what they see. I love storytelling in my imagery, especially when documenting my family ( which is what I am doing most of the time) I always make sure to keep my camera in a central location so that I can be ready asap when I spot just the right moment.  

50mm ,f/1.8 ,iso 200, 1/640

50mm ,f/1.8 ,iso 200, 1/640

The image that I chose this month is of my son  drawing on our family room windows. It's such a typical childhood thing to do and I knew I wanted to capture forever this nostalgic image. I knew right away that I wanted to convert it to bnw with all that light/shadow and texture that was present, so it was really just a matter of setting up how I wanted the composition.  and I really loved how the window sill was a leading line straight to him. 

 

 

My biggest advice to you when making storytelling images is to really make sure you choose the right angles and perspectives so that you can  accurately capture and portray your subject.... remember to think, who is the subject? What are they doing? What elements around me can help to support the subject and tell the story accurately? 

I am so excited to see what your favorite storytelling images are. Comment below with your link! Remember to follow this circle on to the next amazing artist for some great tips on how they shoot their storytelling images!  Next up is the amazingly talented Jen Lucas

 

xoxoxoxo

 

Tanya Moon

Photographers Who Inspire: Getting to Know Jyotsna Bhamidipati

Photographers Who Inspire: Getting to Know Jyotsna Bhamidipati

Happy, happy Monday everybody! I'm so excited to be featuring the incredibly talented Jyo of mbmphotographs. She is an award winning & Intl Published artist, as well as a Click Pro and Clickin Mom's Mentor. She's a contributor to Offset and Cavan and......

Portraits for Great Grandma & My Monthly Favorites

Portraits for Great Grandma & My Monthly Favorites

Thank goodness it's Friday! This has been one heck of a week. We are in the midst of selling our home... or I should say trying to sell, lol! And in one week we had around 12 showings!! That is one huge chore to try and keep your house show ready clean with 9 kiddos running around! I am just so worn out and ready to relax this weekend...... oh wait! Two more showings tomorrow and possibly a third. Please pray that our house sells soon and we get the piece of land we want and can start building again!

Photographers Who Inspire: Natasha Huisman

Photographers Who Inspire: Natasha Huisman

Happy, happy Monday friends! Today's featured photographer is another sweet soul I have met via the wonderful IG!! She describes herself as, "Wife, Mama, Visual Storyteller." Go friend her on IG right now because you don't want to miss a second of her work. Her IG is a beautiful mix of client and personal work. She is superb in capturing everyday moments in such a wonderfully emotive way. And she is amazing at freelensing, I could scroll FOREVER!! So sit back and enjoy getting to know the amazingly talented... Natasha Huisman!!