5 Photography Techniques For Autumn

PHOTOGRAPHY, TOP TIPS

Autumn is my favourite season to photograph, and here in Scotland the colours are still looking wonderful as most of leaves are starting to fall off the trees. Autumn can be an exciting prospect for some with the cooler days and colours, but some may find it a bit daunting with the days getting shorter and less light to play with. For me, Autumn time is my favourite season to play more with my photography and challenge myself further, I actually believe I create some of my best work around this time. The colours and light is amazing and the weather is still good enough to spend plenty of time outside. It’s also that time to think about how to get more creative indoors. Before winter is here and the trees are bare, I encourage you to get out and find autumn wherever you can whether its a whole field of bracken or a little tree outside your door. Here I have outlined some ways of making the most of your autumn photography, whether you have a DSLR or smart phone there are plenty of opportunities to create great autumnal images!

1. Play with colours

Autumn is full of oranges, yellows, browns and reds and it’s not hard to find them if you go for a little walk. Whether you live in a city or the countryside, there will be at least one beautiful colour to play with. When I lived in the city of Plymouth, we had this amazing ginkgo tree in our local park and it goes this amazing yellow colour in autumn, so what did we do? We played in the leaves! If your local trees don’t have many leaves, why not go on a leaf collecting mission and bring them home with you? Now is the time to play around with monochromatic and complimentary colour palettes.

2. Make The Most Of Textures

Autumn treasures can provide a lot of texture and with the right light, they can create some really visually pleasing images on their own or with a human element. I also love a window shot when autumn begins as it’s great for creating depth and layers especially on a rainy day, just get your subjects in the window and get your coat on to shoot those beautiful reflections.

3. Use Autumn Foods

I love autumn food, pumpkins, nuts, foraged mushrooms they are all so photogenic. For anyone who follows my work on Instagram will know how much I love baking and how creative I have been getting over the past year. I have been doing a billion things with pumpkins recently which you can find a blog post dedicated to it here. Use these foods to inspire you, use art to inspire your images to look like a classic painting or simply get creative with a flat lay.

4. Get Creative With Layers

Layering is one of my go to compositional techniques as you can make images look cinematic and almost feel like you’re in the photograph with them. You can do this by chucking leaves as you shoot or position your camera so you have static foliage in the foreground, this adds depth and interest to your photograph. I promise this will frame your images so much nicer too and help lead the viewers eye right where you want the focus to be.

5. Experiment With Lighting

The light gets more dramatic in the autumn time and the days get shorter meaning it gets darker quicker, now this shouldn’t be a reason to stop you especially if you don’t use any flash equipment. Remember ISO is your friend, and not every image is meant to be technically correct, it is the moment that counts. Keep that camera close to hand to capture those beautiful sunrises/sunsets, make the most of window light and dark spaces and not forgetting sparklers and twinkly lights in the dark!

So now you have a few things to go look for, go grab your camera and capture as much as you can before the season is out. Autumn is the best and I will be holding onto it just a little while longer before winter is here!

Please come follow our journey on Instagram.

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6 Ways To Get In The Photographs With Your Kids

TOP TIPS

After sharing my photographs recently and my feelings on how I feel taking my photograph now compared to before having children, I started the #mumsgetinthephotograph project. Since then I have been interviewed on BBC Radio Devon with Caroline Cook (listen at 2 hours 10 minutes), had a lot of interest nationally and most importantly so many mums joining the Facebook Group and Instagram sharing their wonderful photographs with them being brave getting in the frame! I have noticed so many mums saying the same thing….’I wish I had taken more photographs when I had the chance’ and ‘I wish had a different mindset about my body’. Now I don’t have a quick fix on how to make you feel better about your body or how you feel about having a photograph taken, but I do know photography and maybe I can share some of my skills to help ease you into getting in the photographs more.

Here are just a few ways to just get you in the photograph, now remember nobody actually has to see them so why be scared? The best thing I ever did was just start getting in the photographs (and not just selfies) I started to look at myself more, understand how to pose to make myself feel better and once I started sharing my honest photographs, I have received nothing but positivity and I really feel by doing so I am helping others change their mindset over having their photograph too.

