baby photo birth announcements by chouette design group

Making your (photography) life easier:
Lisa's 10 Best Digital Photography Tips! photo birth announcements

Custom 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 you didn't!
Tip#1: 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.
Tip#2: 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 shots.
Tip#3: 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.
Tip#4: 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.
Tip#5: 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.
Tip#6: 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!
Tip#7: 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.
Tip#8: 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.
Tip#9: 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!
Tip#10: 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.
Photo transformation example

before photoafter photo

Above, an example of a photo enhancement done for an announcement I created. Color and lightness was improved, and the redness and bumps were eliminated

Helpful digital photography links
Unbiased reviews, prices and advice on digital cameras

Digital Photography Review

Imaging Resource

Digital Photography Now

Short Courses in Digital Photography

PC Photo Review

PhotoCourse in Digital Photography

Digital Photo Corner

Digital Photography Instant Gratification

AGFA Photo Guide

Custom Announcement Designs: Birth | Adoption | Holiday | Other Resources: Etiquette | Wording | Mom & Baby Checklist

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