Just like we promised, part two of, How To: Take Photos Like a Pro. This time we have Fancy Frills’ photographer, Audrey, Sharing her favorite tips.
(Don’t forget to read Part One, if you missed it)
Hi Jane. I’m honored to share some of my tips and tricks with you today. I’m a stay at home Mom of 3 beautiful little girls and when I am not chasing them around I take pictures on the side. I have been doing photography for about 5 years now and have been photographing for Fancy Frills Boutique for almost 2 years. I have learned many things over the years and especially the last two doing boutique style photography.
Personal Tip: One thing I always try to do when shooting, boutique photography especially, is pay attention to the details and shoot from different angles. This is a great way to showcase your product and show the customer exactly what they are getting. Try a full length shot, a shot from the side, a shot from the back or focus in on a unique detail. Don’t be afraid to get close.
Technical Tip: I always shoot in Manual mode and set my file size to RAW. This allows me to have full control over my settings and the outcome of the picture. Shooting in RAW instead of JPEG allows me to tweak the picture’s exposure or color balance in Adobe Camera Raw or Lightroom. Then I finish editing in Photoshop.
Fun Tip: All my boutique shoots are done in the studio in my house. I love this because it is convenient and simple. Also it allows for a very casual atmosphere. The kids get to play and we get to have fun taking pictures. I mean who doesn’t love a fun photoshoot?
What time of day is your favorite when shooting outside? When doing outside shoots I normally shoot about an hour and a half before sunset. This is called the Golden Hour and is when lighting is the best. There are no harsh shadows because the sun is significantly lower in the sky.
What is your favorite lens? I absolutely love shooting with my 85mm 1.8. I love Prime lenses (fixed focal length). This one in particular is a longer focal length which compresses the background bringing it closer to the subject and creating that amazing bokeh (blurred background). When doing my boutique shoots I use my 50mm most of the time because I’m working in a smaller space and need a bit of a wider angle.
How can a photographer take advantage of natural lighting?
I love natural light. When shooting inside its important to find the brightest room in your house that doesn’t get direct sunlight. It is important to have plenty of light coming in but you just want it to spill into the room not have the harsh direct light. Always position your model or subject towards your light source (window or door) as this will brighten up there face and create catch lights in their eyes. Outside light is everywhere. It’s all about how you filter and bounce your light. You can position your subject in the shade but facing the sun so they are still getting those catch lights in their eyes. Another way is to filter the sunlight through a tree so it’s not as harsh. My favorite thing is to shoot backlit. This is when you position your subject with the sun behind them. I also love the use of a reflector when shooting backlit as it adds a little pop of light on your subject lighting up their face.
What are good places to shoot pictures of product? I think this is very important. How your products are showcased ultimately affects how well your product sells. Simpler the better is my motto for this. Whether you are shooting your products inside or out choose a simple, not very busy backdrop for your photos. By going simpler the products are able to stand out and take center stage. Also a little tip of mine if you are shooting against a backdrop or wall pull the model about 2 or 3 feet from the backdrop. This makes the backdrop fade away and your model stand out.
What are your favorite tools to edit photos? I use Camera Raw and Photoshop to edit my photos. I also batch edit and have made my own actions so that I can select all the photos and edit them all the exact same way to keep the look consistent.