What we, as parents, like to photograph most are the “real moments”- those that cause our children to do something special, unique, or even a “first” something- instants that we try and immortalize with a camera just so we don’t forget to keep them fresh in our memory.
Rebeca López Noval happens to be a specialist in capturing the essence of such instances. Waiting patiently to shoot when the atmosphere is just about right when the children are relaxed and comfortable. She’s going to be guiding us today, giving us invaluable tips that will translate your photos into the precious memories that will be part of your history with StepsLife.
In addition to conducting sessions where she tries to capture that “real moment”, Rebecca also offers photography courses because she believes that fathers and mothers, being the ones who spend more time with our children, are the ones who can best immortalize the magic that they exude.
P. Children do not stop for a moment, they like to run, play, jump … Would you recommend parents to capture those moments or try to compose an image that reflects what we want?
A. I sincerely believe that recreating an image with a girl or a boy is a great waste of time and more so, of energy. It is unnatural and, moreover, quite likely that we will not achieve whatever we are looking to achieve, which usually tends to be collaboration, understanding and a result that reflects who our children are.
If we want all of that, it is better to accept that children are restless, full of energy, and move around a lot and that at some points in time, we’d have to do it too. Those are sure to be true memories: images that we want to return to again and again, and 20 years from now, we can tell our kids about it and continue to feel the magic of that moment, as if time had stood still.
Q. Sometimes we reject the most “everyday” images, accompanied by the inherent notion that when they are repeated daily, they lose value. What can we do to look at our daily family moments with a different set of eyes?
A. Photography has helped me in many ways. One of them is precisely this. To be able to see, with an alternative pair of eyes, what you have by your side every single day. Value those moments and see the beauty in each and every one of them.
To take beautiful photos, you don’t necessarily have to head over to an exotic place; our house is usually the best space to portray children in their natural element; that’s where most of the magic happens. As the saying goes, “beauty lies in the eye of the beholder”, so what you really have to do is train it. Taking many photos and viewing many others will certainly serve your inspiration and trains the eye to be quicker and more accustomed to capturing everything we see better.
Q. When your students ask you about the environment in which to take photos, what do you recommend, pictures from inside the house -although they are not for a magazine- or outdoors?
A. A combination of both, of course. As I said before, many things happen at home because that is where we spend a lot of our time with them (our children). Especially when they are younger.
You don’t have to stop taking pictures at home just because you think your house is not suitable for it. In my line of work as a family photographer, I have found houses of all types and the results have always been wonderful. At their homes, children tend to be very comfortable, and everything simply flows. Remember what’s important is not the house itself, but rather the home that has been created in it.
On the other hand, the outdoors is wonderful too. It allows us to move more freely, with plenty of light and play-space, making for a more open and dynamic picture-frame.
Q. For fathers and mothers who are new to using cameras, do you recommend photographing in black and white or in color?
A. Well, today it is not necessary to choose from either of the two. You shoot in color and, if you want, you can transform your image into a black and white portrait. You may choose to edit it later on a computer if you’d prefer. My personal recommendation here is that I wouldn’t edit the photos so much.
It’s one of those things that the phrase “less is more” accurately describes. Especially in the beginning, when we don’t really know how to manage image edits. We tend to saturate too much or bring in too much contrast…in the end, the image loses much more than it gains.
Q. Formats are another focus of attention for families who take pictures of their children. You can’t have the same photo to ‘remember the times’ as that which you upload on social networks. What formats would you recommend to families?
A. The camera format. Our camera has a default format, that is what I recommend. It is usually 3 x 2, but it could be another. If you want to crop the image, always try to do it with the proportions that you have to work with. You may find this easy to do using clipping tools offered on web/mobile apps.
What I strongly discourage is to cut out images in a non-standard format. Besides being bad, doing this may cause problems while printing images, since there is no corresponding paper-sizes to support these formats.
Some tips that you can practically use to create the best versions of your personal history, with StepsLife.