My 5 Photography Secrets to Capturing the Perfect Moment

In everyone’s life story there are moments we want to forget, but there are those we will always want to remember. As a photographer, I do my best to capture the genuine emotion of the good, the bad, and the ugly because those are a part of who we are. 

As we grow, we remember the places we’ve been, the people we’ve met, and the footsteps we leave in the sand to show us how far we’ve come. When we look back we realize how much we took for granted.

When we look through old photographs we’re brought to a different time as we catch a glimpse of our past experiences and see them in a different light. Perhaps, this time, from the perspective of someone else.

The photographs take us on a journey through our own memories, memories that shape who we were, who we are, and who we want to be. We cherish our memories because they remind us what’s really important.

Everyone needs a little reminder every once in a while.

Here is the inside scoop of the not-so-glamorous part of the photoshoot process we often overlook.

And that’s the first secret.

As photographers, our job is to capture and record those moments taken for granted and those split seconds where you’ll miss them if you blink.

“Look at their genuine smiles, a simple moment created by a fun idea I suggested. Yes we tried many times walking down the path but it was enjoyable, interactive and I was able to capture their true joy while having fun as a family together. The perfect moments are the ones where you’re being silly and enjoying the experience .”  

We all search for those perfect moments and as a photographer, my job is to direct them, guide you to them, and record them so you can keep them forever. 

We all know that the place matters to make a photoshoot absolutely perfect. But more important than the lighting, or features, or colour in a place is the sentimental and emotional value a place has to you and your family. Before you choose a place for your photo session with me, think about why you all love that place.

And that’s the second secret.

To take a great photo, the landscape can’t be something that just fades into the background. Places hold personal significance that can influence the entire feeling of an image.

“This beautiful family wanted to capture their new beginnings since moving to Canada. Big yellow sunflowers were something that is not common back home so what a perfect location to show growth, new beginnings and significance. Plus what is more enjoyable than running through a field of sunflowers. You can’t help but smile”

Photography is a service which means in this industry the main resource we expend is our time. Unless we offer prints, majorly, our job is to create beautiful images for people who don’t have the time to make them on their own. Because, just like when painting a portrait, given enough time anyone can produce a masterpiece. Time is, however, arguably the most valuable currency.

“On this frozen Winter day, we all braced the cold with our jackets, hats and mittens on with brief moments of jumping around, warming up our hands and even quickly taking a quick photo without their jackets on and just as quickly putting it back on. But we had fun and made the most of the experience. We even hung out after at one of the local cafes and had a nice coffee to warm up. This made for some cute photo opportunities too. We improvise!”

Although we do our best to use top of the line equipment, book a day with the best weather, and choose our favourite places in the world, Photographers can’t plan for everything. Something will always go ‘wrong’, spillage, crowded venues, screaming children, stormy weather but we take it in stride and work with it. The post production process is a factor in producing the best possible photo and that’s the third secret.

And that’s the third secret.

Although not everything can be fixed in post production, little edits here and there can elevate a good photo to a great one. Details are important.

“This photo is all about the details, the hands creating the perfect heart on mama’s baby belly, the flawlessly manicured nails, the lace details of the dress, there are so many aspects to this photo that make it one you want to have forever. With my guidance on what to wear and how to place the hands, this moment was created.”

Just like when you go to a cafe, part of the cost of your coffee is to pay for the ambience. The establishment goes to great lengths to create a soothing atmosphere. In a similar way, photographers direct and coach their clients throughout each photo shoot. Lifestyle photography is choreographed to express real emotions. Photographers create a frame for subjects, made of comfortable and natural posing, smiles that crinkle your nose and wrinkle your eyes, and clear communication and trust with each other. 

What photographers have found is that the most compelling images are of those moments where people are their best and truest selves so they do their best to make an atmosphere where subjects bring this out of themselves in confident, comfortable, and candid self-expression.

And this is the fourth secret.

The most important factor for taking a great photo is authenticity. Photographers do their best to capture genuine emotion but only the subject can bring it out completely.

“There is nothing like your true personality shining through a photo, what makes you smile, brings you joy and want could make you laugh uncontrollably. No one wants to look back at a photo and say, my smile looks so posed or fake. Enjoy the moment and don’t be afraid to show your personality. 

As a family photographer, I get asked questions about how I take great photos all the time. I try to give them the best answer I can but here is the gist of it.

I love my job. Being a photographer always just felt right to me. I always work to improve my craft, trying new angles, lighting or software, taking classes with experts, and by exploring Burlington to find more beautiful landscapes (literally searching for new horizons). 

I go into every photoshoot with a vision, an idea, and a theme that I know the client will love. I coach them through every photo and give them professional advice for preparations, posing, and finally printing. I use the experience I gained as an architect and my creative eye for detail to bring that vision to life.

And that’s the 5th secret.

To take a great photo, we need to build a relationship together as photographer and subject because in the end  it’s a team effort on two sides of a camera lens.

Cover photo

“By working closely with my clients, I’m able to create their vision for the memories they want captured. This becomes especially important for themed shoots, to get all the props, outfits and location exactly right to make it all cohesive and beautiful. I work closely with all my clients and make myself available to give them the attention they deserve.’

For clients:

Rest assured, I integrate these fundamentals into every session and each of my clients receives my 100% undivided attention for the duration of our relationship.

For my fellow photographers: 

Let me know your thoughts!

Is there anything you think I missed?

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