family photos

Family Photo Tips All This Week. Day 2: Use Reflectors and Diffusers to Soften the Light

 My neighbor's photogenic daughter. Left: No diffuser. Right: Diffuser.
I am have fun getting my pictures and photo tips together for my talk on family photography at the Upper West Side Apple store on February 26th in NYC. 

While I am in the family photo mood, I thought I'd post some of my favorite family photos and tips here on my blog - along with some of my travel photographs that illustrate the same basic techniques.

Today's Tip: Use Reflectors and Diffusers.

Top left: No reflector. Top right: Reflector. Bottom: Me shooting :-)
Diffuser/reflector kits come in all sizes and shapes. If you are serious about taking good pictures of your family and friends, and even strangers in strange lands, don't leave home without a diffuser/reflector kit.

Here are the two kits I recommend:
and
Westcott 1032 6-in-1 Reflector Kit 42in.
Travel portraits from my Papua New Guinea Workshop. Diffuser plus fill-in flash.
One of my PNG workshop students making a picture with the aid of a reflector.
Okay, back to family photos. Below is another example of the effectiveness of using a diffuser.
My nephew William.
Behind-the-scenes shot of my photo session with William.
You'll find more tips on photographing people in my apps.

Explore the light,
Rick

P.S. My favorite lens for people pictures is the Canon 24-105mm IS lens:

Family Photo Tips All This Week. Day 1: Use Fill-Flash Outdoors


I am have fun getting my pictures and photo tips together for my talk on family photography at the Upper West Side Apple store on February 26th in NYC. 

While I am in the family photo mood, I thought I'd post some of my favorite family photos and tips here on my blog.

Today's tip: Use fill-flash outdoors.

A flash fills in shadows. It compresses the brightness range of a scene. It can also add contrast to a scene.


Click here for an article that I wrote on daylight fill-in flash.


All of these pictures, except for the dark shot, are daylight fill-in flash shots. Master your flash, and you'll get better family photos, as well as photographs of strangers.

Explore the light,
Rick
P.S. You can also use daylight fill-in flash when photographing animals. :-)

The Best Part of Snow Holidays: Family Fun & Pictures!

Today's snow holiday in NY reminds me of past snow holidays - and fun in the snow and cold. So I browsed through some snow photos - taken for work and taken for fun.

Here are two of my favorites - one taken in Antarctica four years ago and one taken in my driveway about 10 years ago. Guess which one brings a bigger smile to my face, and guess which one is more valuable (precious).

My message: Take those fun family photos - even if you have to brave the cold. And, back up your photos in at least two places - one off site.

Explore the light,
Rick
P.S. Caption for bottom photo: Rick and Marco Sammon demonstrate the power of the XL-5000i Snow Remover.