It is now easier than ever to take photographs where you are included in the picture. Cell phones come with front facing cameras for the ever popular selfie, and don’t forget the selfie stick. Cameras have timers and remote shutter releases. There is frequently a friendly stranger around willing to snap a picture for you. Finally, professional portraits allow you engage with your family and forget about the camera.
Cell phone cameras have come a long way from low quality grainy photos. There are even lenses and apps that you can add to your phone to turn it into a more functional camera. Almost all smart phones come with front and rear cameras for the close up selfie and there are a multitude of selfie sticks available when you want to include a larger group or get more of your background.
Personal cameras, even basic models, usually have a timer option so that you can sprint to be with your family after setting up your photo. They also make for some amusing photos when you are still on the way to be with your family when the camera goes off. Remote shutter releases, if your camera supports them, don’t allow for the humorous out takes, but the photographs are usually better for the annual Christmas letter.
Friendly strangers, if they are available, will usually take a photo for you, but you are never quite sure how well they can use your phone or camera and what quality of picture you will end up with. It is also advisable to be fairly certain you can outrun anyone you hand your phone or camera to.
Long gone are the days of stiff family portraits where no one looks happy and everyone looks uncomfortable. Many people still take formal portraits, but even the definition of formal has changed, people are usually smiling. Most portraits are much more casual. I actually prefer that my clients are having fun and enjoying themselves, rather than just pretending to be happy.I have a great portrait of a little boy climbing a tree. You should have seen his face light up when I asked him to climb a tree. I took a couple of pictures of him, then I posed some adult family members in from of him. Those two photographs were some of my favorite from that session.In another session, the little girl was excited about playing in the splash pad, so after we were finished with the rest of the session, (and with her parents’ consent), we moved over to the splash pad and I was able to take some wonderful pictures of her playing, and happy, in the splash pad. She even kissed her parents and smiled for the camera. Photographs should be fun; they should reflect who you and your family are. Unless you are a famous, photographers do not follow you around all of the time, so you will inevitably need to utilize the additional options, but, photography sessions can, and in my opinion, should be, fun and enjoyable. They should be a reflection of you that you are proud and happy to hang on your wall.
There are many ways to get out from behind the camera and make sure that you are in the photographs that you take of your family and friends. Cell phones, with all of their features, are a great way to take and share photographs on a frequent basis. I know many people who don’t even own a camera any more, and just use their phone. If you do prefer a camera, (I use both, sometimes the phone is just so convenient), make sure that you test your sprint speed first if you are using a timer. Speaking of sprinting, if you go the friendly stranger route, make sure that you can run faster than they can. And when you have your photographs professionally taken, I hope that it is an enjoyable and fun experience.
I would love to see photographs where you are in the picture. Let me know how you captured the image!