Confused by Photography? Digital Dad is Ready to Help

(Today we introduce a new member of the Working Dad crew, Digital Dad, also known as professional photographer Will Austin. He'll help moms and dads take better photos and organize those massive digital image libraries.)

I admit it, I'm a photo addict. If I'm not taking photos at my day job as a professional photographer I'm probably taking photos for another purpose. I passed a kidney stone two weekends ago and as soon as the Demerol wore off I took a super close-up photo. If I don't have a camera in my hand it is because I traded it out for a mouse and I am deep in the digital darkroom processing more photos. In my "free time" I cruise photoblogs to learn new tips and techniques.

I've lived in Seattle most of my life and my wife, six year old son, cat and I now live in the part of town that is cut off of most of the maps- Southeast Seattle. We just tell people Columbia City.

Enough about me, what I want to do is help you take better pictures of your family. Maybe I can give you some helpful tips. Maybe we can share photos that are especially important to us and tell the stories behind the images. With the advent of digital technology even the low-end digital cameras are capable of producing great results. The photos you make are a reflection of your vision and tell just as much about you as about your subject.

What's the first tip? When taking a photo start by asking what is your subject? It is more complicated than it sounds. You need to define the purpose of the photo. Are you taking a photo of your child or your child at the beach? This tells you how to crop the image. Maybe you are taking a photo of an idea or a feeling.

Once you define what it is you want to capture you can move to specific techniques that help you do so.

I have one other tip today. Once you are ready to take a picture get one step closer. Many people are too far from their subject, and that adds too much extra detail.

-- Will Austin

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