March 2, 2010

A Few Photo Tips!



I've had a lot of requests to share to some picture-taking tips with everyone, and while I'm no professional, I'd be happy to share some of my "techniques" with you!

As much as I would love to take my camera out and leisurely shoot just the right pictures for my "photo sessions", life just doesn't allow me that time, so I usually only have about a 5-10 minutes to get the pictures I want. Especially since my subject is often a little antsy :o) But there are a couple of tricks that I use that make sure I get the photos I want within that tiny time frame!

1: Always take photos in outdoor lighting! A cloudy day is best, to avoid shadows. If it's sunny outside, try to take your photo in the shade somewhere.

2: Use a good background! I use a large white mat board for most of my projects. I haul it around everywhere, and I'm pretty sure my neighbors think I'm insane :o) You could also try a white sheet, pretty papers, nature, use your imagination! Just make sure that you can see your subject clearly.

3: Get creative with your photo. You don't want your subject to always be centered! Play around with different angles, fun backgrounds, or out of the ordinary staging! I love to see a model with a fancy, frilly dresses in an alley, or kids doing funny poses. Try to find the most interesting area around you to take your photo in.

4: (my favorite) Photo-editing programs. So important. As you can see in this first daylight photo further down, sometimes having outdoor lighting isn't enough! I use iPhoto and Photoshop quite a lot for cropping, adjusting the exposure, and color temperature, but if you don't have access to those, I've heard great things about Picnik, which is a free online photo-editing site!

My "background":


Bad lighting:
This photo was taken in my kitchen in daylight hours, with the flash on:


Indoor lighting with no flash:


Outdoor with no retouching:


Outdoor, lightened:
(yay!)

Different angles:





So now you know the difference between:
"Look what I made..."

And:
"Look what I made!!!!" :o)


And lastly, when you're photographing the little punkins, it's best to have some chocolate chips on hand for bribery :o)

If you're participating in the contest, remember: presentation is everything!! So get the best photos you can!

Have fun!!

65 comments:

  1. Great photo tips Disney.Its so hard to find a cloudy day OR shade in this part of our world. I mostly use my photo editor to take down the shadows, but sometimes it doesn't help. And I'm not judging, I like Demi too! Were big fans of her, Miley, and the JoBRos!Thats what happens when you have a little girl:)

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  2. Good simple tips and pretty photos! :) Tweeting to my readers!

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  3. Great tips! I love the photos taken on the cement!

    I use the Gimp for photo editing, which is free to download. It does a decent enough job. You can download it here: http://www.gimp.org/

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  4. Thanks for the great tips!

    I had a question about the mat board. When I took pictures on white (I used some white cardstock) outdoors, it came out really bright and blown out. Any tips on that?

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  5. Thanks for the great tips. I am going outside right now to shoot!

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  6. Great tips Disney!! I can't wait for our snow to finally be gone so I can have my little model outside. Right now I've been settling for using my dress-forms - looks like we may be entering the 40's this week (so hopefully warmer temperatures are ahead!!)

    Question: Whenever I make too many adjustments in i-photo it makes my file size WAY too huge to upload to etsy and other places......any idea how to shrink the file size??

    Thanks!!
    Lindsay

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  7. I always try to use natural light too. But I did need that tip about using bribery for my kid photos. My own little model has become a little more reluctant the older she gets! And who could say no to chocolate chips :)

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  8. Brilliant tips!
    Thanks for sharing!
    Rachel x

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  9. Thank you for the photo tips. These will help a lot!

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  10. Thank you for the awesome tips!!! Silly as it sounds, I had never thought to lighten them up!

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  11. love these photo tips! what a great idea to use a big white mat board! your pictures always look so great and professional so thanks for sharing your secrets with us :) and I'm so excited about this contest!! the prizes are incredible! i've been daydreaming and sketching through classes all day long!

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  12. Thanks for the tips. The angle can make the biggest difference I think. Taking something straight on vs. a unique angle can mean the difference between "eh" and "wow!".

    ~ Sarah @ http://www.queenofdiy.com

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  13. funny, I've been meaning to do something similar for months now :)
    Cute apron! The lighting makes all the difference!

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  14. Oh my now I'm getting nervous! :) Now it is ruffles and a good photo- AHHHH- Just kidding! I love your practical advice!

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  15. Thank you thank you Thank you!! I have so much trouble with my photos but from reading your tips, I thiunk I know what my trouble has been. (mine look a lot like the first "look what I made" photos!)

    THANK YOU for sharing your skills!

    p.s. I love you blog and am working on my ruffle project!

    mly

    molleemac.blogspot.com

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  16. Great tips! Thanks! btw I tried making a jersey skirt the other night and it turned out pretty cute (but not anywhere as cute as yours). Thanks for the tutorials!!

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  17. As a novice blogger, these are the sorts of tips I need. Thanks so MUCH!!

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  18. Thank you so much for the tips! I just got a digital slr camera for Christmas and I am slowly learning. I like the idea of the white background. Also, when you say "lightened" what exactly do you mean? The brightness or exposure?

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  19. Hey! I would just like to say I love all your ideas. Thanks for all the great suggestions. This has helped out a lot.

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  20. I love to see comparison photos!
    So you're saying, for objects you use a white board outside (with no flash??), "lightened" in a photo program?

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  21. Great tips! You do have really fantastic photos.

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  22. I am a photographer at heart but not profession....I always mess up on lighting so thanks a ton for the helpful tips!!!!

    BTW, I love the tuts on basic sewing skills!!! It has helped me so much!!!

    D~

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  23. Thank you, thank you, thank you, and finally, THANK YOU! :)

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  24. I just found your blog and I love it!! Great tips, thanks :)

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  25. Great tips! Thank you for putting those together. The comparison photos are especially helpful! --TheSleepyKnitter

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  26. thanks for the tips!

