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Tag Archives: photography tips
Back by popular demand from award-winning Hampshire Photographer Tina Bolton, the GORGEOUS Lavender mini shoots will take place on Friday 8th July.
Early Bird tickets are now available until Friday 24th June and with only 14 slots available, spaces are going fast!!
Vibrant meadow and lavender flowers combined with playful children having fun in the sun PLUS award winning photography at a very special price EQUALS an exclusive opportunity to have amazing family memories created to adorn your walls and excellent value for money!*
Places are strictly limited. Each mini -shoot is up to 25 minutes long and will take place in amongst the beautiful setting of the Lavender Fields and meadows of Hartley Park Farm, Selborne. Friday 8th July 2016
£30 per family (will rise to £35 per family on Friday 24th June)
Please note there is a minimum order value of either 3 prints or 3 digital files or a combination of both. Prints start from £20 each and high res digital files are £29.99 each. Digital file packages apply.
How to create your own backdrop wall in your ‘studio’
My studio is in estate agents terms: ‘bijou and compact’, the quality of the images I produce means this is irrelevant as I am sure most photographers will agree – size doesn’t matter!
However, I wanted to have the ability to use my wonderful range of backdrops (from Photographers Floors and Backdrops in the UK) without having to take up vital space with stands and poles etc…
I wanted something that would be absolutely solid when hung and that there was no chance of it falling off the wall and landing on to a client. It had to be straight which is why I used a baton to secure the hooks to the wall, as I only then had to make sure the hooks lined up on the already straight baton.
So here’s how I transformed my walls!
You will need:
- Backdrop(s) of the SAME height
- Sharp scissors
- Eyelet rings (the ones you use for curtains – standard size or bigger)
- Thin wooden baton slightly wider than the width of your backdrop and thick enough to hold hooks.
- 5 hooks that screw into the above baton – bear in mind that they may be at eye height so something safe not sharp.
- Drill, raw plugs, wall screws and spirit level and relevant safety equipment.
- Floor space big enough to lay out your backdrops flat.
- A helpful person!
Measure the spaces where you want the rings to be. In my 5ft width backdrop I used 5 rings. Using the rings as a template. Make sure each ring is the same distance from the top to ensure they all hang at the same height on the backdrop.
Cut out the holes for the eyelets – cut the holes slightly bigger than the circle you drew.
Separate the eyelet rings (use closed scissors to unclip them) and push the ring with the spikes through the hole to ensure a good grip and click the other half on. Eyelets are usually designed for quite thick fabrics and they went through the vinyl quite easily.
Repeat steps 1-3 until you are happy that you have enough eyelet rings to provide safe hooks.
Prepare your baton to the correct length (paint it the matching colour you want and leave to dry) then mark out where it’s going to go using a spirit level to ensure it is perfectly straight. Mark out your holes, drill, apply raw plugs.
Before you fix your baton to the wall, place it on the floor and place your first prepared backdrop over it and line up the edges and where your hooks will go in relation to the eyelet holes – mark them up.
Now fix the baton to the wall. (I used three screws – one either end plus a central one.)
Attach your hooks to the baton
Hang your backdrops! With the single door hooks I can hang three backdrops.
Points to note:
Since hanging the backdrops I would advise the following: create a baton with three extra hooks spaced apart as before – then this will make it easier to swap your backdrops around.
The eyelet rings means they will not roll up as neatly for the tubes as before but you can either tie them once rolled, or simply unclip the eyelet rings temporarily. I use the bottom of the backdrop with velcro to attach to a backdrop and pole system when needed at a mobile event.
How to create your own backdrop wall with pics Downloadable PDF
I hope this helps – get in touch and let me know or if you have any questions! email@example.com
Have a wonderful Christmas and for those of you who like a bargain today’s bargain links on photo shoots and camera courses is here:
Remember – each day the bargains are still there but the price rises slightly the later you leave it!!
Vouchers can be downloaded upon payment so you can still surprise that special someone!
The online course for the Take Better Photos has a code too- use this for a whopping £165 OFF so you pay only £30!!! XMAS1
How much of an active part do you play in your family’s professional photo shoots? Do you sit back and let the photographer get on with it, or do you hover and check out what they are doing and even join in?
