The ProShow Blog

Tips, tutorials & inspiration for making slideshows

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family slideshow

Capturing Beautiful Outdoor Portraits with your Camera Phone

A few months ago I was out on a walk with my niece and my sister and a beautiful light started to peek through an otherwise dull day. My adorable niece started giggling and dancing around and I just WISHED I had my gear to capture some images!

Reaching in my back pocket, I pulled out the only camera I had (my iPhone) and started shooting. The photos turned out great because of some basic techniques I was able to use from my training as a photographer.

With an impromptu backdrop and some great outdoor light you can capture beautiful outdoor portraits with only your camera phone. It’s no replacement for my full set up, but in a pinch I was ready! Check out my tips below.

  1. Use a Great Camera App
  2. There are a handful of camera apps I use consistently on my iPhone. Camera + and Camera Awesome both provide excellent quality tools and are easy to use. There are a ton of built-in effects, but I mostly stick with subtle brightness adjustments and cropping. Pick a great camera app and set it as your default camera on your phone so you don’t have to fiddle with starting it up each time you want to snap a photo.

  3. Use a Simple Backdrop
  4. Anything with a solid color or consistent pattern in the background will allow you to keep the center of focus on the subject of your photos. It’s also great for creating a series of shots for a video slideshow like the one I put together below. Everything has a consistent look and feel that adds a touch of professionalism to your images!

  5. Avoid ‘The Pose’ and Shoot Candids
  6. For Candids, cell-phone cameras score over the DSLRs by being unaggressive and friendly. The tell-tale sign that you’re lining someone up to photograph them is putting the camera up to your eye level. So if you don’t want them to think that, leave the camera low.

    One way to be seen yet ignored is to take the time to blend into the background. What I do is find somewhere out of everyone’s way and stand or sit for a few minutes. It doesn’t take long before I become part of the scene. Less of a deception but relying on a shift of attention away from you is to wait till your subject’s attention is distracted by something else. Here it’s handy to have a friend engage your subject in conversation.

  7. Work with the Light You’ve Got
  8. Overcast day? Sun blaring down your subject? There’s not much you can do when mother nature is in the driver’s seat. Try different angles and move your subject around to find the best, most flattering light you can. Watch that your subject doesn’t get thrown into a shadow due to the sun being directly behind them. Try moving them to the right or left of the light source and see how their new position affects the photo.

My sister loved the photos we captured that day, so I turned them into a cute video slideshow that we’ll present to her over Valentine’s Day as a surprise!

Video made in ProShow Web using the’ Sweet Valentine’ theme. Also available as a free effects download for ProShow Gold + ProShow Producer.

 

Family Portrait Time? Don’t Stress With These 5 Tips!

Today’s guest post comes from Erin McDonald Associate Photographer at Images by Kay & Co. She shares her expert tips for having a great experience at your next portrait session.

I get it! I’m a mom and so its my job to prepare the family for our holiday portrait…I know how difficult it is to get the kids dressed, the dog groomed, the husband away from the TV on a Saturday and get in the car! I get clammy palms just thinking about it. Even though it can be a pain, in the end, it really is worth it to capture your family and the portraits make great gifts!

Here are some ways to make the entire family photo experience a positive one:

  1. Schedule NOW! Nothing will stress you out more than waiting till the last minute to set your plan in motion.
  2. Set the photo shoot when kids are at their happiest. Usually, at least for little ones, this means 5 to 6 p.m. is not the best time. You can’t always get the time you want, but if you have any control over this aspect at all, I highly recommend working your appointment around your kiddos’ routines.
  3. That said – lighting is important, so you may have to be flexible. Bright, high noon sunshine is not ideal, so oftentimes, we prefer to shoot outdoor photos either in the morning or just before dusk. You might have to go with the flow and let your kids’ schedule be a bit different that day, or schedule a in-studio portrait session!
  4. Coordinate, but don’t match. This is just my opinion, as I know many families like to wear the same outfit for their portraits. But in my experience as a holiday photo card designer, photos look better when everyone blends well, but not too much.