    Also, thanks for featuring my giraffe wall decal on the side bar. I see also that you discovered how I've been blogging about how wonderful you are!

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  27. What a great post Disney, good thinking! Especially with the apron shot...isn't it amazing what a good (or bad) can do for a project?!

    I use Picasa to edit my photos, it's free and I'm madly in love with it. Google makes it and you can download it there, it's also wonderful for organizing and storing all your photos. Just another tip...

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  28. Also, set your white balance... nothing is worse than white tinged with blue.

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  29. Disney, you are the best! I am screaming your praises. Thank you so much for sharing this. You are awesome, awesome, awesome! And I mean this sincerely.

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  30. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Justine

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  31. I'm so glad you posted tips! I wish people would do this more often!

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  32. thank you so much for the pointers. this is going to help me out a whole lot.

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  33. waw, thanks for sharin us those few tips

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  34. Thank you for reminding me of the importance of photos! I mean, I more or less already know most of this, but sometimes I'm just too lazy... So thank you for reminding me that I shouldn't succumb to my laziness that way.

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  35. Thank You Thank You Thank You 100 times for sharing this with me! I always center my photos and they always turn out yellow when I don't use my flash. I really need to work on capturing things from different angles and vantage points! I did just buy some white boards the other day so I am half way there right?? =)

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  36. Thanks for sharing - and way cute apron!

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  37. love, love, love your blog.
    Very inspiring!
    And i love ruffles.

    Just yesterday, i drooled over a Rachel Ashwell ruffled shower curtain in the Target bath aisle.
    I know!!!
    My son ever so patiently looking on in hopes this would all lead somehow, someway to the toy dept. where he could drool over nerf products.
    Bless his soul!
    There were even towels and rugs with ruffles all in those beautiful shabby whites, pinks, and creams, we love.
    How could i create that myself? (i pondered as i checked the price tag), without breaking the bank.
    And lo and behold, ta da!! your blog!
    Thank you for all your inspiring tutorials.
    God bless.

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  38. Totally agree, presentation is everything--sure can make a little ordinary look extraordinary! I sometimes pull my shabby chic window drapes onto the table for a backdrop!

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  39. Great tips and I enjoy the differences between your photos! And I really like the apron you made! You're so talented!

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  40. My computer crashed & I've yet to install another photo editing program. I really need to do so...makes the world of difference.

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  41. I've been so frustrated with taking pictures lately. These tips are great. Love your stuff!

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  42. those were wonderful. i loved all your tips and tricks! and you comment on my blog was FAR to kind, seriously. :)

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  43. Excellent tips, especially the white board. Amazing the difference it makes.

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  44. I have MANY weak points, but my photos are my weakest by far. Thanks for the tips! Unfortunately, it's been freezing and snowy here, so I haven't been brave enough to take my kids ouside for photos, unless they're bundled up from head to toe. Come on Spring!

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  45. Those are all really good tips! I can definitely see how my photos are the "before" using good tips photos, lol.

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  46. I needed a gentle reminder to not get lazy on my blog photos! Most times I finish a project at night and just want to get it up and posted, but I need to remember to just wait until the next day and do it in natural light.

    As always, ADORE your bloggity blog.

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  47. I love the way you shoot things. It's quite beautiful. I use home made items for a "professional-studio-quality" photos too.

    I use things like: foil over cardboard as reflectors, when no light source is available, and the shoot needs to be done NOW. hehe

    Also I use work lights that people usually use to work out in the garage or something in. Positioned good, and while using white poster board as reflectors, it makes some killer inside studio shots.

    Photoshoot is my BFF, but having good homemade tools makes it so that I don't have to photoshop as much. :)

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  48. The pictures with different lighting, angles, and retouching really show the differences. Thank you!

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  49. Glad someone else uses chocolate chips on their little ones too. My husband always gets mad (he is a dentist). Excited about this contest.

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  50. good tips!

    and OH MY GAAAAASH i am in love with that apron!! turquoise is the best, and that gorgeous flower! :) yay

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  51. This was extremely helpful! Thank you!!!

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  52. thanks disney for these photo tips...what a difference you can make with a little light or little change! i love your blog~you have the cutest ideas! what a talented girl you are!! ~terri

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  53. Thank you, Disney. I always struggle with the photos for The Rubber Punkin. I've got the ideas, but am always a little embarrassed to post the pictures. I'm really awful. So, gratsi. Excited about the contest!

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  54. Great tips! I'll be linking!

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  55. Love your tips! I found your post from Artistic Creations with Trudy. I LOVE these tips and will be putting them to good use...today! Thanks!

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  56. Thanks for this post! I always think I really need to improve my photos ... but then I think "I do not have time." I would not have thought that even such quick easy things as you mentioned make such a huge difference! Will definitely keep it in mind and work on it! :-)
    But one quick question: What do you recommend doing when outside light is simply not an option? It's still REALLY cold here with lots of snow ... so I could not get my girl outside to take photos of a shirt for example. Any suggestions?

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  57. Thanks so much for sharing this and so many other tutorials on your blog.

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  58. I have only had an Etsy shop for 1 month now. I came across this when I was looking for photo tips. Thank you so much for your helpful tips and examples. What a huge difference the lighting makes.

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  59. Thanks! I guess I know what I'm doing this weekend... neighbors be warned!

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  60. Coming back around to let you know I constantly send this post out to newer bloggers/crafters who need photo tips! xoxo

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Thanks so much for leaving a comment! I just love finding them! Comments on older posts are moderated, so if your comment doesn't show up right away, it will soon! :o)

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