Photography Tips from George Pimentel

Family Photo Tips - SavvyMom

George PimentelLooking to up your family photo game? Time to trade in your phone for a fancier camera? We’ve got some great tips from celebrity photographer George Pimentel, straight from the red carpet to your family memory-making moments.

Photo Tips from Celebrity Photographer George Pimentel

Get Comfortable with Your Camera…

Play around with the modes and settings and don’t be afraid to shoot! Delete what doesn’t work and try again.

Light, Light, Light!!!

  • Light is the key factor when selecting a shot. Make sure you’ve got enough of it before shooting! More light = more options.
  • In low light situations increase the ISO on your camera to allow in more light. I recommend using a “Night Scene” mode for automatic long exposures—make sure you put the camera on a steady surface, though.

Moving Targets/Action Shots

Be ready to capture the moment. Set your camera on the continuous shooting mode to shoot more frames (or photos) per second. On most cameras you can use the “Sport” setting. Understand what your camera can do and how fast it can shoot so you’re ready to take the shot at any time. Group Shots
It’s all about the face—forget the feet! Aim to shoot subjects shoulder-to-shoulder and squeeze in the faces as much as possible (you don’t need to see their legs and shoes—what you really want is the faces!)

Focusing—The Half-Down Rule

Take your time—gently press the shutter down halfway to allow the camera to focus first, then press down all the way to take the photo. This also prevents “camera shake”.

Steady is Best

  • Keep the camera close to you, not at arms length. This allows for more control and the closer it is to your face, the more focused you’ll be on what you’re shooting. Keep the camera close to your face or use a viewfinder—it will steady your hand if you’re shooting in low light with a high aperture; you’ll also be able to see the focusing point more clearly.
  • Set the camera down on a steady surface (like a tripod) and use the self timer—this will give you the best stability. You can also lean against a wall or tree.

Get Creative!

Shoot in black and white for dramatic portraits (sepia follows the same rules but produces more of an antique look) but practice to find out what looks good in black and white. Red roses or green grass traditionally don’t turn out well in black and white but portraits look fantastic—skin looks more even, softer and smoother.


Use the macro setting. Older style macro lenses used to sell for over $1,000 but newer models have it built right into the camera. The macro function has the capability of focusing at 1 – 4 inches for people who like to shoot close up objects. This works particularly well for still-life images of flowers, wilderness or small objects.

Take Good Care of Your Camera

  • Cameras are delicate but can last a long time if cared for properly. Always keep your lens clean as small smudges make a big difference in picture quality, especially on compact digital cameras.
  • Sand and salt water in a camera can cause erosion, clog the internal mechanism and can be very expensive to repair and clean.

Know When to Call in the Pros

For a special occasion or those family portraits you’ve been meaning to get forever, professional family photographers will know how to capture your family at their best (and looking their best!) Check out our list of family photographers in Toronto, Ottawa, and Calgary for memories that will last a lifetime.

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