Tips for better family portraits

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Published on September 18, 2016 with No Comments

It is said that if you line up all the economists end to end, they won’t be able to make a decision. On the other hand, if you line up all the digital camera companies, you would have better holiday photos. In this vein, the folks at Canon want to help you take better photos. Contrary to popular thinking, better cameras don’t take better photos, but if your photos are good people want your camera. More than just point-and-shoot, Canon wants you to put some thought into image composition, lens choice and of course their photo printers. Consequently, they’ve assembled tips and thoughts on photography by experts in the field.
Michael Timmons, a portrait photographer, says the Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 lens is the best. He believes that the lens is sharp and quick, allowing him to focus in on the eyes. And the eyes really do have it. Even though a portrait is posed, the subject and possibly the person behind the camera are really bodies in motion. What he aims to capture is that “in-between” moment that has a candid quality to it. Even posed family portraits can be better when the photographer captures in-between moments.
On the other hand, for Heather Lickliter who mostly photographs children, just about any decent digital camera can do a good job, though her equipment is worth close to $8,000. Rather than fuss with the equipment, she advises newcomers to set the camera on “portrait” and work at getting a good shot. Adults should get down to the child’s eye level. Use props such as chairs, ballet skirts, buckets and pails to add interest. Avoid clothing with busy patterns and most of all follow the kids and anticipate their next move for a more natural shot.
Once you have those prized photos, the Canon people hope you use their wireless, web-connected photo printer, the PIXMA MP990 that allows computer-free printing with excellent photo quality. There are several brands of web-connected printers including some that have apps. And just in case you have background issues in your photos, there is Bokeh, a Photoshop plug-in that allows you to blur the background. Now if economists get digital cameras how will they decide what to shoot?

Photos are by Heather Lickliter.
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