For years I used a point and shoot camera with an automatic mode although I yearned to learn how to use a “real” camera (e.g., DSLR) to take great photographs. It wasn’t until I started this blog that I actually bought myself a big girl camera and started paying more attention to the lighting and composition of my photos. Then, as I took more and more pictures for my blog, I learned about bouncing light and food styling, aperture and shutter speed.
In a way, this was a good thing. I think my food photography has progressively gotten “better” and it takes me less time to get all my food shots taken for each blog post. Frankly, I don’t have a lot of time to take too many pictures of the food I make simply because my kids are usually on my heels waiting to eat whatever I’m trying to photograph.
In some ways, however, learning to take the best food photos has actually hindered my ability to capture the moment in real life photography. I’m always looking for the “best” shot, the most posed shot where all my kids look perfect (shirts tucked in, hair combed) and everyone is smiling. Let me tell you, getting four boys to do that is not easy. Most times, I have to take a few dozen shots just to get that “perfect” shot for our Christmas card.
Recently, I was going through my archives of family photos and I have to say the ones that made me smile and laugh the most were the ones that captured those precious moments. I can still remember the time and place that those pictures were taken, and all the laughter in those minutes leading up to the shot.
There are a few photos on my blog where I think I was able to capture the mood of that day, such as when Hurricane Sandy hit and we were without power for a week, and it was freezing cold in our house. I still remember watching the steam come off my coffee cup.
This Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal was one of the hot meals we treasured as we bundled up one morning in our cold house as the week went on without power during Hurricane Sandy. Fortunately, we have a gas stove so we were able to cook. But, I remember how comforting this bowl of oatmeal was and how quickly we ate it.
And, this Turkey Shepherd’s Pie was one of the first meals I made after our power came back on after Hurricane Sandy. We were all in need of some comfort food. I can still remember how good this was and how happy everyone was to have the lights, hot water and heat working again.
Recently, I received a copy of The Unforgettable Photograph 228 Ideas, Tips, and Secrets for Taking the Best Pictures of Your Life by George Lange. I finally had a chance to read through it over the holidays and it’s made me rethink how I take pictures. The book is divided into two sections: (1) Ways of Seeing and (2) Making Your Ideas Real.
Here are a few tips that caught my eye:
Ways of Seeing
- Shoot The Moment, Not The Subject (Tip I like: Capture the In-Between Moments)
- Keep It Real (Tip I need to work on: Don’t Force the Smile)
- Embrace Intimacy (Great tip: take a picture of just hand holding up close)
- Move Your Eye (Love this tip: Move underneath your subject and take photos)
- See the Light (Tip: Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark)
- Feel the Rhythm (Try this tip: Catch the Rhythm of Joy)
Making Your Ideas Real
- Get A Tiny Bit Technical (Tip: Embrace the Energy of Blur)
- Work With People (A tip I need to work on: Don’t Sweat the Group Shot)
- Playing With Babies And Children (Fun Tip: Submit to the Chaos)
- Use Props And Backdrops (Loving this tip: Use a dramatic sky as your backdrop)
- Have Fun (Don’t forget this tip: See the Beauty in the Most Ordinary Things)
I’m going to work on not taking the perfect picture where everything and everyone looks nicely composed and posed.
I’ve given you just a glance into all the wonderful tips that The Unforgettable Photograph has to offer. If you’re looking to capture those special and unique moments with your camera, you’ll enjoy reading all 228 tips that George Lange has to offer and perusing through all the wonderful life pictures that he uses to demonstrate how effective these tips can be.
And now for the Giveaway! I have one (1) copy of The Unforgettable Photograph to giveaway. To enter, click here. There are multiple ways to enter.
mac and cheese
I like to take pics of my kids, but my dog sit still better.
It really is crazy how much photos, even photos of food, can take us back to a very specific memory!
Adrienne @ Whole New Mom says
Thanks for the chance to win this. I LOVE taking photos.
Miranda H. says
I love taking pictures of animals, people, and landscapes
Great tips Jeanette! Especially trying to capture the moment instead of the shot. Thanks for sharing:)
Wow that sound like a great book – the few titbits you shared make so much sense.
There are so many unforgettable photographs in my family. We have one of us all sitting on the couch together when I was a kid – it’s priceless! I can’t wait to see what photographs Adee will find unforgettable about her childhood!