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Documenting your time at home - pt 1 | Styles of Photography | Hudson Valley Newborn Photographer

Life is definitely handing us a big ol' pile of lemons right now. I'm choosing to make lemonade...and would like to help you do the same! If you already follow me, either on facebook, instagram, email list or blog, you are likely a parent who is finding themselves spending a lot more time at home with their children...probably doing a lot of activities that would be the great subject of pictures!

Right now my camera (Canon 5D Mark iii (it's discontinued, the mark iv can be found here) and favorite lifestyle lens (sigma art 35mm 1.4) sits permanently on my kitchen table, where it is always in easy reach to catch any moment. I love this lens for lifestyle photography because it is wide enough to take in the environment in tight spaces and fast enough (a wide aperture allowing more light in) to be great in low light situations.

We are in the midst of a moment in history that will be told to generations upon generations. Your children may be so young that they won't remember this time, or old enough they will want the memories to be able to retell it. Either way a visual representation is so important. With cameras so readily available these days, there is no reason to not take pictures of the every day. While I always say any picture is better than the one you didn't take, I'd love to help you to be able to tell a story through your photographs. There are some advantages to having a dslr camera for this, but phones take amazing pictures now and many of the tips I'd like to share can apply to any camera.

For this first post, I just wanted to touch on styles of photography. I find there to be a place for all of them in capturing the day to day. What I find most important is that there is thought put into each image. A decision should be made each time you capture something - what is the story I'm trying to tell, what are the details that are important? Most time there are imperfections in the frame - realize what they are and decide if you are okay with them or if they are too distracting....should you adjust things to be able to better tell your story. There may also be things you can add to better tell your story. We'll talk more about that in another post.

Here are some examples to go along with the styles of photography I want to discuss. All of these images were taken since the lock down.

On one extreme there is Portrait Photography. Posed, formal, thought out lighting. For this there isn't necessarily a story to tell, I typically think of the background needing to compliment the subject. There is a time and place for these, but I use it sparingly in everyday photography.

On the other extreme there is Documentary Photography. You capture life as it happens, you can move yourself to adjust angles and lighting, but no directions are given to the subjects, no recreating moments and no moving any furniture/messes/etc. I use this mostly when I need to be sneaky and don't want intrude on my child, maybe they are in deep concentration or just having a cute moment (chatting on the phone) that I know my presence would make them change. I still try to keep a separation between Documentary and Snapshot -to me, snapshots don't include decision making such as angle and environment, you just grab your camera and snap!

Right in the middle is Lifestyle Photography. This is what I would consider most of my personal images to be. I usually move things around so they are either less distracting or help add to the story. I find it important to put thought into your images and make decisions to help add to them. If you are continually putting thought into what you love and don't love about an image it will help your photography grow....even if it is just analyzing past photos on what you could have done better.

I could keep going on, but I think that is enough for now. Next time I will talk more about these images along with some others and the decisions I made while capturing them. We'll talk about some decisions we can make in our every day images and show you some slight changes and how it adds to the final image. We can also pick apart the things I should have changed before snapping a picture!

I just wanted to say before I end - If you are on our front line of this fight against Covid 19- a big heartfelt THANK YOU. Seriously, I think and pray for you all daily. I'm doing my part by trying to flatten the curve and am sewing masks as I can for a group who is distributing them locally.

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