Thursday, February 9, 2012

How to take great photos of your own kids : Lesson 1 Gaining Confidence in You

Raise your hand if you want to be able to take better pictures of your own kids Ok so I know I can’t actually see if you raised your hand or not but let’s pretend I’m in the room with you and we are talking about how to take better pictures of your own kids. Everyone on board? Good.

Now raise your hand if you take pictures of your kids. Keep your hands raised if you take lots of pictures of your kids. Still have your hand raised? Well then I have news for you, you are already well on your way to taking great pictures of your own children! Yep you heard me, you can take great pictures of your own children and you probably already do! For lesson 1 we are going to be taking a look at the pictures you already take of your own kids; chances are that there are real gems hidden in those pictures you have dismissed as simply not good enough or even downright bad. We are our own worst critics! I most certainly don’t think I hit it out of the park with every trip of the shutter. In fact 90% of the time when photographing my own daughter I have to remind myself to reserve judgment until I have looked at the images on the computer screen and played around with them a little bit.
So that is what we are going to focus on today. To emphasize my point I am going to share 6 images from a mock photo shoot I did with my daughter just the other day. Now this photo shoot with my daughter did not go the way I planned she wouldn’t sit still, the sheet I was using for a back drop (draped over the side of her crib and bunched up on the floor) looked too bunched and wrinkled and I just wasn’t happy with what I was getting. Yes disastrous photo shoots of my own kid even happens to me. But remember just because we feel that all is lost does not in fact mean all is lost. I loaded the pictures onto my computer and still wasn’t happy but then I started to play around with them and all of a sudden the pictures transformed before my eyes into beautiful pictures of my daughter that totally captured the spirit of her on an everyday basis.

Some simple edits that you can do at home to transform your pictures from blah to beautiful include:
 Adjusting the white balance (there is a great tutorial HERE)
 Creating a black and white version of the image (I used Picasa)

 For all your fellow Adobe  Photoshop and Photoshop Elements users running some free actions (I used the Coffee Shop Action Faded Daydreams)

Here are some examples:

So now your challenge is to go back and look at pictures you have already taken of your kids, or stage a photo shoot of your own and take a second look at images you have previously dismissed and have landed on the cutting room floor. Then take those images and try some new editing techniques and watch your photos transform from blah to beautiful right before your very eyes. Have confidence in yourself and your ability to take great pictures of your kids: that's lesson 1! We can only go up from here!!!

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