We all struggle with distractions, right? So, I could make this post into a long metaphor about removing the distractions in your life to focus on your loved ones. But, I won't go there;)
I will say that with today's tip, your pictures will be less distracting! Have you looked at some of the incredible portrait work on Facebook, Pinterest, and the internet and wondered: What makes a professional portrait more interesting than mine? Why am I drawn to stare at them, and just glance through my own snapshots? More importantly, how can I make the pictures of my own children, friends, loved ones, pets, better? The first and easiest tip I can give you is to remove the distractions! Take a look at the picture below. C was not terribly interested in learning how bee pollenation helps apples to grow. (Apparently, neither was I). But, I saw that she was intent on something and took a picture of it:
Huh, I don't feel anything when I look at this, even though she is "posed" really well - gazing off with her knee and hip popped, hair caught by the breeze. It's not a bad picture of her, and if I were mom and wanted to put it in her scrapbook, I would just crop out all of the other kids (you can't tell what they're supposed to be focusing on anyway.) So, in order to crop it and make it a shot I want to put on my wall instead of in the scrapbook, (say it with me . . . ) I NEED TO REMOVE THE DISTRACTIONS! So, I move. I walk around to the other side of the kids and shoot C, without anyone in the way. Take a look at this:
How pretty is this? It's frame-worthy and I didn't change her clothes, hair or location. I just moved. Now the backdrop fades and I can concentrate on C. She rewarded me for my efforts by picking up a flower and concentrating on it.
There's no clutter, or distraction. There's nothing too busy that makes me want to rush to the next picture. I want to follow her gaze to the flower. I want to wander around the shot and take in the details. I want to stay in this moment.
Try it this weekend. You don't have to go to an apple orchard, just follow your kids, husband or dog around with your camera and remove the distractions. Then come back here and let me know how you did! I can't wait to hear!
(And, maybe then I'll tell you why I didn't ask her to look at me and say, "cheese!")