Take Better 4th of July Photos!

Hello there friends! Do you remember what I said I do to bring home the bacon? (Anyone? No?) I’m an artist. A photographer, to be specific. So I thought that in honor of the anniversary of our independence (and a happy Fourth of July to you too!) I’d share a few simple tips to help you take better photos of all the fun today. Here are 5 simple tips to help you capture great photos this Fourth of July holiday:

Just look at the gorgeous, shaded, natural light. The kid is pretty cute too. 

1. Just Shoot. There’s a quote by a talented man named Chase Jarvis that goes like this: “The best camera is the one that’s with you.” That means that you’ll get better photos from an iPhone that you actually use than you will from a fancy DSLR that stays packed away in your purse. So whatever you have, whether it’s modest or fancy, old or new, just use it. You’ll be happy you did!

2. Go Au Natural. Natural light is the most universally flattering light for everyone from babies to grandparents. It also gives your photos the best and most realistic color. Lamps and florescent bulbs create muddy and murky colors in your photos and are less flattering on skin. So go outside, or look for big windows that will let a lot of light into your images.

3. Avoid Harsh Sunlight. Odds are, you’re going to be BBQ-ing it up today slathered in sunscreen while the kiddos do bellyflops into the pool. But sometimes all that sunshine can be too much and can cause harsh shadows on your subjects’  faces in your photos when it’s directly overhead (think 11am-3pm). So look for open shade or turn your subjects so that the sun is behind them. Trees, tall buildings, umbrellas, patios… of these are great open shade providers.

4. No Cheese. Try to capture genuine laughs and smiles instead of only the super posed “CHEESE!” ones. I have a little trick I use on the job: I count to 3 and then start shooting on 2 and don’t stop till about 5. The helps me to get the more natural moments before and after when my subjects are less stiff. Those moments in between the moments, as I like to call them. You can also give your subjects something to do to put them at ease. Have your husband tickle your child to get some true giggles or have them make funny faces at each other. Odds are dad will be laughing too. Boom. Double whammy!

5. Don’t Forget the Details. Portraits are great, and usually they are the money shots that you’ll love to look back on. But don’t forget to tell the story of the day through the details. The food, the clothes, the fireworks, all of these things add up to the memory you’re creating so why not capture it all? My husband loved this photo I shot of all his hard work in the kitchen.

I shall call this one, “Carnivore’s Delight.”

What will I be shooting with today? I’d like to tell you it will be something fancy like my big DSLR that I use for work, or something cool like one of my vintage film cameras. But to be completely honest, I’ll probably take most of tomorrow’s photos on my iPhone, because it’s so quick and easy and I can do it with one hand while holding a wiggly wee one in the other. (You can follow along with me on Instagram if you’d like @beckarobinson.) But no matter what camera I end up using, my main goal is just to make sure to document the day somehow. Here’s to capturing memories. Cheers!

Read more of Becka’s musings on her personal blog: Life As An Artistpreneur.
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