Vitec Group

7 Ideas for Great Easter Photos

04/11/2014 — 
Easter is just around the corner, and that means it's time to dust off your DSLR camera and prepare to capture great Easter moments with your family -- or, as we used to say back in the olden days, "Kodak moments." Kodak might no longer be the world's most important camera maker, but the concept of capturing a "Kodak moment" is still alive and well today. Here are seven ideas for getting those great Easter moments with your family on camera.

Easter Eggs

@ Gianni Vellar

1)  There's nothing wrong with a little bit of staging.

Normally when you take family photos, there are no tripods involved. However, using a tripod and keeping your camera still in one spot is a great way to protect your photos against being blurry and out of focus.

The use of a tripod doesn't have to be limited to portrait shots, either. For example, if the kids are participating in an Easter egg hunt at your church or in your front yard, set up the tripod where you expect them to find that first egg and break into a big smile. With your camera already in place, you'll be prepared to catch that smile on film.



2)  If the sun doesn't cooperate, make your own sun.

Although some of your kids may have mixed feelings about dressing up for Easter, parents and grandparents love seeing their little ones in their new Easter suits and dresses. When everyone is in their finest, it's a great time to take a family photo. However, getting the lighting right on such a photo can be tricky, especially if the day turns out to be gray. Modern technology is prepared to handle any situation. When it comes to gray days and indoor lighting, you can make your photos pop by using a simple LED panel. Perfect lighting used to be only for professional photography studios; nowadays, anyone with the right LED lights can turn a living room into a well-lit studio.

3)  If the sun does cooperate, take your Easter photos outside.

Indoor Easter photos are great; outdoor Easter photos are even better. Choose a location that has a bloom in the background to serve as the perfect natural backdrop. One composition trick you can use is to choose a bloom that complements the height of your child. For example, set babies and toddlers down in front of daffodils and tulips. Put tweens and teens in front of a blooming dogwood tree or redbud. Blooming flowers and dappled sunlight will tell the Easter story you're looking for much better than a photo taken in front of your mantlepiece.

Easter_Picnic @

4)  Adjust your shutter speed for those action shots.

A slower shutter speed that takes in the sunlight is great for portrait shots, but for your Easter action shots, such as the kids interacting with their grandparents and the Easter egg hunt, use a faster shutter speed. Shutter speeds are expressed in fractions. The smaller the fraction, the faster the shutter speed. For example, 1/4 is a relatively slow shutter speed; 1/250 is a very fast shutter speed. You'll need to experiment with your shutter speed based on the amount of sunlight you have on Easter Day. The faster the shutter speed, the less light the camera takes in. That means that your photo might not turn out blurry because of the fast shutter speed, but it might turn out too dark because you didn't give the camera enough light. On a particularly sunny day, you should be able to use a pretty fast shutter speed and still get the right amount of light exposure for your shots.

5)  Shrink the aperture as the strength of the sun increases.

Another tip for controlling the light in your photos is controlling the aperture. If you luck out and get a nice sunny Easter Day, keep in mind that the strength of the sun will increase as the day goes on. Keep up with the sun by closing down the aperture as the sun increases. The aperture, like the shutter speed, controls how much light the camera takes in; it is like the pupil of an eye. Just as our human pupils get smaller with more light, so you should make the aperture smaller as the sun gets brighter. Shooting in aperture priority mode will give you more control over your camera's aperture and will help prevent over-exposed photos.



6)  Sink to their level.

When you take your Easter photos of kids, puppies, and kittens, you shouldn't shoot down on them from your full adult height. For the best photos, get yourself down on their level, bringing your camera to the height of their head or even the height of their chest. This is where a mini-tripod comes in especially handy, since it is already at little kid height. You can set your mini-tripod in the grass and plunk your baby or your toddler down in front of it, then use the remote control on your camera to take your photos without destroying your knees or getting your best clothes dirty.



7)  The best family photos aren't always the well-behaved ones.

Yes, of course you should get a shot of your three year-old daughter in her brand new Easter dress before she covers it with dirt and grass stains during the Easter egg hunt. However, the shot of your three year-old with chocolate smeared across her face while she holds a chocolate bunny in her hand is just as adorable in the long run as the picture of her with every hair on her head neatly in place.
Let your Easter photos show off your family's personality. Get some good group shots and portraits first, but don't stop with the portraits. Keep your camera around to capture those moments that show who you and your kids really are -- the photo with your son chasing the family dog, his Easter tie flying to the side, or the photo with your daughter sailing in the air on a swing, a gleeful smile on her face. Portrait photos are great ways to capture Easter, but so are these more candid shots.



Summary: Hit Them With Your Best Shot

Great Easter photographs represent a combination of camera control and creativity. By using tripods, extra lights, and adjusting the settings on your DSLR, you can ensure that your Easter photo shows off the colors and fun of springtime. By staging your photos with a little bit of creativity, you'll also show off the fun of your family.

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