Portrait Photography: Blog https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog en-us (C) www.alteredimages.uk.com info@alteredimages.uk.com (Portrait Photography) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:25:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:25:00 GMT https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/img/s/v-12/u265326703-o865731708-50.jpg Portrait Photography: Blog https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog 80 120 More Engaging Children's Photos - Top Tip No 4 https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2018/2/more-engaging-childrens-photos

We all want more engaging photos of our children

What makes a great children's photo? A number of things go into the mix. Modern cameras, be that your phone camera, a sophisticated DSLR or anything in between, will generally make a good job of handling the technical things for you so you'll end up with a reasonable well exposed image with a fast enough shutter speed to stop the image being blurry, so what should you be thinking about?

Composition, Composition, Composition

Grandma & GrandsonGrandma & Grandson

So what does that mean when you're snapping photos of your children? As a rule of thumb - don't put them in the middle of the picture. The image on the left is quite a nice photo of this lady & her grandson but notice how the grandson's head is in the middle of the photo. By going in a little closer & moving the grandson a little away from the centre, the image becomes more dynamic, more engaging & the interplay between grandma & grandson become more interesting.

Lily-Rose rule of thirdsLily-Rose rule of thirds Oliver rule of thirdsOliver rule of thirds There's a "rule" in photography, which is not actually a rule but a guideline, called the rule of thirds. If you imagine your photo divided into thirds vertically & horizontally, then the principle is to put the main subject of the photo on one of the lines, or better still, at the intersection of two of the lines. This will generally produce a more engaging, dynamic photo.

In the image on the left, I've taken the shot so that the little girls head is on the top left third intersection. In the photo on the right, while the boy's head is in the centre of the photo horizontally, I've taken the image so that his eyes, which are usually the focal point of any portrait, are on the top third line.

If you have trouble imagining where these lines would be in your picture, most modern cameras, including smart phones, have a grid overlay that can be turned on in the settings menu.

Of course, if, you're still finding it a challenge to create great images, get in touch

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info@alteredimages.uk.com (Portrait Photography) better children childrens photos childrens portraits photos rule of thirds https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2018/2/more-engaging-childrens-photos Fri, 09 Feb 2018 14:15:28 GMT
Newborn Baby Photography - Top Tip No 3 https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2018/1/newborn-baby-photography

What is the secret to those cute newborn baby photos?

Newborn baby in basketNewborn baby in basket

Everyone loves them, baby in a picnic basket, baby curled up on a blanket, baby in a flower pot.  So what's the secret?

Three main things!

No 1: The baby needs to be newborn, & by this I mean really young - no more than 10 days old, 7 days old is even better. Why? Because the younger they are the more they sleep & the easier it is to get them to sleep, and they need to be asleep to pose them in those cute poses. Sometimes I get parents coming to me for a photoshoot with their baby three or four weeks old, and while they are still tiny newborns at that age, they are almost impossible to get to sleep - they sense that something is different & will fight to stay awake. That's not to say we can't create some lovely cute images but they just wriggle out of these poses.

Baby & Newborn Portraits 004Baby Portraits in Birmingham & West Midlands 004 No 2: Baby needs to be just fed, & by this I mean aim to finish the feed just before the shoot is due to start. I travel to the parents home for the shoot & I always say - leave feeding baby until I arrive and feed baby while I'm setting up the shoot. That way it helps get them to sleep and they'll usually sleep for at least an hour or so while the shoot takes place. If you feed baby one or two hours before the shoot, they'll just be thinking about waking up as the shoot gets underway.

No 3: Keep the area/room where the shoot is taking place warm, really warm - 85°F / 30°C. This not only helps keep baby asleep, it keeps them warm if we're creating those cute birthday suit images


For more examples of cute baby photos go to http://www.alteredimages.uk.com/baby-portraits 

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info@alteredimages.uk.com (Portrait Photography) baby newborn photography portraits https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2018/1/newborn-baby-photography Mon, 15 Jan 2018 17:23:34 GMT
Better Snow Pictures - Top Tip No 2 https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2017/12/altered-images-top-tips-no-2

How to take better snow pictures.

Looking out of my window this morning & seeing a beautiful 4-6 inch covering of pristine white snow, and then going onto facebook and seeing some dull grey snow pictures, I thought I'd write a quick tip on snow pictures.

My No 2 tip - use exposure compensation.


Some of you may be wondering why your pictures aren't as beautifully white as they should be, and what does exposure compensation mean.

Your camera, whether it's a sophisticated dSLR, a compact or your phone, has a meter inside which measures the amount of light, and adjusts the exposure to create an evenly lit image. It does this by balancing what it "sees" and averaging the bright areas & dark areas to try give an overall mid grey. 

In snow pictures, the camera doesn't know you're taking a picture of snow, so it tries to average out all that white to a mid grey... and its usually quite successful, hence the dull grey photos. 

The solution is you use your camera's exposure compensation setting. This is usually accessed by pressing a button labled with a +/-, and then pressing an up/down controller or rotating a control wheel - check your manual if you can't find it.

