Tips from the Imaging Department

Tweet The gals and I in the Imaging Department were talking the other morning on which category wins for the most user uploads to get printed here at Gallery Direct. It was between these 3: wedding, pets & children portraits. … Read More

The gals and I in the Imaging Department were talking the other morning on which category wins for the most user uploads to get printed here at Gallery Direct. It was between these 3: wedding, pets & children portraits. In the Imaging Department we like to give our user uploaded photos a little clean up and boost if they need it. After all it will be hanging in your home so it has to look it's absolute best! Unfortunately,  we do receive many user upload photos that are fuzzy & out of focus, or are dark or have major flash shadows. And there's not much we, the Imaging Department, can do for those problems. So here are some photo tips that I've found useful when taking photos of my own kids or dog! I also love to take pics at family & friends weddings. Go to them, Keep the eyes sharp, and Use natural light.  [caption id="attachment_2277" align="alignnone" width="720"] My dog, Penny Lane. Shot down at her level, focusing on her eyes and using natural light.[/caption] It's important for your kids & pets to feel comfortable. Get down to their level and go to them. Have you ever heard the saying, "eyes are the window to the soul"? Be sure to focus in on the eyes and keep them sharp. Photos using natural light always come out so much better! No flash burst or shadow from the flash. Experiment, Be Patient, and Schedule. [caption id="attachment_2278" align="alignnone" width="720"] My kids. Experimenting with different angles, patiently taking lots of photos and scheduled to do it a time of day I knew they wouldn't be grumpy.[/caption] Experiment with different angles, approaches and compositions. Be patient and just take A LOT of shots. Worry about the results later. It's always good to schedule a time to take portraits when your kids and pets are most energetic. Backdrop awareness and Non posed. [caption id="attachment_2279" align="alignnone" width="500"] I found this blue bonnet field a few miles from my home. Wouldn't it be a perfect backdrop for a wedding portrait!?[/caption] We've seen several times photos of the most adorable kids with maybe a pile of laundry or dirty dishes in the backdrop...or a wedding couple with other people or cars in the backdrop. Be aware of what is behind your subject, and if possible pick a beautiful backdrop out! We also see a lot of posed portraits and those are great, but sometimes I find the non posed ones to be most interesting. Like capturing a wedding couple, walking, talking and laughing. It really makes the photo more intimate.   I hope you found my tips useful. We love seeing the customer photo uploads that come through our Imaging Department, so keep uploading and ordering from Gallery Direct!

Generational Photos

Tweet I love coming across unique ideas for family photos and lately I have been seeing a lot of great Generational Photo Ideas. Here are a few of my favorite unique ways to photograph the generations all together.   Source: … Read More

I love coming across unique ideas for family photos and lately I have been seeing a lot of great Generational Photo Ideas. Here are a few of my favorite unique ways to photograph the generations all together.  
  This could easily be reinterpreted in many ways with women or men in all kinds of outfits, however you do it I like the picture it paints.

Source: google.ca via Ellen on Pinterest

 

Source: google.com via Ellen on Pinterest

  While no faces are involved in either of these I think the creative use of hands from different generations would make a striking piece of art that would start many conversations in your home.

Source: via Ellen on Pinterest

    I love this wedding photo idea and wish I had done it on my wedding day!

Source: bostinno.com via Ellen on Pinterest

  And of course the show Modern Family made this popular, but it is still lots of fun!
  Last but not least this one would take some photo editing skills, but the finished effect is very cool! Have you ever thought of creating a great generational photo piece of art? You can find Ellen blogging daily at Thrifty & Chic Mom.

Four Steps to a Better Photo

Tweet With so many great cameras on the market today for great prices almost anyone can take an amazing photo. At Gallery Direct we want your photos to turn out amazing, it makes our job as your printing solution a … Read More

