Part two of this story of my favorite style of family photography is brought to you thanks to CreativeLive. All opinions are my own. This post also includes affiliate links, I make a small commission if you purchase through my links. Thanks for helping support Bre Pea!
When I started the Family Photography: Photojournalism in the Home class through CreativeLive, I had a few specific things I expected to take away from the class:
- I wanted to see how to take advantage of whatever lighting situation that I was dealt without using flash, and
- I was searching for ways to take more interesting photos beyond using the typical rules of composition
After completing the online course, I have not only checked those two things off my list with a GIANT check mark, I feel reinvigorated and more confident in my own personal photography style like I have never felt before.
You may have seen my Part One post with BEFORE photos. Here is what resulted AFTER the course.
I wanted to take family photojournalism head on with less than stellar lighting (since metering and white balance is my current weakness), so I decided to shoot a typical bedtime routine for Bean. No natural daylight, tight space constrictions, and the same old/same old routine.
Bean likes to take every toy that she possibly can and turn it into a bath toy. I wanted to capture the weird compilation of bath toys that she is currently playing with in this photo.
My husband got Bean a Star Wars themed toothbrush that lights up like a light saber. It motivates her with Star Wars quotes to continue brushing for a full 60 seconds. It’s pretty awesome 🙂 I captured this photo of Bean brushing her teeth while Dad brushed her hair in the bathroom mirror.
Although it makes me a bit misty-eyed that Bean can dress herself, I love that she still fits in footie pj’s. My hopes in capturing this photo were to catch her struggling to get the footie pj’s on all by herself.
I like to have a few photos of the ambiance to help tell the story of the series. If there’s anything that screams “Bean”, it’s having way too many stuffed animal “friends” and the random assortment of stuff that I find put together in her room. It currently drives me crazy how she smuggles too many random things into her bedroom, but when she’s a moody teenager way too obsessed with her phone I’m sure I’ll miss these days.
This next one speaks a million words. First of all, Bean had been complaining about her ears for a few days when I took this photo. We would later find out that she did indeed have a double ear infection. Breaks my heart now looking back on it!
Second, I had no idea my old baby toy (the bunny covering its eyes) was on the shelf in the background mirroring Bean’s reaction in a “see no, hear no, speak no evil” way. Pure gold.
The end of Bean’s bedtime routine (since she was a newborn baby) is story time. Lately, she likes to have Dad read to her while lounging on his back. I know her cute Beanism’s will be less and less the older she gets. I made sure to capture this Bean quirk.
Although what I have learned through the 37 video class has filled pages and pages in my notebook, I wanted to share a few key tips with you.
Family Photojournalism Tips
Meter for your highlight
One skill that I want to improve is my light metering. I want to get way more comfortable with metering so that I can learn how to better control light. Photos should not be crazy bright and blown out. When you spot meter for the highlights of your subject, you ensure that they are perfectly exposed.
Shoot through the moment
This is the beauty of digital. Don’t just snap the photo you think will capture the moment and cross your fingers, anticipate the moment and shoot plenty of frames through it. It’s better to have a dozen photos that you instantly trash in exchange of the one that got “it” rather than only three photos that missed the perfect moment.
Kids will repeat their weird behavior
This is one phrase that I heard Kirsten say that I thought, “Really?”. Heck, I’m a mom and I hadn’t picked up on this myself. I’m telling you, IT’S SO TRUE. If you catch your subject, whether it’s your kids or someone else’s, doing something funny and you miss the photo opp chances are they’ll do it again. If you don’t capture it the first time, be patient. Sit ready with your camera for when they repeat it. I personally tested this MANY times with my own Bean and I would say 95% of the time she repeated her silly behavior again.
Catch a “moment”
Kids reading a book peacefully? Although cute, not that interesting. Kids playing calmly at home? Although exactly what a mother would want, again not that interesting.
Kids struggling to get dressed in their outfit of the day they picked out themselves? Interesting and adorable. Kids melting down because they can’t make their matchbox cars defy the law of gravity? (I can speak from personal experience) Now that makes for an interesting photo.
I know I’m still far from perfect, but I think that I have greatly improved in my photography storytelling and creativity through this course. I knew what the basic composition methods were to make a photo more aesthetically pleasing, but beyond that I didn’t know what else to do to make my photos more interesting to look at.
If you haven’t checked it out yet, visit CreativeLive and register for the Family Photography: Photojournalism in the Home class. There are 37 video lessons packed FULL of information for just $99. And remember that you can also save 20% with the code ISHARE20 (exp 5/31/17) making it just $79.20!
Keep in mind that CreativeLive offers more than 1,500 classes across a ton of different topics such as photography, crafts, and even money & life!