Instructional

Photo Cropping Guide | How the photo size affects your image

Photographic prints come in all shapes and sizes but they are not all the same format. Below is a cropping guide showing my standard print and wall art sizes and how the format affects your image.

A few cropping tips & tricks

  • Choose creative crops for emphasis. A long narrow wall print will accentuate a stunning background. A Square print can draw the viewer into emotion of action in your image.

  • Allow a comfotrable margin of background around the subjects, don’t crop too close and give the subject somehwere to move or look out of the frame.

  • When cropping onto a person in close up, avoid cropping at a joint such as the knee, ankle, elbow or wrist.

I am happy to provide expert advice about how to crop and display your images, and hopefully this chart with help you visualise how your images will appear when they are printed.


Stuart C Photography is a Caboolture based Outdoor Family Photographer servicing all areas from North Brisbane to the Sunshine Coast.  Family Portrait Sessions are typically held on Saturdays in a location of your choice.  A quality range of options for displaying your family portraits are available, whether you are looking for something small such as a matted print or an acrylic tile, an heirloom album or large wall art.  Family Portrait Sessions start at $95 and your choice of prints and products range from $50 per print and up to $995 for a 40x60” Canvas print for your wall.

Need some help or ideas for preparing your next outdoor family portrait session?

 
A guide to preparing for you next outdoor family portrait session | Stuart C Photography, caboolture family photographer/
 

The Importance of Backing Up

Importance of Backing Up

Back in the day we had film, shoe boxes full of negatives, and albums full of 4x6” prints.  You looked after those treasured memories keeping them on display, on the bookshelf, hidden away in the cupboard or under the bed.  No matter where they were they are always at the forefront of your mind for the unlikely event of a fire or other catastrophe, you would grab these along with your loved ones.

As technology has changed dramatically over the past decade we have all of our new memories in digital.  You may have thousands, even hundreds of thousands of images and videos stored on your phone, tablet, laptop, PC, USB sticks, and hard drives.   

Real World Experience

Recently my old man started to digitize old photos by scanning in the film negatives and 4x6” prints to store them on an external hard drive.  Generally this would be fine except all the old negatives and prints were discarded to the trash, yes the physical trash bin not the little icon on your screen.

Now I wasn’t aware of this until Dad called and asked how to get your data back when your laptop crashes soon after opening a suspect email.  So dad’s laptop and his data, including the connected external hard drive, was being held hostage by scammers. 

Everything was gone including the original negatives and prints.

What’s your plan for storage failure and loss of files?

So what happened to my old man can be avoided through back up management.  Now this is something that I am quite passionate about as I have thousands of photos of my family and thousands of images I have taken professionally.

Back up importance and process

A back-up system doesn’t need to be expensive or difficult and there are many ways to back up but the two main methods I will mention are hard drive cloning and cloud storage.

Firstly cloning of hard drives is the simplest form of backing up.  You can do this manually by dragging and dropping from your PC to the hard drive, or you can use software to automatically back up new files for you.  This is probably where a lot of people stop with one copy of their hard drive attached to their computer. 

But I recommend you make another copy of your back up hard drive and keep that somewhere else, preferably offsite such as your office or a mates place.  You will need to regularly swap these drives over, and depending how often you add new images and files to your PC this maybe weekly, monthly or quarterly.

Cloud storage is another option for backing up where you upload the content of your PC to an online source such as iCloud, Backblaze, or Amazon Glacier.  There are many options and they will range in price and capacity, and you will want to check each one for your own requirements.  I have trialled cloud storage previously and it didn’t work for me, the initial upload of my storage system would take about 3 months of constant upload with an NBN50 plan.

Do some research and find out what is the best method for you.

I have a 1TB and 4TB drive attached to my computer, which are swapped out regularly with identical hard drives containing the same files.  I have HP Smart Ware backup software which handles the file upload automatically from the multiple hard drives inside my PC.  Put simply there are three copies of each file; one in the internal hard drive, one on the external hard drive, and third on another external hard drive stored offsite usually at the office.     

Printing for future generations

How do you currently enjoy all those memories?