As a parent you can make or break a professional photo shoot of you and your family.
Now, I am not suggesting that without your help the shoot wouldn’t go so well, far from it, I am encouraging you to take a really active part in your next professional photo shoot. Following on from our recent blog about how to get children to smile, photographers who conduct family shoots, should know a lot of the ‘tricks’ I have already mentioned. However, when it comes to getting a group or even a single child to laugh, a shoot really benefits from some silly antics from you AND your photographer.
Why? I hear you ask? You’ve paid a lot of money for a professional to come and do something you want done to the highest of standards and of course YOU can be in the shots as well this time.
Well, who do you think a 2 year old is going to find funnier? Your photographer (who has just met them and is using a big black thing in front of their face) or YOU their parent doing silly things behind the photographer and thus distracting them from what is happening!?
As well as chatting to children in order to get to know them and tune in with them quickly, a good photographer will also make sure that they tune into the parents too, in order to make sure everyone has fun.
I encourage my clients to do silly things behind me, so when I am taking shots, I will quickly turnaround and pretend to be ‘cross’ that the parents are being ‘naughty‘ behind my back but it really does make the children laugh. Getting into the spirit and fun of a family photo shoot is also part of the experience. How often do you just simply act like a kid again with your kids? Try it. It’s very liberating, funny plus your kids will love you for it (unless they’re teenagers, in which case DON’T!!)
In a recent shoot, the parents joined in with my rendition of ‘I’d like to move it, move it’ dance from Madagascar, which the children adored! Despite not being able to hold a note, I will sing for the children (yes, really!) songs such as ‘Wheels on the Bus’ or ‘Wind the Bobbin Up’ so that they smile, sit still or join in but I have to say it’s always a relief if a parent sings with me!!
Look at these examples, the first image is a group of cousins who I had just set up in a way that I knew would look great and that they could interact well.
Then I asked the parents to do ‘Parents Got Talent’ behind me……..this was the result!!
So next time you book a photographer, go with the flow and if they encourage you to be silly, go on do it! It’s not as if the photographer can see you or capture you doing it as they should be concentrating on your children! Plus – I won’t tell anyone!
Of course, if you are doing the photography, then you can see how effective some help working on your behalf behind you can be!
Very excited here at Tina Bolton Photography as we introduce our first guest blog from the lovely and very talented Penelope Malby. Penelope spent many years working with animals as their trainer for TV and film productions and still runs regular training courses. It means she knows a thing or two about taking great pictures of your pet pooch. Enjoy – please email us some of your pics of your dogs!
Tina has very kindly asked me to write a little piece with some tips on taking better photos of your dog! I’m based in Surrey and I’m an animal photographer (www.penelopemalbyphotography.co.uk). I photograph domestic pets like dogs and cats, as well as wildlife and birds.
Although I have a studio and do a lot of sessions there, I still take photos of dogs outdoors too, in a more natural environment.
So here’s my top 10 tips for photographing your dog!
- Preparation is the key! If you’re well prepared things will be much easier. If your dog knows what “stay” means and he can stay without a lead attached to his collar, that will look loads better in the photos. So practice “stay” in the garden, using treats to reward your dog for staying, so your dog begins to know what you want him to do.
- Think about the kind of shots you’d like to end up with. If you want a photo with spring flowers in the background, find a place that is perfect, that is safe to have your dog off lead, and go there without your dog to do a few test shots. Go at the same time of day as well so you know where the light will be – it’s best if the sun is behind you. Open spaces like parks or beaches have better natural light than woods, or built up areas. It doesn’t need to be a sunny day (in fact that can sometimes be a problem with squinty eyes), but obviously don’t go on a rainy day!
- I like to have the dog a good distance from the background, so the background is nicely blurry. If you’re using a DSLR, put the camera onto Portrait mode so that the f number or aperture is something like 5.6, 6.3 or 7.1.
- You want this experience to be fun for your dog, otherwise it will show in the photos. If you’re constantly commanding “Stay” and “Sit” at your dog, your dog will look sad and worried. I always use toys and treats to get the dog in the right mood, and ask another family member or friend who knows the dog, to help you, so you can take the photos, and someone else can get the dog in the right position.
