photo announcements by Chouette Design Group are a great
way to introduce your new addition, or announce your next
event to friends and family. Keep in mind that it may take
a few tries to get the perfect photo, but don't worry too
much about it. As long as your photo is clear, well-lit
and taken at the best quality level, we will make your photo
look like you hired a professional photographer...even if
Remember to get in close (but not too close!) As a guide,
try to imagine the subject taking up about one-fourth the
frame. If your subject is smaller than that, get closer.
Use your zoom function when possible. Note: If you're
taking photos for an order you'll place with us, don't get
so close that you cut off the subject --- this will ensure
design flexibility when you send your order. Allow us to
crop the photo to best fit the design we create for you.
Try different angles. This is even more important in digital
photography than it is in film photography, because any
picture of ordinary technical quality can look stunning
if it was taken from an angle (or viewpoint) that gives
the picture a fresh, new look. Hold the camera at the same
level as your subjects and turn it sideways for vertical
When photographing babies, try including other people in
pictures. Siblings, friends and family members can help
bring out your baby's personality! And if you want to include
a photo for your order that has people in it you don't want
in your design, let us know and we see if blurring and/or
removing these "extras" will work for your design.
Check out your background. Sometimes the background can
add great details and texture to a finished announcement.
But other times, the background can be distracting. Before
you press the shutter button, look around your subject.
Is there a pile of laundry that suddenly appears? You might
try simply moving yourself (and the camera) a few feet one
way or the other. This can eliminate distractions from view.
You might also try creating a background with a plain sheet.
Use a light sheet if you'd like a light look, a dark sheet
for a more dramatic, dark look.
Use the flash outside too! You'll get a nice effect in some
situations, such as a shady area under a tree, or when the
sun is bright behind your subject. Check your camera manual
to see how to force a flash when it's set on automatic and
doesn't think it needs the flash.
Hold the camera steady. Don't want to lug around a big tripod?
No need! You can purchase handly portable tripods at your
local camera shop. I have one -- and it grabs onto anything!
If you don't want to use a tripod, see if something stationary
is nearby to balance the camera on. And use the flash! This
forces a quick shutter, resulting in fewer blurry images.
And remember that sometimes an image looks clear on your
2" camera screen, but when it's viewed at 100% it is
fuzzy. If you're not sure, take a shot with the flash, and
without. Better to have several to choose from!
Read your camera's manual. Find out: What is
your camera's closest focusing distance? Don't get so close
that your subject is blurry and the background is as clear
as day. If your camera is set for automatic adjustment,
give it time to focus in on the subject.
Take pictures often - as a designer, I know that the best
way to improve my skills and expand as an artist is to keep
designing. As an avid photographer who started taking pictures
when I was 10 years old, I know that taking more pictures
is the best way to improve my skills. You'll find this true
for you, too.
Watch the lighting! Unless you have a professional camera,
or your "low-light" setting works incredibly well,
digital cameras are TERRIBLE when it comes to dim or low
lighting. Photos get grainy. Modern film handles dimly lit
areas well, but the sensors in digital cameras don't. They
go crazy. Why? The pixels (the dots that make up your picture)
in a dim scene (or in the dim part of an otherwise brightly
lit scene) have to strain to pick up dim light, and when
they do that they do a terrible job. So make sure there
is PLENTY of light. Or use the flash!
Resolution. Ah, resolution. Believe me when I tell you that
you don't need a 5.0 megapixel camera to get great pictures!
In fact, unless you're a professional photographer, a 2.0
or 3.0 is more than sufficient for, I'd guess, about 99.9%
of families out there! So that's good news because these
cameras are extremely affordable. Do get rechargeable batteries!
Two, in fact, so when you're charging one, you have one
ready to go. And take your photos in high resolution when
you use a 2.0 or 3.0 mp camera. That way, when you do capture
the snapshot of the century, it has enough pixels to print
a size suitable for framing.