Back in the old days, actually probably only a decade ago, we used to have prints and even something called slides.  These were around with vinyl records, cassette tapes and compact discs – remember those?  They seem to have gone the same way as beta, floppy discs, mini-disc, and soon to be USB sticks, in favour of digital files.

Do you remember as a child finding an old photo album and asking your Mum or grandfather who the people in the photos were, or even your own children may come across an old photo of your younger self?  That doesn’t really happen anymore with images stored deep inside your computer, locked behind your phone screen, or stuck on a USB stick sitting in draw.

How will your kids and future generations look back at these images?

What do you do with your photos, new or old?  I love printed photos, having something real, something you can touch and hold, share, or pass around.  While I don’t print everything, I have my favourite images printed and placed in albums, on the wall, and of course many digital copies saved in many locations.

I don't have many images left of myself growing up.


What to wear to your Outdoor Portrait Session

There are many approaches to dressing for your portrait session and I generally take a casual approach to suit the location and activity.  I want to open up some new ideas, concepts and general rules of thumb to help you choose what to wear and look your best in for your next outdoor portrait session. 

 
  • Confident yet Comfortable

  • Suits the Activity and Location

  • Complimentary, Not Matching

  • Avoid Logos and Text

You want to look your best for your photoshoot session but you also want to be comfortable in what you are wearing because if you feel uncomfortable, you will most like look uncomfortable.  Dress for the occasion, activity or location; a tight dress and heels isn't going to work for a day at the beach, but would be perfect for an urban setting.

 

Think about how the colours and styles will look in your home

 

Think about the location and the activity and what you would normally wear, then step it up just a little with some attention to detail and coordination.  

Take for instance a photoshoot at the beach wearing shorts and t-shirts with thongs or sandshoes.  Now pick three bright colours and  a base colour that work well together.  Mix them up between shorts, shirts and accessories so not everyone is wearing the exact same thing but there is still connection.

If that's too much colour, perhaps you could choose one colour that everyone would wear, whether it be pants, a shirt, a head band, or a scarf.  I believe there should be something in common, but not the same item, to connect everyone in the image.

Pay attention to the details by making sure your clothes are clean and lint free, shirts have been ironed and don't have large creases, buttons and zips are intact, bra straps are hidden, and tags have been removed.

I always recommend that you avoid large logos, text and images where possible because they can date an image and be very distracting to the viewer.


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Portrait Locations: At Home

Having your family or engagement photos taken in an outdoor location requires a lot more planning than showing up for a photoshoot in a studio but you don’t have to worry because I’m here to guide you through choosing the best times for your favourite locations.

 
  • Comforts of Home

  • Convenience

  • Your Colours

  • Include your pets or pastimes

Here's something to consider; why not have you family portrait taken at home?  Do you have a great back yard or an interesting feature wall that would make the perfect backdrop to your family portrait?  Maybe you want to include your pets, or a pastime.  Or it might just be more convenient to have a photographer come to you.


Portraits in Parks and Garden Locations

Having your family or engagement photos taken in an outdoor location requires a lot more planning than showing up for a photoshoot in a studio but you don’t have to worry because I’m here to guide you through choosing the best times for your favourite locations.

  • Bright and Vibrant

  • Greens, and Yellows

  • Wear light colours to pop

  • Any time of the day

Your local park is the perfect place to have your family or engagement portraits.  The gardens are well manicured and you can always find a wonderfully soft patch of grass to throw out a picnic rug.  There are hundreds of parks in the greater Moreton Bay region and beyond, but a few of my favourites are Centenary Lakes in Caboolture, Lake Eden in North Lakes, and Mt Cootha Botanical Gardens.

Photos taken in parks and gardens are generally going to be bright and vibrant with lots of green to fill out the background, so you will want to wear something light and bright that will pop against the dark green backdrops.  There is usually a variety of backgrounds, walkways, and bridges to use in your photos and with so much variety and activity it will be quite fun and give great opportunity for candid images.

To avoid harsh overhead light, these locations are best shot early morning and late afternoon.  At these times you can expect nice golden light which is perfect for backlighting and flares.  Suffice to say you could still shoot here at any time of day as you can always find great leafy canopies to help soften the light.