Last week, in the new series How I Shot My Summer Vacation, professional photographer Tim Fraser taught us how to take dramatic landscape photos. This week, it’s all about people.
On holiday, you’re usually surrounded by people you know: your significant other, your kids, your friends.
As people, they’re emotional creatures, and can feel awkward in front of a camera when forced to stand and smile. As someone who knows them, it’s up to you as the photographer to make them comfortable and bring out their personalities.
Whether it’s a genuine smile or getting them to do something spontaneous like a cartwheel, it’s your job to coax them, make them laugh, to encourage them to be the people you know them to be.
The trick to photographing people is personality – not just of the people you’re shooting, but also yours. Yes, you will run into some moments where the light is right and you will want to capture someone in that perfect portrait setting, but for all those other times, personality will bring out the best in your prints.
Professional photographers usually get only a few minutes (if that) to find the window to a person’s soul. You’ve had a lifetime to know your loved ones… (Consider that a challenge!)
The quirky and fun pictures are the ones you will remember from your vacation, and the ones you will want to show people. Who wants to look at four people standing on a beach, smiling at a camera, when you can lure them into racing through the water straight at you, laughter on their faces.
When you offer up a creative ideas to those you photograph, you will be surprised at how often they respond with creativity of their own. One of those folks racing through the water might become inspired to shove a fellow racer – and you will be there to capture the spontaneity and ensuing mayhem.
Vacations are supposed to be fun, and the more fun you have with the people you’re with, the more memorable it will be. The same is true when taking pictures of them.
To see last week’s gallery, and to send your vacation people photos, go to tgam.ca/photo-desk. Our favourite will be published next Friday (preference will be given to photos taken during the week of the call-out) on the Pictures and Prophecies page in Globe Life.
Next up: Night shots.