After you’ve captured your memories (see Photographing Children – Part 1: Capturing Memories) and imported them into your computer, it’s time to choose which ones to process and share. Be judicious – choose those that are in focus and tell a story. If you have several of the same scene pick your favourite, the one that makes you melt. The exposure doesn’t need to be perfect but should be close. If the action warrants it, a little blur can be acceptable but the eyes should be sharp and clear. The next step is to process and enhance your photos.
- Cropping – This is one of the most important steps in enhancing your image. What you include and exclude from your photograph can dramatically change the story. Take this image of my son with my husband taken this past weekend on our ferry crossing of Arrow Lake. One photograph, two different stories.
- Straighten your image. Use the rotate tool to ensure that your horizon is straight. If there is no horizon, use a building or other vertical or horizontal objects in frame as a guide.
- Correct your exposure – This will usually means adjusting your exposure as well as your highlights and contrast. Ensure that your blacks are black and your whites are white. Some scenes are especially troublesome but the goal is to get it as close to reality as possible. Usually I don’t have to make huge changes but I chose this example to show what’s possible.
- Brighten your image. Using the brightness tool, adjust it to the slightly to the right to brighten your mid-tones. Rather than changing the entire exposure, this tool gives a little pop to the skin tones. Just be careful that it doesn’t over brighten other portions of the photo such as clouds.
- Pop the colours. If you have a program such as Adobe Lightroom, use the Vibrance slider to pop the colour slightly. Otherwise, you can increase the saturation slightly. Careful you don’t overdo it – use the skin tone to judge the amount.
This is generally all I do to enhance any of my photographs. I try not to alter or change reality but rather capture the feeling of the moment.
The final step is to share your photographs with your friends and family.
- Sharing online: I always post low resolution photos (no larger than 1,000 px on the long side), watermarked when posting on Facebook, blogs, or other social media. This is to help protect your images from being pirated as well as allowing for quicker loading.
- Sharing by email: Send your friends and family full resolution images they can print. If they’d like to post images online you should also send them a copy of the low resolution, watermarked image.
- Sharing prints: Every once in a while, print a memorable print or two and send it to the grandparents, aunts, or another special person.
I hope that these short tutorials will help you capture, enhance and share your photographs and memories. If you have any questions please feel free to comment below and I’ll do my best to answer.
Do you like what you see? Please vote for me as Circle of Moms Top 25 Photographer Moms. Your vote would be greatly appreciated (you can cast your vote once each day). Finishing in the Top 25 would allow me to inspire even more families.