Category: Tips

Socially Distant Portraits

Socially Distant Portraits | The New Normal | Malden, MA

Socially Distant Portraits | The New Normal | Malden, MA

So, it’s been a couple of months since I’ve updated here.  I hope you’ve all been well through the shutdown these past few months.  As Massachusetts starts to re-open, I will be offering “socially distant” outdoor portrait sessions.  We are having such a beautiful spring here in MA, and it is really glorious to get to be out of the house for a little while, while still protecting everyone’s health.

What does it look like to have a “socially distant” portrait session with Mira Whiting Photography?  Well, for one thing, I, your photographer, will be wearing a mask for your protection, and I will use a long lens that allows me to create beautiful portraits while staying further away.  When picking a location for your portraits, I recommend we pick someplace either on your own property, or somewhere secluded enough that you will not need to be masked while being photographed.  Sometimes, this may mean that if you want to go to a particular place, we would schedule quite early or late to avoid the crowds (good news — that’s actually when the best and most flattering light of the day is anyway, so it’ll help your portraits be all the more beautiful).  I am also, unfortunately, not able to take extended family sessions where there would be more than 10 people in attendance (including me) for the time being — hopefully as the spread of COVID-19 slows, we will be able to open up a little bit more in further phases down the line.

The most important part, though?  Even with distancing, we can still capture the love in your family.   Here is one of my first sessions back to work since mid-March — all with long lens and proper distancing to ensure everyone’s safety.

 

Socially Distant Portraits | The New Normal | Malden, MA

Organizing your digital photos | Get Organized this Year!

Organizing Your Digital Photos

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We all know the feeling — your kid is doing something ridiculous or adorable (or both!) and you pull out your phone to snap a quick picture of it only to get an error message — no more space!  Or you carefully put everything on your computer, but then your hard-drive fails.   Or you need to use some pictures for a project and can’t find that picture you know would be just PERFECT because you don’t have a good filing system.  And while the problem of thousands and thousands of images to sift through is exacerbated by the ease of taking so many images with digital photography, most of the tips below would apply just as well to the shoebox of photos you’ve been meaning to sort through since your days taking pictures with film.

Here are some tips to get you started on your organization journey.

Culling ~  A Vital First Step to Organizing Your Digital Photos

Culling — a nice way of saying that you’re deleting the images you don’t need, is absolutely vital before you get started with any other aspect of organizing your photos.  It’s hard, but it’s really important to let go of the idea that every image is precious.  If too many images are cluttering up your digital space, you won’t be able to easily retrieve the ones that truly make your heart sing.  What should you get rid of?

  • Duplicates — with rapid-fire shutters, you can take a dozen images in a matter of seconds.  Pick the best of the series and chuck the rest (or if it’s a truly entertaining series, with your child making different expressions, for instance, pick at most three).
  • Blurry/out of focus images — keep only the images that you will want to look at and best show what you’re trying to remember.  If it’s too blurry, you won’t even remember what it’s a picture of in a few years!
  • “Postcard pictures” —  When I go on vacation, before I take a picture of the scene before me, I ask “is there something unique about this?  Could I buy a postcard of this exact same thing?  If the answer to that second question is yes, it’s not worth taking your own — just buy the postcard!   Focus your pictures on the things that you will want to remember about the trip — your loved ones in the location, doing things together, the people you meet (Ok, this is totally my bias a portrait photographer showing, but I still think it’s a valid point!).
  • Think — will I want to see this in 25 years?  If the answer is no, don’t hesitate to delete!

You can make exceptions — one of my all-time favorite pictures of my middle son is a bit out of focus and I kept it anyway since it was such a perfect capture of him at that age — but make them rare so you can really focus on organizing the images you really want to keep.

Filing — Where do you put it all? (Organizing Your Digital Photos)

Once you’ve culled, the question then becomes how to keep track of what you’ve kept.  Most people use a theme-based (“Our family vacation” “Jacob’s birthday party”) or chronological-based (“2017 pictures”) or some combination thereof  (“2017: January: Family Vacation”).  Figure out how your brain likes to retrieve information and go for it!  The important thing is to be consistent.

