Moment in Time
Have you taken your kids to the studio recently? Did the unfamiliar photographer intimidate your young ones from giving that natural, happy smile? There are a number of circumstances that can happen when buying someone else's time for that desired photo shoot. A photo is more than a piece of paper or a memory. It’s a moment in time, a place captured, or standing still. It’s the smell of mom’s hair, the warmth of her hand wrapped around yours, or the crispness of dad’s shirt.
Hobby to Professional
These memories rarely come from a professional studio or even a professional photographer. Many stay at home moms' are taking these memory making skills into their own hands and taking snap shots of their own kids when they are in their natural environment. We met up with Yuan Zhao who works in the pharmaceutical industry, but has a passion for photographing her little ones. With a few backdrops and a little lighting, she showed us quickly how you can turn a hobby into professional quality results!
Capturing moments of her young children, Yuan prefers shooting outside in natural light as these are also the times when the little ones are their most relaxed and playful self. Taking close up photographs of toddlers and them showing their true self in an image requires a close intimacy and trusted relationship between the photographer and the model. Already having this bond, she thought she may try her skill in a home studio!
Strobe Shows the Right Light
Since Yuan had never used lighting equipment prior, we were happy to hear when she said the set up was very easy! Also, her 3 year old was not frightened for a second of the bright flash from the strobe in our StudioPRO Two Strobe kit! Yuan says, "When taking pictures with little ones, I know they will move a lot, I set my shutter speed to 1/160 S to ensure a clear picture." Take a look at the images below to get a quick understanding of what she truly means by that!
"With the help of these powerful strobe lights, I never miss a precious moment of my girls when photographing in the studio." - Yuan Zhao
Allowing your little ones to explore the new home studio a bit helped Yuan continue to take those genuine captures. She easily placed the StudioPRO Cool Gray Backdrop against the wall and set up her strobe light with the included softbox at 45 degrees about 4 feet toward the right foreground. She also set up a vinyl backdrop that had a pink color as she knew her girls would be thrilled to pose in front of the pink glitter! For the backdrops, she especially liked the ease of the pop-up muslins. She was excited that "they come in so many different colors to choose from and requires zero set up; just open and use!" See the young models go from silly to serious, showing the difference in backdrops below!
Toward the end of Yuan's shoot, she allowed her little models to roll and play freely in the studio. She ended up loving these images since they played with each other just like usual and had so much fun which typically results in the most beautiful, candid shots. With the manual setting on her camera and the help of her new strobe lighting, she was able to do what many seek and record those smiles and sparks in their eyes effortlessly!
Tips from the "momtographer" herself:
- Place the light to make a 45 degree angle between you and the model
- When using lighter color backdrops, you may use a continuous light on the other side to avoid the dark shade on the backdrop; try not to stand too close to the backdrop.
- Let the kids talk and play, give them more time to warm up, this is your own studio
Yuan Zhao is a statistician and works in the pharmaceutical industry. Outside of work, she likes photography, especially taking pictures for her two lovely daughters and their friends. She and her family live in the Greater Washington DC Metro area.