How To Take Family Pictures Professionally Everyone makes snapshots of family members and close friends, but the problem is making "real" photographs of them. Sometimes it's easy to make the transition to serious photography using your friends and family as models; sometimes it's not. Advantages are that they are close and frequently available, so you can photograph them over and over, and at least sometimes get them to reveal their personalities to the camera. Some disadvantages are that, at the beginning anyway, your family may not consider your photography important. You can win them over by giving them copies of your best pictures. Another problem is that family members become over-photographed and camera-shy. Don't press too hard for pictures. In addition, you must deal with people's feelings about how they look, which may or may not be realistic. For example, my sister, who was a good looking woman, complained that my pictures of her made her look like an old turtle. The problem, of course, was that she didn't like being old and had really nothing to do with the picture itself. The best way of photographing parents, children, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even family pets is to keep your camera close at hand. You must be persistent, and be just as polite to them as you would be to strangers. As with strangers, approach family members only when they are in a receptive mood. Then, clearly explain what you are trying to achieve, and why it may take several rolls of film to get there. When you are finished, make sure that you thank your "models" formally, of course. Show them their flattering pictures later, and give them prints or enlargements as thank-you gifts. Examples of great opportunities for family group pictures are at weddings, birthdays, graduations, name-giving ceremonies, showers, holidays, and family reunions. Try to scout out in advance the place you want people to gather. Place senior members of the family (or the bridal couple, the birthday boy, etc.) up front and center, filling the frame, with everyone else arranged as interestingly as possible. Check the viewfinder carefully to make sure that everyone is included. Ask everyone to look at the lens when you shoot. Take several pictures of any big group; you should do this quickly so people don't freeze up. If you use the flash, minimize hard shadows by posing people away from walls, and using a bounce card or dome over the flash head. For outdoor settings, choose a shaded location for group wedding and reunion pictures. Steps are great for posing a large family. Since almost everyone treasures family group photos, you should have no problem setting up these shots. If you mount your best family prints in a good album, over the years it will become a valued heirloom. Photography's History Photography got its name from the Greek words "photos" which means light and "graphein" meaning to draw. The first person to use this term was the scientist Sir John Herschel in the year 1839. Thus, photography means the method or process of registering images with the aid of light , related radiation, on a medium that is made of sensitive materials. The First Image During one summer day in the year 1827, the Frenchman Joseph Nicephore Niepce was able to achieve the creation of the first image that was fixed by working on it for 8 hours. His compatriot, Louis Jacques Mande Daguerre on the other hand was able to lower exposure time to a period of less than 30 minutes as well as preventing the captured image from disappearing. Daguerre And The Daguerreotype Daguerre was the first to invent the most practical process for developing pictures during their time. He was born to a place in close proximity to Paris, France. Before experimenting on photography, he was a professional painter of various scenes in operas. After many years of experimentation with light and its effects on images, Daguerre was able to develop a process to make pictures that were more efficient and effective. He sold the rights to the French government then wrote a book describing his invention. The Pinhole Camera Ibn Al-Haytham, who lived in the middle ages, was a greatly known in the field of optics. The pinhole camera was invented by Al-Haytham with the resulting image viewed upside down. A European named Della Porta was able to re-invent the pinhole camera, this enabled him to publish information regarding the pinhole camera. The Flashbulb An Austrian named Paul Vierkotter is credited to be the first person to invent the flashbulb. He used a wire coated with magnesium which was placed in a glass globe that was vacuum sealed. This was later replaced with an aluminum foil inside an enclosure filled with oxygen. The flashbulb became commercially available in the year 1930. It was patented by a German national, Johannes Ostermeier. The flashbulbs were called "vacublitz". General Electric, a company engaging in suh ventures made their own version which was termed "Sashalite". Instant Photos You can take instant pictures using a polaroid camera. This type of camera was created by Edwin Land. His work on photography enabled a new age in photography wherein pictures can be obtained instantly. The exposure time was no longer a factor. These are some fast facts that wil help you understand more the history of photography. Having a clear idea of how photography started will help you with your passion for pictures. Food Photography Tips For Newbies Taking great pictures of different food dishes isn't as easy as it appears to be in cook books and food advertisements. Great care should be exercised when taking these shots. Things that need to be considered include the dish's angle, composition, lighting, as well as problems that may arise. Here are some guides to help you improve the quality of your pictures. Lighting Consider the lighting in the kitchen or venue where you will shooting the dishes. It is a good idea to know this in advance so that you no longer have to make adjustments right there in the venue. Dark venues may be corrected by using a row of flourescent lighting which possesses diffusers. The drawback of this method is that the image will have a subdued shade of green. Depending on the camera that you have, it may have a setting that neutralizes the effects of flourescent lighting or a magenta filter may be used to compensate. Stability Of Tripods Since you are taking pictures of food, every shot is done at close range. Unlike shots taken at a distance, shots done in close up are sensitive to movement. Any sudden moves and the picture will be ruined. Focusing on the subject also becomes easier when using a tripod or even just a stack of magazines. Food Presentation To get that professional look, cut the dish in geometric shapes. Proper arrangement of the food is also important so that you will be able to showcase the dish's ingredients as well as its strengths. Garnishing the food that you will shoot will enhance its natural colors, making it more appealing to the eyes. Focusing On The Subject A rather dull photo will become vibrant and dynamic if care is taken when focusing and adjusting the field depth of the camera. If your camera doesn't have manual focus, depressing the camera's shutter button halfway to lock the focus at that specific depth. Recomposing the focus can be done by changing the position of the camera while the shutter button is still depressed halfway. Automatic cameras usually lack aperture or depth of field. Some purposely adjust the aperture such that the background becomes a blur to heighten the subject's features while others prefer that a wider depth of field is used to capture the whole scene. These are some of the things that you should know regarding food photography. Constant practice will help you produce better shots. Follow your instincts. Sometimes this allows you to take better shots.