Start with your images going forward, and then spend 10-20 minutes a day or so working on filing your older images according to your new system — you don’t have to do it all in one go.

Printing — Why? What? How?

  • Why Print? Why not just keep everything as a digital file?  Digital files are fundamentally not archival — it’s incredibly easy to have files become corrupted, or for media to become obsolete.
    • I like to tell the story at this point of my own wedding photos — we got them on CD.   I recently purchased a new computer, and realized that none of the laptops I was looking at had an optical drive.  I was incredibly glad I’d made a printed album of our favorite wedding images so I can enjoy them for decades, and my grandchildren will be able to as well even without the ability to read that CD.
    • Hard drive failures are also fairly common.  If you’re very lucky your files may be recoverable, but as one of the families who attended the class found out recently, it can cost thousands of dollars to go through that process (and it’s often not possible at all).  The mom who was telling me this story was horrified that she could have lost all the pictures of her children’s early years to that hard drive failure.  You can back up, but nothing is as archival as acid-free paper.
    • Aside from the loss of your images entirely, there is also the issue of visibility.  You should be able to enjoy looking at your photos!  Just tucked away on your computer they aren’t visible the way they are on a wall or in an album.  If you have children, there have also been some studies about visible family photos helping to boost children’s self-esteem, and I know I’ve seen that in my own family:  my kids will often request a photo album as a nap or bedtime story — they love seeing themselves in the pictures and hearing our family’s story and their part in it.
  • What to print?  The two most common things to print are pictures for your wall or albums — which you pick will depend on which you prefer and how much space you have — there isn’t a right or wrong answer here!
  • How to print?  It’s so overwhelming!
    • For the wall:  Every month or two, go through your images (after you’ve culled!) to pick a few favorites.  Put those favorites in a folder, and go through them deciding what to print and  what sizes at the end of the year — you’ll only have a couple of dozen images to choose from rather than hundreds, so it’ll be a much quicker process.
    • Albums:  Similar in theory to the wall prints strategy — every month or two take 20-30 minutes and do that month’s pages in an album for the year (many online album makers allow you to save your work over time).  When you get to the end of the year, you’ll just have December pictures to put in, and then you’ll have your album for the year done.
    • For both of these the real trick is to do it a little bit at a time throughout the year so it feels less overwhelming.  Several of the attendees at the class last most mentioned that they felt overwhelmed going back and printing out their old pictures — start this way going forward and take 20 minutes a few times a week to start working backwards to the older pictures — you’ll get it done eventually if you chunk it into manageable pieces!

 

Organizing your digital photos

Why You Should Be In The Picture Too

Why You Should Be In The Picture Too!

Why You Should Be In The Picture TooMoms stay in the picture! Often moms are the ones behind the camera, capturing family moments. But you deserve to be in photos, and your children deserve to have photos with you, too!

Do often find yourself being the family photographer but are never in any of the photos?  If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone.  Most Moms (and some Dads too) take hundreds and hundreds of photos of their kids but opt to not be in the photo.  I’m here to tell you that you have to START making it a priority to be in photos. Not just for your sake, but for your kid’s sake.  How sad would it be to look back and have no photos of you and your kiddos?!Family Photographer Arlington, MA

As a Mom of three boys I understand that not every moment is picture perfect.  Your hair is a mess. Maybe you have no make-up on. You have throw-up on you. Or perhaps you look tired. You feel fat… The list of excuses seems to go on and on.  While self-loathing is a concern, so is being able to physically get yourself in the photo.  Unless you’re a selfie pro, camera timer pro or can ask someone “can you take our photo” it can be really hard to get into the picture.

Why You Should Be In The Picture Too

The next time you’re thinking about booking a photography session think about the value of having a professional come and take photos of not just your kids but of your family. Including YOU! It’s a gift to yourself, your kids and loved ones you will never regret.

 

As a professional photographer, I’ve captured endless family photos, most that include Mom and Dad in them. And when we think about how little Mom is actually in the family photos. These professional photos become even more valuable. During all my photo sessions I encourage both parents to take an integral role in the photos. Mostly because I know how important these photos will be one day.

Why You Should Be In The Picture Too