Easter is the first Autumn holiday. Depending on where you live, nature may bring bright colours, or you’ll see signs of Autumn emerging. This time of the year offers many opportunities to create some magical and memorable images
Easter is a daytime holiday experience; so, keep the exposure between f/8 and f/16 (depending on where in the sky the sun is), and use fairly quick shutter speed (1/125 to 1/250 will suit you well), and keep the ISO at 100 for smooth images and less digital noise.
If you can go lower with your ISO, then do so (some cameras allow for ISO 50) when you’re shooting outside. You might have to open the aperture and slow the shutter (to 1/60 perhaps) but you’ll have crisper overall photos.
For Autumn time shooting, you’ll need to have a couple of prime lenses, like a 50mm, a 100mm and even a wide-angle zoom. This is to take advantage of the speed of prime lenses and their light weight.
You’re going to be outside shooting from the hip and catching shots of children gathering eggs and filling Easter baskets. You want close-ups with shallow depth of field (the 100mm), group shots and family portraits (the 50mm). For the Easter Egg hunt and its excitement, use the wide-angle zoom.
LOOK FOR PATTERNS
Easter does have its own set of decorations and accoutrements (Easter Eggs, Easter Bunnies, chocolate candies, etc.), and these – with their kaleidoscope of colours – will most definitely make for impressive and vibrant photographs, especially if you combine the colours and patterns together. Sure, you’ll find repeating patterns and colour – these should be the jumping off point for many of your photos.
Pro Tip: You’ll want to adjust your camera’s setting to achieve the most vibrant colour reproduction. You’ll want to over-expose the image by maybe 1 to 1½ stops for the most saturated colours.
Easter, like Christmas, has certain amount of “prep time” associated with the holiday that might take place a few days in advance of the actual holiday. One of those prep time activities is decorating the Easter Eggs. Be sure to capture these moments as the dye is applied to the eggs. Other candid shot opportunities are the anticipatory moments before the Easter Egg Hunt begins.
Pro Tip: Shoot with a longer lens (80mm or a 100mm) in order to remain far enough away to be unobtrusive, and still get tight framing. Turn the mode dial to AV (Aperture Priority) mode, select a low ISO and a wide aperture. Let the camera choose the correct shutter speed. Use an external flash (with a diffuser) to fill in any dark spots.
Easter’s hands-on experience is engrossing for children, and you’ll have a wonderful time sneaking in to capture intense expressions on their youthful faces. Expressions can make or break a photograph, so this is why you want to take many photos – and try not to be noticed by your subject. If your subject reacts to the camera being around, it spoils your chances for true candid photos, which are the most interesting.
Pro Tip: Use an 80mm – 200mm zoom lens for the most flexibility and versatility (in terms of composition, depth of field and distance from subject). Use the spot metering mode and meter on the child’s face. Keep the aperture around f/4 or f/5.6 for the right amount of depth of field.
USE SIMPLE BACKGROUNDS
One of the jobs of the photographer is to guide the viewer’s eye to specific points in the picture; that’s what composition is about, and one of the controllable elements of composition is the depth of field.
As the photographer, you’ll want to direct the viewer’s eye, and that means not being distracted by any background elements. By having shallow, and therefore blurry, depth of field, you create separation between the main subject and the background; thus, guiding the viewer.
Pro Tip: You’ll need a telephoto zoom lens (200-400mm) to obtain shallow depth of field when you’re outside and might be forced to use a small aperture.
Easter always falls on a Sunday, so you can expect your potential subjects to wear their “Sunday Best” clothing. This is important, because if you pay attention to clothing style and how its worn, it will increase the production design of all your products.
Pro Tip: As the sun still has its summer strength in Autumn, be sure to set the aperture at f/11 or f/16 (unless you have the camera set on full auto). This will ensure that your subject’s clothing is sharp, the colours pop and the glow of Autumn will be captured in the background.
TAKE GROUP PHOTOGRAPHS
It’s bound to happen; after an Easter egg hunt, you desire a solid, fun group portrait. Yet, getting kids to stand still long enough, while still enjoying themselves can be tricky.
Pro Tip: Adjust the composition by having everyone stand in a diagonal line arranged by height, smallest closest to the lens. This spacing can add a certain level of depth to the image while giving you the smiling faces you want.
Easter is about shooting outside and maximising the sunlight and bringing, fresh colours of Autumn. Keep the ISO low, the f-stop small and the shutter fast for best results. You want to focus on capturing people’s joyous and adventurous expressions to make these photos memorable. It’s not every day that you get the entire family in dressy clothing, so here’s your chance.