    Avoid patterns. It’s okay if one family member has a simple stripe or a basic design, but too many intricate patterns detracts from faces. If in doubt of what to wear, go with a simple, solid-colored shirt.

  5. Pets. Our four legged friends are part of the family too! Give your pup some great exercise a couple of hours before your session to burn off some extra energy. Let the studio know you are bringing Fido, and arrive early so your pet can sniff around and settle down.

Visit the Images by Kay website for more info >> http://imagesbykay.com/

Watch a video slideshow featuring photos from the team at Images by Kay & Co

Made in ProShow. Try it free >>

 

5 Really Helpful Tips for Taking Great Family Photos

Today’s guest post comes from Virginia-based photographer Rebecca Danzenbaker.

There are lots of tips flying around out there on taking good family photos, but I wanted to give you some gems that you might not stumble across as often.

1. Locations, locations, locations (yes, plural)

When scouting out a spot for family photos, be sure there’s a lot of variety. Though family photos at the beach sound great, having the ocean in the background for every single image becomes monotonous both during the session and when looking through the photos later. So, if you are at the beach, go toward the pier, an inlet or a grassy hill to vary the scenery.

I’m blessed to live in a neighborhood that has a farm, tons of conservancy land with wildflower fields, tree-lined paths, and some amazing rustic buildings and fences. Not only does the variety of locations bring diversity to the photos, everyone also gets a nice break while walking from place to place.

rebecca danzenbaker family photographer

2. Relax

Think of how much stress everyone was under trying to look nice (and stay that way) to get to this session. I have so many families who arrive 10-20 minutes late because, let’s face it, getting young children and yourselves beautiful and into the car at a specific time just isn’t realistic.

Instead of telling people to smile, where you get the forced “cheese” grin and no light in the eyes, I tell people to take a deep breath and relax. I would much rather have a “no-smile” photo, than one with strained lips, eyes, and foreheads. After everyone is relaxed, and I get a few great shots that way, I inevitably do something to make a fool of myself (like a goofy dance celebrating the photo we just took), which brings out the real smiles. The camera comes back up to my face just then.

Relaxed:
rebecca danzenbaker family photographer

Post-goofiness:
rebecca danzenbaker family photographer

3. Watch out for that crazy sun

Yes, you can get great photos in the middle of the day! Here’s how: Find a location with bushes, trees or anything else dark in the background. Place your subject with their back to the sun anywhere from 10-100 feet in front of the background, but in the sunlight, not the shadow. The sun will cast a gorgeous halo all around them and your dark background will ensure they remain defined by that light.

Here’s an example, two hours before sunset, where I was shooting with the sun to my right instead of behind them:

rebecca danzenbaker family photographer

But then I moved around so that the sun was behind them:

rebecca danzenbaker family photographer

So much better, right?! There’s nice even light on their faces and a glow all around them. If you shoot like this close to sunset, you’ll also get some really pretty lens flare, but beware of your camera’s auto-focus acting up when you direct it toward the sun. Just be patient, and make some small adjustments in your position. It will come around.

4. Connect everyone together

Have mom lean on dad’s shoulder and daughter take mom’s hand. Let the little guy hug dad’s leg or sit on his lap. Make sure everyone looks included and connected. Heads should tilt slightly toward one another.

rebecca danzenbaker family photographer

5. Remember why you’re there

When you do a family session, don’t forget the main reason why you’re taking the photos – to show the love and relationships between everyone in the family. Though a family is one unit, it is also made up individuals who each have a unique relationship with the other people there. Try pairing up people for photos to capture the bond between the two of them. How great would it be to have a photo of just you and your dad, no other siblings or people in it? That is priceless.

rebecca danzenbaker family photographer

Watch this family’s slideshow for even more inspiration!


Slideshow made in ProShow Web.

