Please welcome one of our favorite photographers, Rennai Hoefer of ten22 studio! Rennai is going to be sharing photography tips with us on a regular basis here on the blog. I know I need all the tips I can get, so I can’t wait to see what she shares with us!
Summer is winding down and school will be starting soon (or has started depending where you live), which means lots of back to school photos in your social media feeds and on your own cameras and phones! Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help you capture the moment and make the most out of your camera and phone images:
Choose good lighting. Whether you shoot in auto (I’ll forgive you, since I haven’t talked about settings yet) or in manual mode, your optimal lighting for back to school shots will be in open shade. Let’s face it, school doesn’t start during the golden hour of photography and it’s hot out there, so open shade is going to be your best bet. Have your kids stand just within the shade, facing outward toward the open sky. This can be done in your entryway, under a porch, in a courtyard as pictured, or under a tree as long as the shade is even and not dappled on your children’s faces (hint: have their backs toward the sun under a tree or shrub to avoid sunspots). Don’t be afraid to get in close also, you want to see those beautiful faces more than those beautiful new shoes anyway.
If you have to choose, don’t compromise good lighting for a pretty background, which can be tempting. While having a great location and great light is ideal, choosing a background in full sun leads to harsh shadows, squinted eyes and a not as flattering capture. (SEE BELOW) The same can be said for too dark a location, which can be underexposed and lower image quality.
Camera Phone Tips
Use a Photo App. Get an app that allows you to separate your exposure from your focal point, like this one from VSCO Cam. Leave the focus on your kiddos and move the exposure point around in your camera until you find the perfect exposure for your image.
Above, I thought the kids’ skin was a little over exposed when I left my focus and exposure together, so I separated them and chose a brighter part of the image to darken my exposure a bit.
VSCO Cam has lots of further tweaking options and tons of filters you can add to your image and change the opacity on for a more or less extreme edit.
Lastly, it doesn’t matter if your kids have already started school or not, you can still get the first week, or first month of school captured. The point is to record this time in their lives, not to reach perfection, so don’t stress if you “missed the moment.” I hope these tips come in handy, and you have a great start to a new school year!