Thursday, August 29, 2013

6 Tips on taking Back to School Photos

I recently sent off my first born and sweet baby girl to Kindergarten.  I of course took pictures of her on the first day of school, but those were more for me, full of emotion and slightly rushed.  I really wanted a more relaxed shot of her in her school uniform, and with a little better light than the cloudy morning offered me the first day of school.  Below are the more formal pictures I took, and my tips for getting your own great Back to School portraits of your little scholars.

  1. First of all know that it is NOT TOO late to take your back to school photos, either by a professional photographer like Strawberry Snails Photography, or yourself.  In fact now is the perfect time since all the back to school excitement and jitters have calmed down.
  2. If at first you don't succeed try, try, again.  If you are taking the pictures yourself, of your own kids, and they are not cooperating, don't be ashamed to throw in the towel for the day and try another day.  You will be amazed at what a fresh start will bring, new attitudes, and new inspiration.  However, if you are a professional photographer on a booked gig, you don't have that luxury... so change it up.  Get out a new prop, move the child to a new area of the location, and change the topic of conversation in which you are engaging the child.
  3. Get the best lighting.  Good lighting makes a world of difference.  There are hundreds of books on the topic, and I could write a whole blog just on that subject; however, in effort to keep it simple my best advice is to shoot the pictures during the GOLDEN HOUR, the time of day after the sunrises and before the sunsets that give soft diffused beautiful golden light, usually one to two hours after sunrise or before sunset.  The pictures I took of my child below were taken at 7:00 PM.
  4. Engage the child.  Get the child to do some sort of activity to get their mind off of the camera and then start giving them simple direction.  Personally, my own child always refuses to "pose" for me, so I engaged her in activities I know she likes.  For the pictures below I said,  "wanna look at a cool book?"  and then when she was looking at it I said something to get her to look at me, "Do I have a bug on my camera?" (she falls for that all the time since bugs fascinate her). :)
  5. Don't say, "Say Cheese".  If you can believe it, there are several books out there on this very topic because it is so important.  If you want a natural smile, try to avoid telling the child to smile, rather make them giggle, tell a joke, or do something silly.
  6. RELAX!! If you are uptight, the child will be uptight, and the pictures will look uptight. Relax, have fun, and remember step number 2.


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Thanks for reading!  Jessica


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

A Girl & Her Horse: Senior Portraits

I am really excited to show you the pictures from this Senior Portrait Photo Shoot. Rachel was such a great model, you know it is not easy working with animals in a photo type setting, but she did great and so did the horses.  Rachel has a great connection with her horse Skittles and I really wanted to capture not only her gorgeous beauty but also the admiration and trust between the two of them. I also really loved the South Park location where we shot these portraits, Pittsburgh has so many beautiful places and parks.

This photo shoot in particular was pretty special for me, this is the anniversary month for Strawberry Snails Photography, one year.  The cool thing is that my very first official Senior Portrait Photo Shoot last year was with a beautiful girl and her horse, and to get to photograph another beautiful Senior on my One Year anniversary was perfect.

I hope you enjoy the photographs as much as I do, I would love to know which ones are your favorites, I know which ones are mine.
















I love social media!  Come follow me at my other various 

stomping grounds for different glimpses into SSP.

Twitter: @lovelaughclick



Instagram:  @strawberrysnails

Pinterest:  Strawberry Snails


Thanks for reading!  Jessica