Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Photography Tips | Family Portraits

Summers are so short for us here in Canada, that we all like to take advantage of every moment by planning Camping, Road Trips, Family Reunions, Picnics, Hikes and BBQ's.   This is the time to get together with Family and Friends to reconnect. There is always a camera or two around to capture those moments and inevitable someone gathers everyone together for a Group Photo.  You return home and one or more of your family can't be seen and everyone is so squished that all you do is save the photo to your computer or worse......delete it.

I am putting up my tips for Family Photography so that when you get home you look at the Photograph and want to print it and hang it on your wall to be reminded of the wonderful time you had this Summer.

 If you are the one that will be organizing and photographing you MUST preplan before even mentioning this idea since most people either do not like being photographed and will not like waiting around while you hash out an Idea of where everyone should go to be posed.  Everyone likes it to feel spontaneous and FAST!

                              DIFFERENT LEVELS
You have all seen the classic group photograph with everyone squeezed together in a row.  There is nothing wrong with this just not as creative as it can be and definitely does not look like a profesional posing.  By keeping heads at different levels it allows each of the people to keep their own identity in the group portrait and by doing this it adds the interest we are looking for.

This is a sure way to ruin any group portrait.  When you look at the photograph, to find your sister in law that was there, is nowhere to be seen because she is standing at the back of the tall group it causes a negative feeling.  The first thing anyone sees is what is wrong with a photograph and someone's head peeking out from behind another or simply missing will overtake the moment in the photo of Grandma laughing while Grandpa holds her hand.
Simply Double check that you can see everyone and not just there eyes....all of them!

Since this is the time of the year that the Sun is Shining and the Grass is Green.......Better said you will be Camping or outside in back yards, by Lakes, Rivers and in should take advantage of what is around you to use to help you with the first 2 tips.
Perhaps use a huge tree that have a great V and overhanging branches by having a couple snuggle and lean against the tree and have some sitting on the ground and perhaps a few kids sitting on a tree branch.
or  find some Large Boulders and have a couple sit on different rock....a couple on the ground and a few over to the side standing up.


Triangle composition is widely underused when it is a fundamental rule for group photography.  A triangle creates natural weight to the photograph.  So the best way to compose a group is to use triangles. Have the group positioned so that the bottom of the group is wider and only have one person at the top . This makes the group look like a single unit and complete.  You can even try 2 triangle groupings in on Photograph for a little added Creativity.

Photographing outside is so wonderful because you are in natural surroundings. Please take care in the lighting that is on your group.  Try to find a completely shaded area so that there are no shadows on the faces. When direct sunlight hits your face strong shadows will appear under your eyes from your brow and around your nose. These are not very flattering and everyone wants to see the eyes of the group.  If there aren't any shaded nice spots face your group away from the sun and use flash on your camera or change your exposure to adjust for the back lighting.

It is important to have people sit or stand how they will and then make only minor adjustments to an arm or a leg.....perhaps posture. Let people sit cross legged or with there knees up and only have them turn so that they are at an angle to the camera.  When they are standing and like to have their hands in pockets not a problem.....or Cross their legs while's ok.
                        Just remember that however they sit or stand to angle them to a 45 degrees from the camera.  This adds Depth and is more  flattering to  everyone keeping the interest of the viewer.

People naturally have a tendency to stay in there personal space but this does not always look good for a photograph.  This tends to occur more in a business setting but sometimes with family.
If you take the Photo with everyone spread too far apart it will not feel like a group at all.  Key words" Just move a little closer" and you will be great!

Let things unfold naturally.....this allows personalities to emerge. Let someone tell that joke that makes everyone roar with laughter....eyes closed and heads back! Let people be themselves....Hugging or running....anything. This is a much more natural Portrait and more along the lines of capturing the moment instead of a setup or posed Photograph.

This is key especially for someone that may not have had as much practice as a proffesional.  Someone will inevitably be looking away if it is a concentrated group photo or licking their lips..... making a funny face.... Put your camera on continuous shooting and take as many as you need to so that you get the shot!  The moment will never return!

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Monday, May 21, 2012

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mediterranean Night!

The Most amazing evening with Great My Chef (Husband) & Sous Chef (Veer)
Great Mood....Incense, Candle Light and Inspiring Sufi Music
Great Friends....
And with all the little details I love so much!

Menu | Mint Lemonade
            Hummus & Pita
            Rack of Lamb
            Greek Salad
            Chickpea in sauteed Tomato
            Almond Pistachio Baklava

Baklava by Me!

Please find my portfolio at


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wednesday, May 2, 2012