One big mistake that camera moms make when it comes to taking those ‘quick get the shot’ photos in every day life is that they don’t pay attention to the available light.
You know the moments that I am taking about: a moment arises – – someone says ‘who has a camera?’ and 6 people pull out their phones!
This moment happened to me yesterday and I was so glad that I had my iPhone! We were at a wonderful violin exhibit with our violin teacher and met the man who refurbished all the beautiful violins in the exhibit. Our teacher was so excited to get her photo with this very famous man (to be honest I had no idea who he was!) but she was thrilled to meet him unexpectedly. So 6 moms got their phones out and everyone basically got this same photo: (I took this one so I could show you this good bad example!)
I saw what was happening…. and decided to be bold and ask the three people to turn around and face the light. They did not have to move much just simply do a half turn and face the exact opposite direction. I realized that with the bright window light behind them the photo would be a failure. I also knew that our teacher really wanted a photo with this famous man and I didn’t want to let her down. Sometime to be a good photographer you have to be bold and unpopular for a moment. They did not want to move; people never do. I waited for everyone to finish (taking their bad photos) and kindly asked the 3 subjects turn around. I was smiling and begging .. please, please, please… : ) They finally did and I got this one shot but it was much better:
Understand that NOTHING changed on my iPhone. I simply asked them to turn around and face the light! That was it.
I am so glad that I took the extra effort to get this for our teacher she is so happy to have it.
Remember that photography is all about light. Study it, use it and make it your friend. And don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Sometime people and circumstances won’t cooperate but when they do it is always worth the extra effort!
hint: if there is no way to turn the subject toward the light then…I hate to even say this… you will want to turn on your flash. Your camera may not want to turn on the flash automatically because it will ‘see’ tons of light and think that you don’t need anymore. However if the light is behind the people it won’t matter and their faces will be dark and you will have to turn on the flash. But only use the flash as a last resort! Always ask them to move first and face the light! Especially in a setting like this where there is plenty of beautiful available light!