It’s that time of year again… ’tis the season to be thinking about holiday cards and how to capture the perfect photo of your family. So each month leading up to the holidays, we’ll be featuring bios, tips and inspiration from some of our contributing photographers, whose work you can see in our cards and invitations on tinyprints.com!
Meet Professional Photographer Bri Anderson
It’s still hard for me to call myself a “photographer!” I have truly learned everything I know simply by studying my camera and lots and lots of practice. I bought my first “fancy” camera five years ago, and started practicing on my new baby girl at home. As the years went by, I was taking pictures of my own kids every day, and then slowly started branching out by taking pictures of my friends’ kids and families. I officially started my own business two years ago, and I’ve been growing more and more with each photo session!
Tell us about your photography style…
Natural, bright, whimsical, ethereal and happy. I have recently moved my business more towards maternity and baby photography, and I always find myself looking out the window as I drive… searching for the perfect wide open field and areas of long grasses for my maternity sessions. Those places are hard to find here in Arizona, so it takes a little extra effort to find them!
Favorite place to photograph a family?
Hands-down, my favorite place to photograph a family is in a field of long grass or brush, right at sunset!
Most Memorable Assignment?
My most memorable assignment was a recent maternity session I did with a bunch of GIANT balloons! When I ordered them I had no idea how huge they would be, and my husband had to borrow his parent’s motor home just to help me get them to the shoot!
Biggest Challenge in Photographing Kids?
The biggest challenge in photographing kids is trying to keep their attention. They have a very small “window of opportunity” for having their picture taken, so the key to to talk and joke and play around with them so that they don’t feel like they are being photographed.
I tell silly jokes, ask them about their favorite Disney characters… I’ve even been known to turn on cartoons on my iPhone, and have their mom or dad hold it right above my head so they can laugh at cartoons while I take their picture!
Photo-Taking Tips for Tiny Prints Customers
Don’t forget ice water and snacks! This is especially for family photo sessions… it is amazing how much the kids will perk up and cooperate when they can have a small break with their favorite sippy cup of water or juice and a few snacks. Works on adults too!
Best Advice for Families Taking Their Holiday Card Photo
The best photos, and the most compliments, come from the images of a family that is relaxed and interacting with one another. Maybe dad is holding one child up on his shoulders while mom leans in and gives the child an eskimo kiss… or a family is snuggled together on a picnic blanket in a field of soft grass… those kinds of images always evoke more emotion, and really show off how the family loves being with one another. As for outfits, I think coordinated colors in the same color family look good—and not necessarily identical outfits.
Tricks for Keeping Kids Engaged
The best way to keep kids engaged and interested during a shoot is by joking with them and talking to them casually, as if you were just visiting with them instead of taking their picture. Keep the session short and easy. Anything over an hour long, the kids start to lose interest!
Best Way to Light an Indoor Photo Shoot
I do all my photography with natural light. When I do a newborn session in a client’s home, I open up all the drapes and blinds, and angle the baby so that the light is hitting the top of their head, and angling downward. Placing your subject right next to a window or glass door will provide enough light to light up their face.
Best Lighting/Props for an Outdoor Setting
The best lighting for an outdoor session involves either a rising or setting sun. I prefer to do all my outdoor session about and hour and a half before sunset. I use anything I can find in my location (trees, buildings, lampposts, etc) to block the direct sun, so that my subject’s face is shaded, but I’m still getting that golden backlight behind them.
Did you find these tips helpful? Make sure to leave us a comment below, and check back next month for more photography inspiration!