Updated: Apr 29, 2020
The world is in quarantine, which for a photographer means no more photographing other families. Sad, sad times for us. BUT it also means that you can try your hand at being your own family photographer!
You can set up a home studio with things in your house and your cell phone to make awesome family quarantine pictures.
* Your cell phone camera
* A well lit room in your house
* A backdrop. Use a large solid colored cloth like a flat bed sheet, table cloth, shower curtain, window curtain, blanket, or that huge roll paper from Menards that you might have left over from a home project.
* Duct tape, packing tape or thumb tacks
* Your kids, spouse, pet, your favorite plant etc.
Today I am choosing to photograph my kids because...well because...
So, if you are photographing your children you have approximately 2.3 minutes of excitement and cooperation from them, so set up your backdrop before you wrangle them up!
Hang up your cloth in a well lit room with enough space for you to move around
If your cloth is large enough, have part of it go on the floor. Make sure there is LOTS of tape holding it in place. Kids seem to move and your cloth will be sure to move with them! (You may want to iron out the wrinkles, unless your phone has that fancy portrait setting where it adds blur or bokeh to the background) I used an iPhone 8 which has no portrait setting. I also hate ironing. So my cloth is annoyingly wrinkled.
Have fun with creative portrait ideas! I let my kids pick their theme. They picked super heroes and found some costumes in the bowels of their toy box. Superman was super excited. He got to the backdrop and promptly decided he was too hot, so the costume came off. (He lasted less than 2.3 minutes). Don't stress, just let them do what they are going to do and see what happens.
Tip: Have your kids step as far away from the backdrop as possible while still standing on the cloth. This will help in blurring your background which makes a huge difference in portrait photography.
Tip: When you edit your pictures in your phone, switching to black and white helps eliminate unwanted color clutter in the photo. Also try the vignette option, it darkens the edges and draws your eye to the subject
Now we are going to try hanging up roll paper. It's much less wrinkly than my unironed table cloth
He asked if he could ride his bike instead. Awesome idea. Kids have those quite often, if we take a moment to listen to them!
Tip: Let your kids run the show, they will have much more fun and you will have much less stress. Plus, you will get joy in your images like this...
Tip: Photograph from above for a neat perspective
Guess what?...there are more kids in this house! They have noticed that we are having fun... It seems we are now having a royal rumpus.
Tip: The mood of your subject is EVERYTHING so do this endeavor when they are well rested and fed! (That goes for husbands too.)
They seem to all have bare feet...lets take a picture of that! Better yet, give the cell phone to one of your kids and see what images they will create!
Ok, well that was nice...but there are actually 5 kids in this house, so now we have to do a re-do and get all the feet. "Oh how many, many feet you'll meet!" We moved to the wall so there was more room plus the wall doesn't fall down as easily as paper does when 5 pairs of feet are walking on it.
Voila! 5 pairs of dirty feet. I love it, and will cherish this image.
Tip: I told them that they did not need to be in a straight line. Implied movement in a picture adds a lot!
With little effort and lots of fun you too can create cherished images from your home with a cell phone!
To connect with me, ask questions or share your creative quarantine images, find me on Facebook@bonniejordanphotography or Instagram bonniejordanphotography or tag me in your pictures and I will comment!