So now you’ve already done your test shots, you’ve sorted out your camera settings, now it’s time to take your dog to the location, with your helper, the yummy treats and the toys.
- Your helper is going to get the dog in the right place and ask them to sit and stay, and you will need to squat or kneel down (depending on how big or small your dog is) so that you’re at the dog’s eye level.
This is really important. Getting down to the dog’s level is probably the best piece of advice I can give you.
- When the dog is ready, and you’re ready – make a little noise to get the dog’s attention. That’s when you press the shutter button.
- Start off with just a simple portrait shot, and make sure your focus point is on the dog’s eyes, not the nose. This can be tricky at first so make sure you take lots of shots and check on the screen on the back of the camera by zooming in, that your shot is focusing on the right place.
- Once you’re happy with this, then try other poses, try with the dog laying down, standing up, or profile shots. If you’re feeling up for a challenge how about an action shot? If your dog loves jumping in muddy puddles then take some shots of them doing this! It will be even more memorable than a portrait shot because it’s what your dog loves doing! Make sure your shutter speed is high, or set your camera to Sports mode for a running shot, and if there’s water involved don’t get too close with your camera!
- Always take more photos than you think you will need. It’s far better to have loads that you can delete, than not to have enough!
- Try converting the photos into black and white. Black and white is really classic and can look very striking.
Most of all have fun with your dog, and fun with your camera. Happy moments captured on camera make wonderful memories!
If you’d like to see more of my work please do come and Like my facebook page
THANK YOU PENELOPE!
I recently had an opportunity to have a little go at photographing this gorgeous pup recently – hope you like it.
Please send us your pics once you have tried out Penelope’s tips and we’ll post some onto facebook
Tina’s Top tips for great Festive photos
Christmas pictures lacking a little something? Follow these great tips to add a bit more sparkle to your festive photos!
- Make sure your camera is fully charged, that there is room on your memory card and your lens is clean!
- For fab party pics of your friends, ask them to put their heads together, lean forward a little bit (never back) everyone looks their best and less chins are visible!!
- Remember: your camera flash will only work up to a distance of about 10-12 feet maximum, on smaller cameras even less.
- Make sure you have the ‘red eye’ flash on your camera, remember that the first smaller flash is followed by the bigger flash.
- For those cute, adorable nativity play shots, Choose either a front seat OR an aisle seat so you can stand up without blocking anyone’s view from behind. Use flash only if you really have to. Most camera’s have a night-time function which increases your camera’s ability to take low light shots without a flash.
- Wait until the end of the play – or the ‘gathering around the manger’ bit as this is usually well lit and everyone is still.
- Christmas cards, we love the cute ones of our kids in a Santa* outfit!! (*Or whatever you choose!!) Make time to dress them up and pose them, sit them safely (deep in the sofa perhaps), as near to window light as you can and take some pictures. Better still come to one of my free toddler group mini sessions with that special outfit (see below for details).
- On Christmas Day – have that camera to hand ALL the time, especially for when Grandad falls asleep and you manage to draw a moustache on him!
- Take a photo of each present your children opens, you can then print/email this out as a thank you to the person who sent it, they’ll love seeing the smiles of delight.
- Make sure you are in one or two pictures with the kids as well, looking suitably festive!
Have a lovely Christmas!
When you open that new camera on Christmas Day, remember to book your place on one of my photography workshops in January, so you can REALLY get the best out of your camera – better still, make sure that a workshop gift voucher is part of the package!! Download Tina Bolton Photography festive photography tips as a pdf.
Mini Santa Shoot Sessions are being held as follows:
Thursday 8th November – NCT Small Talk & Baby Talk, United Reform Church, Petersfield, 10-12
Wednesday 14th November – Baby Sensory Classes, Greatham Village Hall, 10-12
Monday 19th November – NCT Haslemere – Royal School, Hindhead, 10-12
Tuesday 20th November – Baby Sensory, St Alban’s Church, Hindhead 10-12
Thursday 22nd November – Baby Sensory, Haslemere Prep School, Hill Road, 9.30-2pm
I will also be at Stepping Stones in Sheet, date to be confirmed.