A quick and easy tip comes to you for Day 24 of our Month of Photo Fun, but one that is vital in capturing a "keeper" of an image, or a "tosser". Be aware of the surroundings in your photo!
I've learned this lesson the very hard way, as I've had some fantastic images ruined by the background telephone pole seemingly jutting out of my subject's head, or the clutter behind my kids ruining a nice portrait. A few simple things to remember:
1. If it's possible, take a few minutes to pick up the clutter surrounding the kids. Clean spaces make for better portraits.
2. Take a second to look in the viewfinder of your camera. Is that tree coming out of your child's head? Simple move her to the left or right and fix it. Or move yourself.
3. People ruining your shot behind your subject? Wait. Give them a second to walk out of the shot and THEN shoot.
Case in point below. I love shooting along city sidewalks and sometimes the strangers behind add to the shot. But not here. I wanted to incorporate the colors from the windows behind my niece in these shots, and did not want the lady who was entering my shot in my shot. So I stopped shooting for a moment.
I also zoomed in (with my feet) to crop her out. A little patience and a little awareness, and I had a better shot for it.
Of course, if your kids are like mine, sometimes you have to just shoot with whatever is behind you. My oldest HATES having his photo taken, so when I get the chance I shoot! I had no time to say to him "wait, let me move you away from the picnic table behind you". He would have changed his mind and the shot would have been lost. Instead I got the smile and I love the shot. I even have this hanging in our home- with the table legs jutting out of his head and all!
Lesson of the day? IF you can, take the time to check and clean up your surroundings for a better shot.