photography lesson / Ottawa Family Photographer


I was recently reminded of some photography lessons that I wrote that were featured on the Jane’s Adventures in Dinner Blog a couple of years ago and thought it would be fun to re-post them here for my readers to enjoy.

Here is the first one in the series:

I think it’s important to document one’s life in photos, especially family and children…time goes by way too fast!  The lessons i’m going to be teaching can be done with any kind of camera and anyone can do them!

When I was in University, a couple of friends and I would often bring cameras to parties to document our silliness (not always a good thing :)).  After one such party, my friend Dayalini gave me copies of her photos (loved the days of film when you could get doubles for free :)) then when I would put them  in an album with mine, her’s seemed so much better!   I sat down and studied them and realized exactly what it was!  This leads me to your very first lesson and I believe the best lesson I have ever learnt….

1. Get in close to your subject

Often people will pull out their camera and take a quick picture of the scene.  The majority of the time there are lots of distracting elements in the background and you can make the photo way better just by moving up closer to your subject or zooming in if you have a zoom lens.  note: This isn’t always the case though as some times you want the background to set the scene and tell a story.

I was out for lunch with my friend Janet yesterday and she was kind enough to be a model for me so I could do a quick demonstration.  The restaurant we were at wasn’t in a very nice location for photos but by just getting in closer to her with the camera, we managed to get some nice photos that Janet liked (and she does not like her picture taken).

We found this area outside the building with a bit of shade so the sun wouldn’t be in her eyes:


As you can see, I was somewhat far away from her so you can see quite a bit of the background.  Do you like the nice garbage area behind her?


I moved in closer which helped get rid of some of the background and make the focus more on Janet but…here’s lesson #2 (i’m making you work hard, two lessons in one post :)):

2. Watch your background.   
I wasn’t paying attention to the background and now poor Janet looks like she has a green pole growing out of her head.    By just changing my position (janet didn’t even have to move) and walking towards Janet’s right hand side, i was able to eliminate the distracting background.


Much Better!  Doesn’t she look lovely?


I was over at my god-daughter’s place on the weekend and thought I would snap a few photos of her.

I thought little miss “M” looked as cute as can be in her purple dress and hat but to me the background was a bit distracting in this photo.  My eyes tend to look at the red candles and that bright green thing instead of her adorable face.


Moving my own position didn’t help with the background so in this case my daughter got her to play a game sitting on the ground which lowered her and eliminated the distractions.  Now the focus is on her face….isn’t it a cute one?


I hope you enjoyed today’s lessons and I would love to see what photos you come up with trying them out.

Summary of today’s lesson: Get in closer and watch your background.

Have Fun and Happy Shooting!




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