Most modern smart phones will have an exposure compensation setting as well. It's often accessed by tapping the screen & then a exposure icon will appear which might look like a sun or small circle half black/half white - tap it and a slider will appear.

So how much adjustment should you apply and in what direction. Typically you will have a range from -3 to +3. To make your snow look beautiful & white I would recommend a setting of +1.5, possible even a bit more if its a bright sunny day.  Have fun experimenting until your snow looks beautiful & white.


To make sure you don't miss any top tips to taking better photos 



info@alteredimages.uk.com (Portrait Photography) better compensation exposure photographer photography photos snow white https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2017/12/altered-images-top-tips-no-2 Sun, 10 Dec 2017 12:19:38 GMT
Better Children's Photos - Top Tip No 1 https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2017/12/altered-images-top-tips-no-1

How to take better photos of your children.

With Christmas soon upon us, we all want great photos of out children at this time if year. Capturing those smiles & little looks of awe as they open their presents or tucking into Christmas dinner & ending up wearing more of it that they've eaten. Whether you are using a sophisticated dSLR or a phone, there are many simple tricks that you can use to take better pictures of your children.

My No 1 tip would be get down to their level.


I see so many parents taking photos from parents eye view.

Get down on your hands & knees, or even lie on the ground. You will create much more engaging images.

When you're at your own level, your children have to look up which gives an un natural angle. Whereas when you're on their level they don't have to strain their neck. On their level they are more likely to interact with you - notice in the image on the left the little girl is bust with her toys, where as on the right she is showing me what she is playing with & engaging with the camera.

For more examples of how to take children's photos go to http://www.alteredimages.uk.com/kids-portraits 


To make sure you don't miss any top tips to taking better photos 



info@alteredimages.uk.com (Portrait Photography) better children christmas photographer photography photos https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2017/12/altered-images-top-tips-no-1 Sat, 02 Dec 2017 18:02:21 GMT
Get the Best Out of Your Family Portrait Sitting https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2017/10/family-portrait-sitting

To Pose or Not to Pose.

Family Portrait SittingsFamily Portrait Sittings Don’t worry about poses. Whether you want formal portraits, informal poses or fun family poses, your photographer should be able to direct you to produce natural looking shots where you all look your best. If you’ve seen some ideas in a book or on the internet, by all means take those along and share them with your photographer.

What to Wear?

What you wear can make a big difference to the overall look & feel of your family portraits. The goals in helping you select clothing are:

  • to make you the main subjects

  • to flatter you and help make you look your best

  • to disappear and be a non-issue

So what IS the best thing for people to wear for your family portrait sitting?

I get asked for tips on this a lot by clients. People “hear” funny things about what they should or shouldn’t wear for their portraits and show up in the strangest things that sometimes make you shake your head and say “what were they thinking?”

Here are some of my recommendations on what to wear for a family portrait session

  • wear similar plain solid coloured clothing so that we see all of your faces and no one person stands out in group shots. If you wear stripes or flowers, you will stand out from the rest of your group.

  • complementary natural plain colours - blue jeans & white tops work well particularly for children, and if you like your figure/physique as this will emphasise it.

There's more information in my free guide.


Free Download
Your Complete Guide to What to Wear
for Your Family Portrait Sitting

If you are a photographer yourself you might also be interested in this post Getting Your Shots in Focus



info@alteredimages.uk.com (Portrait Photography) family portrait free guide photographer photography portrait portrait photographer portrait photography https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2017/10/family-portrait-sitting Sun, 01 Oct 2017 16:19:00 GMT
Long Exposures https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2017/8/long-exposures

Creating the Blur.

Long ExposureLong Exposure I'm sure you've seen those shots with the water looking all milky, or car tail lights creating trails into the distance. Have you ever wondered how they are done?

What You'll Need.

  • A camera with manual shutter speed settings, probably including a B setting
  • Either a cable shutter release or a self timer setting
  • Ideally a mirror lock setting (if you're using a dSLR)
  • A tripod

Finding the correct exposure is a bit of trial and error depending on how much light there is, how fast your subject is moving, and what ISO & aperture you are using. For milky water shots during the daytime, you might only be looking at 1/5 to 1/2 second, whereas for night time shots you could be looking at 30 seconds to many minutes. Experiment & have fun.

In the meantime have a look as these great examples on Pinterest - https://www.pinterest.cl/pin/575123814891388869/?lp=true

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info@alteredimages.uk.com (Portrait Photography) blur motion photographer photography https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2017/8/long-exposures Tue, 01 Aug 2017 16:19:00 GMT
10 Most Famous Portrait Photographers https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2017/6/10-most-famous-portrait-photographers

Looking for Inspiration?

the afgan girlthe afgan girl Steve McCurry's portrait - The Afghan Girl must be one of the most famous travel portraits of all time. The photograph has been likened to Leonardo da Vinci's painting of the Mona Lisa and has been called "the First World's Third World Mona Lisa".

The subject of the photograph was called "the Afghan Girl" by the public until she was formally identified in early 2002 as Sharbat Gula, an Afghan woman who was living as a refugee in Pakistan during the time of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan when she was photographed. The image brought her recognition when it was featured on the cover of the June 1985 issue of National Geographic Magazine at a time when she was approximately 12 years old.

