Not everyone is familiar with the latest photography techniques, and when you add high-end digital cameras in the mix, you can expect issues to arise. And who says that you need to be an expert like Martin Klimas, Nigel Barker, Jill Greenberg, or any other famous photographer to take beautiful pictures. You can just as well be an amateur and still get the best pictures possible. How, you ask? The first step to taking workable pictures is by understanding your camera. Whether your camera is the latest model with innumerable features or is an older model from few years, you have to familiarize yourself with it.
Taking group photographs isn't different than taking portrait, still, or landscape photographs. Regardless of the number of people, you can capture images that are natural, pleasant, and elegant. In this article, we are going to give you some tips for indoor and outdoor photography that will enhance the images tenfold.
Tips for Indoor and Outdoor Photography
Imagine that you and your family (or friends) are gathered for a special occasion and you wish to capture this moment forever. You grab the camera and start clicking pictures. But somewhere down the line, the light is too bright or dull, you can't capture the angles correctly, and/or you are confused with all the different features on the camera.
The point to remember is that everything lies in the facial expressions. Whether you click pictures inside the house or somewhere outside, the secret to liven up the images is in everyone's faces. When you focus on them, rather than the background, you end up clicking the best pictures. Now, I don't mean that a background doesn't count. But the point is, you don't always have to focus on the background. For an amateur photographer, concentrating on the subjects' faces is very crucial. Once you have mastered this art, you can move on to other details of pictures and features your camera has to offer.
- First of all, using natural light is the best way to capture vibrant images. Yes, it does sound ironic but it's the truth. Using the flash has its own benefits and it is quite tempting to use them indoors as well. Which is why, try taking pictures with the light coming from the windows and doors. Have everyone stand in such a way so that the light falls directly on their faces.
- Second of all, pick backgrounds that are easy to work with. A plain wall, a couch, a table, or even a computer desk with as little clutter as possible will work in your favor. When there are less things to get distracted by, the focus stays on the people in the images. You want to accentuate the people in the images and not the background.
- With large groups, using a tripod is the best way to avoid shaky images. This is one of the most important tips for beginners; whether the images are being taken indoors or outdoors. With a tripod, you will spend less time deleting shaky images and more time clicking pictures.
- Always take 2 to 3 shots of the same poses so while editing, you can select the best one. With large groups, you are bound to get certain shots with someone's eyes closed, a person looking away from the camera, people yawning, making weird faces, etc. So instead of wasting the images, you can delete the ones that aren't perfect and select the ones that are.
- Always read the instructions that come with the camera. The different features like ISO, shutter speed, white balance, light sensitivity, and camera modes are provided for a reason. Experiment with the features and see what results you get.
- The light is your best friend here. While clicking outdoor pictures, you have enough light to capture the images without having to use the flash. However, you need to be aware of the direction of the light, where the group is standing, and is there any light falling directly over the camera lens. Of course, with practice, you will understand the difference and how you (the photographer) need to position yourself to get perfect images possible.
- Many times, you will notice that the faces in the images are coming a bit dark, even after you've used the natural light effect. Here, what you can do is use the reflecting light technique. Using sunlight or the reflection from a white wall works wonders. This way, even with an open sky and the possibility of darker faces, the reflecting lights will brighten everyone's faces in those images.
- You can either use a point and shoot camera or try your hand at using a DSLR camera. Of course, the results will be poles apart because of the advanced features provided in DSLR cameras. However, the images will be remarkable nonetheless.
- Don't use sideways or downward angles while taking group photographs. Here, you can use a tripod or hold the camera in such a way that your hands are not moving involuntarily. The images need to be centered so that the group's photographs come clean. Also, it's alright if you can't include the sky along with the people. Outdoor photographs don't necessarily require the sky background in them.
While you're taking group photographs or any other photographs for that matter, practice, practice, and more practice. Keep experimenting with your camera, try different backgrounds, and see what results you get. The more you get familiar with your camera, the better chances you have to get amazing images.