As the old saying goes, “a picture is worth a thousand words.” I take pictures of my girls so that one day they can look back at them and remember all the fun things that they did with their Guiding friends. Every picture has a story behind it and I hope that I have managed to capture and freeze that magical moment in time for them. Here are some tips to capture Guiding in action.
Get a little closer
Fill the frame of the camera with the person. When you get close up, the person is now engaged with the camera and this can have a dramatic impact on your portraits. The emotions and facial expressions will capture the attention of the viewer.
Capture the moment
Try to take candid shots to capture the spontaneity of the moment. You will most likely get genuine natural smiles rather than the forced stiff smiles. The person’s real personality and emotions will show in the photo.
The best time to take photos is during the “Golden Hour”, the time right before sunset or just after sunrise. This is when the sun is near the horizon and the sky fills with vibrant colours in shades of red and orange. With this soft warm light, you can shoot into the sun and create beautiful silhouettes.
Go outside and play
Natural lighting makes the photos look warmer. Try to avoid bright direct sunlight as that can cause harsh overhead shadows. Take pictures on an overcast day because there will be no shadows and the light is naturally soft and diffused, providing a consistent light source.
Throw in a prop for fun
Use a prop to create a point of interest or to enhance and make your shot more interesting. It will add an element of fun to the shot.
Change your perspective
Instead of taking a picture at eye level of the person, try coming at it at a different angle. This can create a more powerful image because the person looks more interesting. Lie down on the ground and point the camera up at the person. Elevate yourself to get up high and shoot down. Sometimes it is as simple as changing the camera orientation from landscape to portrait or vice versa. Just by doing this will change the way a photo looks.
Remove the distractions
Always check the surrounding for any distracting things. Make sure there is not a tree or a pole sticking out of the person’s head or a car coming out of the ear or a garbage can in the background. Ask the person to move so the distracting object is no longer visible in the photo.
Rule of thirds
Imagine a tic tac toe grid on your frame view. There should be 4 dots at the intersections of these lines. Place the person or the point of interest at one of these four dots so that the photo becomes more balanced.
Hold it at an angle
Try taking some shots with your camera at an angle. This can add some fun to your picture.
Not everyone likes center stage
Try taking a picture with the person off to the side or right on the edge. This creates a more interesting photo.
Frame the person/people with a window, a doorway, or an archway to give the image depth. This will draw attention to the person and add context to the image.
Most of all, have fun with your girls. It will show in your photos!
By guest blogger Van Chau. Van has been a Spark, Brownie and Guide Guider in Langley, B.C. and is currently part of the BC Program Committee as the Environmental Specialist. She is passionate about programming and photography, and was the Grand Prize winner of our 2014 photo contest.
Our next photo contest runs until May 18! Send us your finest, most dynamic images that illustrate the fun, friendship and adventure of Girl Guides and you could win fabulous prizes and have your photo appear in Canadian Guider and promotional materials.
We are particularly looking for photos that feature seasonal programming and events – and are easily recognizable as GGC girls doing fun and amazing things – for example, girls wearing their GGC uniform, scarf, camp hat or sash.