Photography Tips for Your Family's Happy Occasions
It’s graduation season! And recital season! Special year-end events are happening all over the place.
As a photographer, I feel privileged to attend many of these happy occasions. Proud moms and dads, beaming grandpas and grandmas – and cameras all over the place!
Of course, we all want great photos of our own graduate or dancer or piano player. Here are some suggestions that can help:
1. Take pictures at home before the big event. That’s when hair is perfectly coiffed, makeup is freshly applied, and no wardrobe malfunctions have yet occurred. You’ll also avoid the clutter and distraction of trying to make a good photo at the event venue.
2. Look for shade for your picture – a fancy flower bed may look really beautiful, but your photo won’t be a success if your subject is squinting in the sun.
3. Take a full-length photo, and one that is close up. Try to catch your graduate or performer with a natural smile (or even a bit of nervousness showing before the big moment).
4. Put your camera away during the event. Soak in every moment of your child’s experience, whether it’s her first piano performance or her walk across the stage to claim that M.Ed.. Besides really getting to “feel all the feels” as they say, you’ll avoid annoying the people around you by holding up your camera or phone when they too are trying to see the stage.
5. No, really, put your camera away during the event. Unless you are an experienced photographer, the best photo you’re likely to get is a blurry, grainy shot where your special kid is barely discernable from the next kid. And don’t even *think* about using your flash – that’s seriously bad manners during any kind of ceremony or performance!
6. If you absolutely must make a photo or video, be certain first that you have permission to do so. Then, slip quietly to the *back* of the venue so that no one behind or beside you is distracted by your screen. Be very aware of the people behind you as you get up – you’d feel awful if you chose the very moment somebody’s son was performing his first on-stage jete to suddenly stand up in front of them!
7. If there’s a professional photographer at your event, he or she is likely to have captured high quality images of the day. Don’t be afraid to ask (after the event) if he or she was able to capture any images of your child, and whether you can purchase one or two.
8. Once the ceremony or performance is over, it’s time to make lots of photos with your happy graduate or performer. Go outside if you can, and look for an uncluttered, uncrowded spot in the shade. Make a picture with his or her favourite teacher, and one with his or her besties. Get a close up of that diploma, or perhaps the recital program beside her sweaty tap shoes. These photos will help to tell the story of the special day.
9. Finally, and really importantly, be sure to hand that camera to someone else and get into some photos with your beloved kid. Double-check before you leave the event to see that you’ve got a picture of the two of you that you love.