Paparazzi Photo Tips

Help Capture The "Star" In Your LIfe!

The word "paparazzi" is the plural form of the word "paparazzo." Loosely translated in Italian, it means "pest" or mosquito. Unfortunately, when family members and other relatives gather together, all too often, many of us find ourselves feeling like a pest when we take out our camera.

Maybe it's time to employ some of the techniques used by professionals to catch some photos worthy of your family's little celebrities.

Professionals are encouraged to ask permission to take candid shots, while most do not, it bears some discussion here. For family gatherings where you haven't seen a child or children for a while, go ahead and ask how they react lately when getting his or her photo taken. If your little star might run off or will start crying at the first sight of your camera, it would be good to know upfront, right?

Lighting is very essential in capturing the best photograph. If you have the opportunity, take some test shots around the house or yard to see if you'll need your flash or make any adjustments when there is no pressure to hurry up and take your shot.

Pros master the art of holding their camera still longer and create interesting intervals for every shot they take. Hold your camera tight when depressing the shutter and hold it a bit longer before you drop your hand to help prevent any blurred photos due to camera shake.

Zoom with your feet and not with your camera. You want to "fill the frame" which means to capture eyes and smiles as large as you can in the photo. When appropriate, get in closer with your camera, you will lose less resolution since zooming features usually add more grain to a photo.

"Anticipate all the elements that are opening in front of you... what are they going to do, how they are going to do it, how they are going to come out and what moves they might make." - Phil Ramey, The Paparazzi Book

Time To Blend In

For the paparazzi to capture interesting photos that tell the story of the moment and grab shots of subjects that no one else has, they get creative with their photo opportunities. Consider some of yours.

  • Little league ? Take a photo from behind the back stop or of your kid climbing the chain link fence from the other side after they make faces against the metal. Stick them under the bleacher seats with a few friends laughing and peering out from under them. Have them pretend to catch a fly ball or fake an over the shoulder grab or slide into a base with an adult calling them safe.

  • Graduation ? Shake hands with Grandpa or the favorite teacher. Have them jump up and throw their cap one more time.

  • Dance Recital ? Take a few photos of the theater or other parts of the stage from different angles and don't forget to include one of their instructor for later. Most of us have teachers or mentors that we admired yet never have a photo to connect with forever.

    In all of the above cases when you are "paping", don't be a pain, be stealth and when you have captured a fun photo, put your camera down.

    Pictures help us recall some special times or events in our lives and deserve some different perspectives that many times we take for granted or do not take the extra effort to portray. Paparazzi photography is a rare field but people enter into it looking for large rewards.

    Make it fun to smile for the camera, capture some priceless shots for your family and you'll have all the reward you need.

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