Portrait photography is not just about making a portrait, it is about capturing a moment, an emotion. And for this to happen, the photographer must interact with his subjects, love people and know how to catch the right moment.

Here is boredpanda's top-10 list of photographers that are famous for their portraits of people from around the world. http://bit.ly/1BUR6HK

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info@alteredimages.uk.com (Portrait Photography) photographer photography portrait portrait photographer portrait photography https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2017/6/10-most-famous-portrait-photographers Thu, 01 Jun 2017 16:19:00 GMT
Getting Your Shots in Focus https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2017/4/getting-your-shots-in-focus

Viewfinder Focus Points.

viewfinder focus pointsviewfinder focus points Ever wondered what those little squares in your view finder mean and how to use them? These are the focus points of your camera. Depending on the make & model of your camera you might have anything from 3 or 4 with a compact camera to 50 or more with a modern high end dSLR. The different sized & shaped points in your viewfinder represent different types of focus point with varying accuracy.

To find out more have a look at this article http://bit.ly/18FHWQm - although written for Canon cameras, the principles will apply to any camera .

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If you are a portrait photographer yourself you might also be interested in this post Getting the Best Out of Your Family Portrait Sitting



info@alteredimages.uk.com (Portrait Photography) focus photographer photography https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2017/4/getting-your-shots-in-focus Sat, 01 Apr 2017 16:19:00 GMT
A Picture is worth a 1000 Words https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2017/2/a-picture-is-worth-a-1000-words

30 of the most Powerful Photos Taken.

Powerful PhotosPowerful Photos They say a picture is worth a 1000 words... I came across a post on boredpanda with some amazingly powerful photos. Some tell stories of loss, some stories of love, of bravery, of poverty or hunger and some stories of death. What ever the story, I defy you not to be moved by them <<<go to post>>>


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info@alteredimages.uk.com (Portrait Photography) photographer photography portrait https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2017/2/a-picture-is-worth-a-1000-words Wed, 01 Feb 2017 17:19:00 GMT
Beautiful Baby & Toddler Competition https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2014/8/baby-portraits

Family Fun Day supporting Bliss.

Yesterday we were supporting Bliss - the charity for babies born too soon, too small or too sick (www.bliss.org.uk) at a Family Fun day at Pheasey Park Farm Community Centre in Birmingham by running a beautiful baby competition.

I'd not done anything like this before, but a quick Google for terms & conditions produced a number of resources which enabled me to put some together which were posted on my website - you can download a copy <<<here>>> if you are interested. A big thank you to my friend Gill Aldous who came with me to help & provide moral support.

We had a great time, met some lovely people and some gorgeous babies and here are the photos of the finalists.

Baby Portraits - The Finalists
Bliss Family Fun Day-0039Bliss Family Fun Day-0039 Bliss Family Fun Day-0068Bliss Family Fun Day-0068 Bliss Family Fun Day-0137Bliss Family Fun Day-0137 Bliss Family Fun Day-0048Bliss Family Fun Day-0048
Bliss Family Fun Day-0102Bliss Family Fun Day-0102 Bliss Family Fun Day-0160Bliss Family Fun Day-0160 Bliss Family Fun Day-0169Bliss Family Fun Day-0169


info@alteredimages.uk.com (Portrait Photography) baby photographer photography portrait portrait photographer portrait photography https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2014/8/baby-portraits Sun, 03 Aug 2014 16:19:00 GMT
End on an Era... Portrait Photography Beckons https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2014/7/end-on-an-era-portrait-photography-beckons

Getting off the Corporate Treadmill.

Two years ago I left Lloyds Banking Group, or Lloyds Bank as it was when I joined the company 34 years ago in a small branch in Wallasey on the Wirral! In those days your application for a staff mortgage was assessed, not on ability to repay, but on whether or not the property was suitable for you station in the bank. Each morning all the cheques that your customers had written were manually sorted alphabetically and then the signatures manually checked before being paid stamped. At the end of the day, all the cheques & cash paid in over the counter was balanced against the credit slips… and if it was so much as a penny wrong, the whole lots was ticked back to find the offending error… even  if that meant staying until 7.00 o’clock at night and paying many £’s overtime! Since then many things have changed and I met many interesting & varied characters without who life would have been so much poorer. Lloyds & TSB merged… and then Lloyds TSB bought Halifax. The share price reached a high of over £10 in the mid 90′s and today it’s … not quite as much as that.

Family PortraitsFamily Portraits

So What Now?

Well those who know me, know that I’m a keen photographer, and over the past couple of years I’ve been taking children’s portarits and family portraits in clients own homes. I've been developing that opportunity to fund my wine cellar (and my two daughters’ university education) and am now looking to increase the number of books… watch this space.



info@alteredimages.uk.com (Portrait Photography) family photographer photography portrait portrait photographer portrait photography https://www.alteredimages.uk.com/blog/2014/7/end-on-an-era-portrait-photography-beckons Thu, 31 Jul 2014 17:10:00 GMT