With so many great cameras on the market today for great prices almost anyone can take an amazing photo. At Gallery Direct we want your photos to turn out amazing, it makes our job as your printing solution a lot easier. Here are some tips to taking a better photo. 1. Eliminate red-eye Red-eye is probably the most common and, let’s face it, scariest photo mishap. While there are tons of sources out there that aid in the removal of red-eye, wouldn’t it just be easier to avoid it altogether? What causes it? I was always told that people with light eyes are more prone to red-eye. This may be true, but that never explained why my brown-eyed friends were inflicted with the red-eye as well. Turns out, the main cause is the camera’s flash. The light from the flash reflects off the subject’s eyes and illuminates the blood vessels within the retinas. The result is a red glow scary enough to make you reach for holy water. How do I prevent it? Well, the obvious answer is to avoid using a flash. If you’re unsure about whether or not to use it, take a few test shots first. You might be surprised. If you absolutely need the flash, ask your subject not to look directly into the camera lens. Also, many cameras today come equipped with a red-eye reduction feature. Check your manual to see if this is an option for you. 2. Designate a focal point Have you ever looked at a picture and thought “what am I supposed to be looking at?” Yes, we all have. Even a picture with great lighting and color can be compromised if the subject is nowhere to be found. What causes it? Lots of things, like a competing background, too many landmarks or a subject that’s too far away. Basically just trying to fit too many things in one picture. How do I prevent it? Try not to be distracted by everything around you and focus only what you can see through the viewfinder. Treat what you see as a two-dimensional image with a hierarchy of importance. Sometimes the solution is simply to use the zoom feature or take the shot from a slightly different angle. 3. Make it sharp I know sometimes blurring is intentional and can create really nice photos, but I also know sometimes it’s not. What causes it? Blurry photos are the result of either a moving subject or a moving photographer and the wrong shutter speed. How do I prevent it? If you’re taking an action shot, make sure the shutter speed is set appropriately. Many cameras come equipped with an Action mode that automatically sets it for you. If it’s a low-light situation, use a tripod to keep the camera steady and prevent camera shake. 4. Expose it just right Exposure is the amount of light that passes through the camera lens. Too much light can result in a bright, washed-out photo, while too little light makes the photo look dark. What causes it? Dimly lit spaces with a fast shutter speed, or really bright spaces with a slow shutter speed. How do I prevent it? If you have the option to adjust your shutter speed, do so accordingly. If not, don’t fret, there are still things you can do. If you’re shooting indoors, move near a window or lamp to add extra light. If you’re outdoors and it’s too bright, find a shady spot for your subject. Or, as counterintuitive as it sounds, try using the flash to avoid severe shadows. Overcast days really create the best lighting for photography. Well, there you have it. I can sense your photos getting better by the minute!  

Print Your Photos Already

Tweet I love taking pictures, and I think I am really good at it. I love showing my friends and family how they look through the little screen on the back on my Sony CyberShot– we all smile and say … Read More

I love taking pictures, and I think I am really good at it. I love showing my friends and family how they look through the little screen on the back on my Sony CyberShot-- we all smile and say awweee -- and then that photo is never seen again- except maybe 6 months down the road on Facebook. My New Year’s Resolution is to rescue these images from my camera and do something with them! I didn't really intend to fill this blog post with my family photos from the holidays, but isn't my niece adorable? She is only 2 weeks old in these pics... and if I left her in my camera any longer she would be in preschool and I would sending outdated adorable pictures. Alright, you get my point -- so this is what I have done. I went to Gallery Direct and printed my favorite images from the holidays on canvas. I kept a few for myself, and I sent a few to my mom, grandparents and of course to my brother and his wife.  It’s ridiculously easy to upload your photos and print them on a canvas. It really takes about 4 – 5 clicks of the mouse.  Canvas prints are also very affordable, and with the 75% off sale, Gallery Direct is basically giving them away. Use code: Photo75 I must say-- this simple gesture pretty much won me the award of "family member of the year" as the phone calls and thank you’s I received were amazing, I think there were actually tears.  I did let everyone in on the secret code of getting 75% off at Gallery Direct -- Enter: Photo75 at checkout. Alright, I am off to print some more photos, just thinking about it reminds me that I need to send my sister a birthday present.    
It's Halloween weekend and the scariest part to me is that as soon as we count our candy and put away our masks, it's time to plan for Thanksgiving and then Christmas. A houseful of family and friends is a blessing to me, and so is the power to impress them!  It's amazing how a few pieces of new artwork can really spruce up your home for the holidays. Here are a few easy tips I do every year that make a huge impact with my guests and it keeps my mother in good spirits. Warm Up The Place: Make everyone feel cozy with a warm image in the dining area.  I just purchased these two above for my dining room.  Last time I changed the art in the kitchen my friends thought I had rennovated the entire kitchen area. ha! Honor Your Guests: This one scores major brownie points with the out of towners - I always print pictures we took from our last family gathering on a canvas and display them. Often it's from the Holidays before or in my case, my brother got married so here is my niece and nephew in his wedding -- I find that putting up my siblings kids is just as special to my brothers and sisters as have pictures of them. So I often go the kids route.  The kids love to see themselves displayed and feel special. My niece wanted the last canvas I had printed of her, so this year I am printing two of each as suprise gifts. Classy Holiday Decorations:  A nice snow scene or nativity scene image printed on canvas is a very tactful way to decorate and your home, and it's easy to store for use next year.  I like to keep these images up all winter long. Have a few tips to share with us? We'd love to hear them. Comment away!