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Time slowed to a near halt, lives are upturned, routines are disrupted and freedoms are curtailed everywhere around the world in this COVID-19 pandemic.
In an unprecedented move in her fight against COVID-19, Singapore implemented a 'Circuit Breaker' to bring the infection number down. and heightened safe-distancing measures have been implemented.
All of us are playing our role in staying at home to reduce movement and contact with others. Staying at home with many living beings can be stressful at times and WFH (Work From Home) and HBL (Home Based Learning) with the kids simply tips the scale over for some of us. As a photographer with abundant optimism, I try to document memories that will bring a smile instead.
Staying home can be stressful, but it provides an opportunity for us to be close with our family members and give us that time and space to reassess our priorities. Remember that COVID-19 and the circuit breaker are only temporary; when all these are over, what would you want to remember?
Some photography tips to get the most out of your time at home during this circuit breaker:
1. Shoot in series
Not all pictures tell a story. As photographers of the family, we are storytellers for our loved ones. We use our pictures to tell the tale of a moment back in time, in this case, the memories of a circuit breaker. Which memories would you like to document for your loved ones? The first time baking as a family, the thrills of home based learning as a family, benefits of working from home, time spent with the elderly, a favourite pastime, all of these are good material.
Tip: Choose a subject close to your heart and think of the themes for your pictures before every photography session.
2. Plan your time
The biggest challenge of indoor photography is lack of light. Choose to shoot during daylight and near light sources. For example, if you would like to document a family baking activity, choose a baking time during the mid-day and shift the baking station near to a window for plenty of natural light.
3. Shoot them (children) as they are
Children are not good at faking their emotions. Candid pictures of them would make better and more lasting memories than poses that often can look unnatural.
Tip: Children are best photographed when they are playing in their natural environment or doing something that they enjoy, e.g. reading a book, imaginary play, etc.
4. Shoot your subject on their level
If you are shooting people, hold your camera at their eye level so that you can fully capture the expressions of your subjects. This may mean bending down, or even laying on the floor or standing on a chair.
Tip: Most cameras and smartphones have the ability to control the focus point manually. Focus right on the subject's eyes. If they are not facing you, focus on the nearest eye. When looking at human subjects’ photographs, viewers usually focus on the face and the eyes.
5. Make everything fun
As a photographer, our focus is not only to capture memories. We also need to help our subjects to stay relaxed and be at ease. That means: don’t just click away on your phones or cameras as if your subjects are mannequins. Tell a joke, engage your subjects, or ask them to tell you more about themselves. This will help to evoke a more natural look.
6. Create an album to share with your family
Finally, showcase the pictures to your loved ones. Create a personal or public album and categorise your pictures accordingly. Remember COVID-19 and the circuit breaker are only temporary, and these records will be the memories you keep from this period
Tags: Family Bonding
A father of 3, the Filial Piety Award Recipient strives to be a role model to his children. Chin Hock is also the author of Father (父), Mother (母).
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