Beneath the smudged fingerprints left by your five-year-old and the cobweb that the spider contractors erected over the winter sits the single best photographic tool you own.
Your screen door.
The fastest way to take better family shots? Position your mom/husband/small fries in front of the door on a cloudy day and take a good look at your subject. The clouds give you a giant soft light that filters through the biggest window you've got in the house.
In an instant, you can create the sort of fab shots that grace covers of magazines and generate envy when it comes time to send out the annual Christmas letter. Take that Cousin Martha and your wildly successful summer BBQ!
What To Do
Turn off your flash.
- Experiment with your subject facing a screen door, window or other brightly lit area.
- Try it out in bright sunlight (hard light) or cloud cover (soft light) and see what the shot looks like.
- Bonus: Make those really big, glassy catchlights. Get your subject really close to the door on a cloudy day. Ooo.
- Extra Bonus: Get the sunset in your backyard? Shoot your portrait then for nice super warm light.