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How You Can Take Great Family Photos (at my favorite places)

Recently, I published a column in Lake County Kids Magazine (page 5) about how you can improve your holiday cards and photos...
I've been taking photos since I was 8 years old. 

It all started when my aunt gave me a camera (yes it took real film- it was a 110 actually). Then, my uncle took me shooting (not for animals, but for great nature shots) and oh boy, was I soooo hooked. To see life differently through a lens than I did through my eyes normally was just amazing to me. It was as if I was shutting off the noise...

....and only hearing the beauty. (But in this case it was about 'seeing' it)

I enjoy it so much, I have been photographing my family for many years on special occasions, and while they don't always look professional, they do have meaning and more importantly, everyone in the photo usually looks natural and happy.

That's really the goal...

When taking snapshots of your want them to be comfy, happy and natural.

To relax some of your subjects and offer yourself a flawless backdrop, utilize my favorite spots:

The Beach (Beware, if it's warm at home, it still might be too cold or windy by the water)

The Lake (follow the rules from above and remember to zoom in- don't try to get the entire horizon)

The Park (make sure it's not too sunny and not too shady-- actually, a cloudy day is BEST)

The Snow (okay, I suppose this one is only for the winter-die-hards, that would be me!)

Are you seeing a theme here? 

Nature lends the best backdrop for photos, just heed to the weather and dress appropriately.

My other favorite place for photos?

At Home (in front of the holiday decorations, tree, or front porch)

A place you can try would be buildings- occupied or abandoned. 

Architecture can lend great backdrops for photos. But, beware, foot traffic, lighting, colors of buildings and again, that thing called weather, can all get in the way of using this option. It's more time consuming, but it is also possible to get great shots if you go when there are less people around, and you have lots of time. (Note: if it's a new place, or public, your subjects might not be comfortable posing - so this is not always a great option to start with.)

Warm (but not too warm)

Take plenty of extra photos in case someone blinks or had their eyes directed 
away from the camera you'll have extra shots.

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