don’t forget the details
Photographing the details
Often when I’m not getting the co-operation of the kids or the light is less than perfect or ‘just because’… I’ll focus on shooting details. I find it relaxing to concentrate on a single object. It’s also wonderful to look back at those little details and the day-to-day things from the past and let the memories flow…favourite clothes, toys, those curls before the first haircut, little details from a special party etc…
The most enjoyable part of shooting details is finding those little moments in the world that often go unnoticed. If you slow down and keep your eyes open, you’ll notice all sorts of things. Seek out details and take photographs that show things that are meaningful to you and your family but are not perhaps immediately obvious.
Tip 1: Get in close. Either move yourself, or zoom in, but get in close rather than trying to cram everything into the photo. Be brutal about cutting everything else out. If you’re really concerned about cutting a part out, and maybe losing something significant, take two photos. After all, this is digital photography, it won’t cost you anything to take more than one photo and you can delete the rest later.
Tip 2: Focus in on a detail in the foreground and use a shallow depth of field (not sure what that is or how to do it? hold on for upcoming tips) to blur the background. This keeps the focus on the detail but also shows a little of the context (see soccer ball photo below).
Reading photography tips is all well and good but not nearly as useful as practice. So your homework is to capture some of the details when you’re photographing your kids (or your home, or where you are etc). Take some pictures but don’t take photos of the whole of a scene. Some photos should be of the details – the parts that make up the scene.