Here are just 6 simple ways to take a portrait with your loved ones!

1. Self – Timer

Most of us have smart phones or cameras which have a self timer mode, usually this can be set to about 3 or 10 seconds which is enough time to place the camera somewhere steady and get in place. Go for the 10 second timer until you have got the hang of it, you’ll need more time than you think!

Pros – These can be done without asking anybody else, perfect for those who want to be a bit more discrete.

Cons – It can take a few attempts to get it right, and depending on distance you may have to run to your spot!

TOP TIP – Look through your camera settings before doing the shoot as sometimes the self timer can be hidden or can reset after shooting.

2. Ask your partner/family member/friend to take a photograph

Now this isn’t everyones first choice especially if you are not particurly comfortable in front of the camera. The action of having a viewer can sometimes create an effect that automatically makes you tense up (remember the good old days of saying ‘cheese’ for the awkward school photographs). By using a loved one can help you feel more comfortable.

Pros – The person taking the photograph will be able to get the compostion right and tailor the image to suit you.

Cons – You can’t see the photograph straight away so may revert to old photography habits tensing up etc.

TOP TIP – Get whoever is taking the photograph to make you laugh, talk about what you’re going to have for dinner or even just play a word game to put you at ease.

3. Tripod

Tripod’s don’t have to cost much, you can get them for both cameraphones and cameras and they can just be set up where the photographer would stand. These can be used both indoors and outdoors!

Pros – These again are great for those who want to be more discrete, but people who have little more confidence in carrying a tripod around!

Cons – They can cost a bit depending on what you want and they can be quite heavy to get to your destination. Also depending if you have a lightweight one, if there are fairly strong winds you may need some weights to put at the bottom.

TOP TIP – I find this easier to take a practice shot with the rest of the subjects in the photograph first to see if the composition looks good and then I can slot into place once the timer is set.

4. Remote Trigger

Remote triggers are really useful because they allow you to photograph straight away without having to wait around, you can buy them on Amazon for your camera or even an find app from your phone.

Pros – Gives you control of when you release the shutter, and means you can take the photographs without anybody else.

Cons – Getting focus can be tricky sometimes but this can again come with practicing.

TOP TIP – Practice, practice, practice and stock up on batteries!

5. Selfie

We all take selfies with the kids, they are still photographs of moments at the end of the day!

Pros – They are super quick and ready to hand.

Cons – This can be pretty limited, and not always get the backdrop as well as your faces in.

TOP TIP – Invest in a selfie stick to give your photographs a bit more atmosphere.

6. Hire a professional

Image by Melanie Grace

Now again you may be thinking gosh I don’t want anybody to photograph me, but this is what professionals are meant for. It’s not all just about the editing, it’s about the photographer’s people skills too. I spend my life photographing couples and families who tell me they are a little bit uncomfortable with the camera and it’s your photographer’s job to put you at ease! Just talk to them and explain your concerns, perhaps more candid, natural photographs are your thing which a good photographer will be able to capture no problem! Search around but if you are local to me either in Devon/Cornwall/Scotland, send me a message and we’ll get you in those photographs!

Pros – This takes the pressure off, you don’t have to think and you can pick up tips for posing in future. By investing that little bit extra you’ll get amazing professional photographs.

Cons – You have to set aside a time to do this, some photographs can be quite booked up so book early in advance!

TOP TIP – Think about styling and flattering clothes for your images, if you feel good then this will come across in your images.

Now hopefully you like one of these ideas, and if you try one of the ideas above, please share your photographs on our Facebook or Instagram if you are feeling brave and use the hashtag #mumsgetinthephotograph

I can’t wait to see them all!

Zephy x

GOLDEN HOUR

devon

Golden hour is the hour after sunrise and the hour before sunset and is a photographer’s dream, the light is so beautiful and flattering and has a dreamlike quality…just perfect! I spend most Saturday’s after photographing weddings chasing sunset’s for beautiful photographs and today on a rare day off I managed to spend the evening chasing the sunset with April in beautiful Devonport Park, my favourite park in Plymouth.

With love,

From April to Zephy xx