Rebecca Danzenbaker is a professional newborn, family and maternity photographer in Northern Virginia. She’s also really fun to work with! đŸ™‚ You should think about calling her for your next session!

www.rebeccadanzenbaker.com
Rebecca on Facebook
www.twitter.com/rdanzenbaker
www.instagram.com/rdanzenbaker

Father’s Day Slideshow Effects for ProShow

Father's Day effects for ProShow Slideshows

We all know that May is the big month for celebrating mothers. Now that it’s June, it’s Dad’s turn to get a little credit! Honor the father, grandfather or husband in your life this Father’s Day with a thoughtful photo slideshow made with ProShow. Just drop in your favorite photos or videos into ProShow. Use the new ‘Father’s Day’ instant effects (free to download or included as a new theme in ProShow Web) — to give your photo memories the perfect themed look for the occasion. Continue reading

Show of the Week: Tara Paul Photography Portfolio


Video slideshow created in ProShow Producer.

This week’s spotlighted slideshow comes from Tara Paul Photography. We love the demo reel she put together in ProShow Producer to promote her photography studio! Watch the video and read more about Tara below.

“I’m a Mom of two beautiful grown children. I started photography as a hobby and have since had the pleasure of working with wonderful families, capturing their memories through photos. I’m a natural light and on-location photographer who specializes in Child, Engagement, Family, Maternity, Newborn, Senior and Weddings within the Columbia, SC area. It is also my pleasure to capture everlasting memories and to offer free sessions to families who have children with life threatening illnesses.

In addition to my photography, I offer customized storytelling keepsakes through video slideshows in a variety of formats. Everything from Anniversary, Baby, Birthday, Class Reunions, Corporate, Engagement, Father’s Day, Graduation, Holidays, Mother’s Day, Sports Events, Tributes/Memorials, Valentine’s Day, Weddings and Worship slideshows. My most popular to date have been Graduation, Tributes/Memorials, Holidays and Weddings. I’ve always loved photography and having the ability to create an everlasting heirloom for families through a slideshow that they will cherish forever. It’s a priceless gift that compares to no other. ProShow has given me that opportunity to give to my clients and my own family!”

Tara Paul

Show of the Week: Mommy and Me Portrait Session


Created in ProShow Producer.

This week’s spotlighted video comes from photographer Gina Byas of i Kandi Photography. We instantly fell in love with this adorable Mommy and Me video she produced for one of her portrait clients. The short video clips interspersed between photos bring so much life and joy to this video! Read Gina’s story below and visit her Facebook page and website for more inspiration.

“i Kandi Photography has been in operation for 8 years. We are a Husband/Wife team which makes this job even more enjoyable than it already is! I have the best co-worker a person could ask for! We have always specialized in all aspects of photography such as family , weddings, children..you name it.

I’m always looking for new ways to differentiate ourselves from other photographers. We ran into the concept of video last month while browsing online and I immediately fell in love. I’m the type of person that if I get an idea in my head, I have to do it IMMEDIATELY! I learned how to use video on our 5D Mark III in a few hours with my Husband’s help and realized that I had to find an editing software to get me through the process. I’m always so hesitant when purchasing new software because I’m always afraid i’ll never figure it out. I came across Photodex and read about Proshow Producer. I did a quick trial and it was so easy to figure out! I owe Photodex a huge thank you for getting me through this whole process so easily and quickly and also for their amazing customer service! I haven’t experienced anything like it in a very long time!

I love that we are now incorporating video into our packages and I think our customers will love it as well! This video is my very first shot at video AND editing and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do! I couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful family! Excited to do more…..and more!”

Gina Byas – i Kandi Photography

Show of the Week: The Harrison Family

Today’s featured video slideshow comes from the talented and lovely Kelli France. Kelli is the owner of France Photography and founder of Francypants Academy, where she consults photographers worldwide.

Kelli uses both ProShow Producer and ProShow Web to create her clients photo + video productions that are simply stunning! Watch the video below created in ProShow Web and see even more of her amazing work on her website in the video gallery.