Our friends at Promaster offer these tips on getting better Easter pictures. If you've been a regular reader of “News Flash” or Porter's Blog you may see certain tips appearing over and over again. That's because the very best tips apply in so many different situations.
Children and adults alike look forward to Easter’s festivities with the opportunity for family gatherings, Easter egg hunts, and a day spent with loved ones. Bright colors coupled with springtime Easter themed items make this one of the year’s best photo opportunities. All you need is a little creativity and preparation to create some of your most moving mementos.
Prepare the Props: Consider what type of images you’d like to create and make sure you have all the necessary props on hand. For example, you might need decorative Easter baskets, colorful plastic (or metallic-painted) eggs, flowers, Easter grass and stuffed animals (bunnies or chicks). Do you want your children wearing fun accessories such as scarves or hats? Make sure you have those items coordinated in advance. One more thing to consider about clothing is comfort; if the young ones feel constricted and uncomfortable, you may find yourself with a struggle when it comes time to pose. Consider loose-fitting clothing and leave the cute three-piece suit in the closet for now.
If you’re going to use live animals in photographs, they can be a distraction for the younger children, so make sure you have another person to assist with the posing and set up. You’ll need your ‘assistant’ to keep the kids’ attention so they’re looking at the camera.
Consider Your Timing: If you’re photographing young children, consider shooting earlier in the day if possible. Trying to get kids to cooperate after a busy day may end up in frustration on both sides. There’s also no rule that says you have to shoot the photos on Easter day. You can take them on Saturday when there’s less pressure and more time to experiment.
Go Low: We often shoot from our own perspective but Easter is one of those times when crouching down to photograph the happenings from the child’s viewpoint makes perfect sense. If possible, keep your distance and zoom in on the action; try to keep from inserting yourself into the activity so as to not disrupt the flow of events and the unfolding of expression.
Follow the Sun: You may find the sun harsher in the morning hours, so search for the shady respite of a nearby tree or other fixture if at all possible. Just be aware of any spotty shadows coming from leaves as the sun cuts through the branches. You may also wish to use your flash as a ‘fill flash’ to ward of dark shadows under the eyes of your subjects. Late afternoon sun is often considered ideal, and if your crew is cooperative, by all means shoot away!
Feel free to experiment and don’t fret if every image isn’t perfect. In fact, some of the most compelling images are the ones that sneak up and surprise you. Be open to the possibilities and keep snapping away; use the opportunity as a learning experience and a time to enjoy what is unfolding before you.