Holiday dinner is in the oven, NFL junkies are swapping stats and the square-eyed kids are zoning out on Computer Devices. It all seems peaceful, until you pull out the camera and tell everyone that you want a group photo.
The visual historian within you knows that if you don't make this happen, nobody will.
We're closing now, until next Monday, so we'll have to just offer you some inverted tips. My three favorite "Don't Do's..." Two wrongs, may not make a right, but three don'ts just might!
1 - Don't Wear "Just Anything"
Matchy-Matchy or five-shades-of-pastel?.. It's all subjective, but the key is - find a theme that will prevent your viewer's eye from going to the one person that wore white or bright red!
Try this... Grab any image hanging on your wall. Turn it upside-down while not looking at it.
Turn it around really quick and see where your eye goes without thinking. Chances are, it was to a bright spot or something high contrast. Something that made the faces in it a secondary thing.
What's the point of a portrait, if your clothes rival your beautiful, one-of-a-kind face? A little bit of coordination can go a LONG way!
2 - Don't Be Distorted!..
Find a clear area that will allow you to set your self-timer camera on a tripod - or forge another eye-level place to steady your camera.
Things closest to a wide angle lens will warp into a set of hips that are not real!..
• Shot from too low - big legs tiny heads
• Shot from too high - (cool affect, when intended like here with my buddy Joey) but perhaps not what you're going for)
Revisit this popular post. It's relevant to more than just your hand-held shots. The Sorry Side of a Selfie
3 - DON'T SAY CHEESE!!!
"Cheese" begets CHEESE! "God help us all that we unlearn this unfortunate habit. (in fact YOU can help us all by forwarding this post) No offense, it's so common that the most cerebral of us do it, but ask yourself why?..
The idea is, the "EE" of the word forges a smile. Sadly, however, most kids will get what I call strain-face! Trying hard to force one out, hoping to get pizza, or cringing because their lactose intolerant. Grown-ups, tell me you really crave an opportunity to stare at a little flashing light to say it.
Bigger groups are harder. The more in number, the bigger your odds-of-winning a coordinated smile. Groups of six or more, the challenge is rivaled by the state Lottery. It can be done, however, and I've done it with groups of over 500. (okay, I'm sure that if I look hard enough at the shot I took of 700+ in Kobe Japan, SOMEONE was looking at the interior of their eyelids...)
My secret? (I should charge you for, this, but want to abolish CHEESE!!!)
Look in the mirror, and say "Cheese". See your upper lips forming a shape that you'd NEVER want in the camera?
Then, looking in the mirror, say "Easy". The entire is an upward smile on your lips. Authentic?, not likely, but if you can do it on the heels of laughter - You'll likely win your lottery!
HELP US ABOLISH CHEESY SMILES - SHARE THIS POST ON FACEBOOK. WE CAN DO IT TOGETHER!!!
If all of this fails - CALL ME!!! I'm happy to come shoot, frame and hang your entire family! (artistically, that is...)
PLEASE NOTE: Our purchase minimum is only $200, but we still have a cheese-free policy that will cost you double when violated! (ha!)
From my family to yours - HAPPY HOLIDAYS, and be careful on Friday. Some people really do want to spend it FAST and FURIOUS!