When you want to photography your kids outside get off the grass! This week’s photo tip is so quick and easy. Just get off the grass when you’re trying to capture your kids. I’m sure you’re thinking, “WHAT? The grass is so pretty. It is the PERFECT spot for photos.” Wrong! Let’s talk about the grass.
I understand that photographing our kids in the grass sounds like the perfect location. Lush green grass, soft to sit in, so idealic. However, grass sucks up light. It is not a good reflector of light, leaving your subject dark and unevenly lit. Even worse, what light does reflect from the grass is GREEN! And green does not look good on anyone’s skin!
To illustrate this, I’ve taken 3 photos of my ever so willing son (I may have bribed him with Smarties). This first photo is taken in the middle of our lawn. It is sunny outside, and we are standing in open shade. Notice how his skin is slightly green, and his eyes are dark. I don’t like how his skin tone is inconsistent from the various shades of light bouncing on him. And to be honest, this isn’t even the worst I’ve seen for green skin. If here were sitting in the grass (which he didn’t want to do for my experiment, despite the bribe), the green skin would be worse, as would the dark circles under his eyes.
This next photo was taken with him standing on the grass, but I was on our gravel driveway. Again, we are in open shade. The lighting is better, as I’m shooting down a little bit on him, with him looking up towards the sky. By having him look up, and using the driveway, I am able to get the green in the background without it reflecting on him. It is a better image then the last one for sure!
Finally, this last image is taken with both Milo and I standing in the gravel driveway. Again we are in open shade. The light rock of my driveway is a great reflector. Do you see how much brighter the light is on him and how even the lighting is? I also love how the driveway serves as a neutral backdrop that allows him to standout.
Next time you have your camera out, photograph your kids off the grass! If you’re at the park, try using the tan bark, or the sidewalk. The parking lot is a great spot too – of course, watch for cars and enlist help! You’ll see how much your photos improve with one simple trick!