A dear friend of mine is a real estate agent who just listed her own home. Over lunch, she was empathizing with her clients as she has just had her home photographed and it was awful. She had to make her home look like no one lived there. The toys are in storage. The “extra” furniture is in the garage. The toothbrushes are even put away where no one can see them. It’s pristine.
In photography, we call this managing your environment. This, obviously, is the extreme, as the subject of the photos is the environment. But managing the environment is critically important with any subject matter. When photographing your children, you certainly don’t have to put all of your possessions in storage. But you do need to make sure you’ve captured only what belongs in your pictures. Look at everything in the frame: is there a water bottle on the counter? legos scattered everyone? a fluorescent green wall? Now ask yourself: Do I want the water bottle in the picture? Do the legos add to the message I’m trying to send in my image? Does that green wall remind me of something wonderful?
If the answer is yes, then great! Keep it in there. But if it’s not — if it’s just clutter in your image — remove it. If it’s not adding, it’s detracting.
So, how do you do that?
1) Move the item. Move that water bottle to another spot, out of your frame.
2) Change the angle of your image. It’s going to take too long to clean up all of those legos. You’ll lose the moment. So look up at the child, leaving the legos out of the frame. Or move to her right or left.
3) Zoom in. Getting close to your subject leaves behind his/her environment entirely. If none of the environment is important to you, that’s a great option.
4) Edit in post processing. Post processing is very powerful. And VERY time consuming. If you can get it right in camera, do it. But if you can’t get that green wall out of there… you could change it’s color in Photoshop. Again, don’t rely on it. But can be done.
You’ll be amazed at what a difference this makes in the quality of your images.
As always, at Pollack Photography, we’re focused on you.