#Hanfugirl

It would be extremely arrogant for me to claim full credit for what my #instahusband has achieved, but I am more than happy to share a few tips with everyone with a patient and loving husband who’s willing to take more than a dozen photos for you.

Basic Preparation:

  1. Get a basic portrait lens and a wide angle lens
    Mine’s a Sony A6000 camera body
    4/10-18mm Wide angle lens

    1.8/50mm lens for Portrait

    When I’m indoors, I use Portrait lens a lot (my Dream of the red chamber portraits were mostly taken with this lens)When I’m outdoors, I mainly use the wide angle lens because you want to capture the surrounding, and also you have limited manoeuvre space when you’re out there (crowd, building layout etc. are all your limitations). The wide angle lens is most similar to your camera lens’s distance–you don’t need to retreat too far to capture the area that your eyes see. Whereas for Portrait lens, you need to have like 3-4m of space (which is a luxury a lot of times when you’re travelling. Also, you don’t want to should too loudly to tell someone how to pose or communicate to each other about what to do when you’re in public).
  2. Get your #instahusband to try taking buildings and landscape pictures (even with handphone’s good enough)
    This is to suss him out. See if he’s even good at framing a picture, or has any potential in going solo/more independent in taking pictures or do you need to be more directive.
  3. See if he might have some potential at framing a picture–if he has a natural flair at balancing lines and spaces in a picture
    This is what you’d be looking out for when you evaluate his ‘test shots’. Light, Composition/Lines, and overall feel.I ‘talent-scouted’ mine when we travelled to Fujian last year on a trip to reconnect with his ancestral roots there (photos below). I thought, if he can take nicely composed pictures with his phone, then he’s got the patience to find the best angle to position his picture, and he has a good eye for shapes, light and colours.I’ve realised that guys typically take landscape pictures really well, while women are better at portrait ones (perhaps we’re much more particular about how people look). That’s why work with the strength(s) of your #instahusband, and complement his weakness through other means.
  4. You need to know basic Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop skills too!
    This is a team work! And trust me, they make helluva difference!
  5. Colour & Style matching your dress to the environment
    It determines how well you integrate into the environment. From the fabric of your dress to the colour of your dress, they all kind of matter. For my European and NYC trip, I chose fabric that are more solid, because I know I’m gonna be surrounded mainly by stone buildings or concrete, so having a more similar texture and feel would be more fitting. So you see the appearance of Mamian skirts a lot, cos they are rather geometric in shape, and the straight lines work well with the architectures around.Whereas in China, it’s mainly mountains and valleys, lakes and grassland, so there’s this soft and dreamy kind of feel that you could play with, and I opted for the softer fabric that would create interesting organic shapes when you spin or when the wind blows.

HACKING IT


Of course, everyone loves a cheat sheet, so I’ve summarised a few tricks that could help to ease the process!

FRAMING

No matter how talented your #instahusband is, he can’t read your mind, and people’s tastes vary. So if you really have this perfect image in mind, and you struggle to describe to him, then take a test shot on the camera without you in it. Then show him to him, and ask him to position the camera in a frame while you pose.

Examples:

 

 

 

 


TAKING THE BEST SHOT

In this digital age, we are blessed with the ability to take pictures without much worry for wasted films. So in doubt, just take a few more shots. My favourite function is the continuous burst shot function that allows the completely clueless #instahusband to press and hold, while you pose however you like. In this way, #instahusband becomes a tripod and you have full control of the product.

It takes quite a few burst shots sometimes to get the one you like, so buffer more time for photo-taking if that’s your main purpose.

As we’re all not professional models, and our #instahusbands are not professional photographers, we need to be resilient and patient–keep trying! haha

Burst merge
I did about 4-5 times of running to get the shot I like.

POSING

LIGHTS
ALWAYS face the light such that there’s minimum harsh shadows on your face, unless you are looking at some backlit effect. Most people look best in their 3/4 face shot, so try to find your best side of the face, and do a 3/4 profile shot.

CAMERA
Don’t expect your #instahusband to tell you what to do, you need to imagine it in your mind, and compose the shot. Check after you take them, and make adjustments and retake if necessary.

The part nearer to the camera will always appear bigger, so always tuck your chin in a little bit when facing the camera so you don’t have too big a jawline/chin!

ACTION
If one pose doesn’t feel right, don’t give up on that pose, try it somewhere else! But you need to have some sort of a list of poses you think you wanna strike, because trust me, #instahusband will not instruct you unless he is a pro.

*Remember the order of priority: LIGHT>CAMERA>ACTION
Light is the most important part of  photograph (imho), so if you must show the not as pretty side of your face cos that’s the only side that will face the light, do it. After taking outdoor shoots for the past few months, I’ve forgotten which side was my best side…-_-! cos I just “face the sun”!

Then comes the composition. Outdoor shoots with nice scenery would appear more as a landscape photograph than a portrait most of the times, so the overall composition is much more important than what pose you strike, especially if you are so tiny in the grander scheme of things.

Finally, it’s like the icing on the cake, dynamic and interesting actions would add greater variety to your photo. I’m dying to show you a video and some photos of my husband trying to mock me and my “boring” poses (but I can’t), but you get the drift. After a while, I get bored of posing myself! Sigh… life.

POST-PRODUCTION

People often praise the model, the photographer, or the clothing designer for a gorgeous picture. But the importance of a good photo-editor is extremely underrated. And it could be as simple as slight colour adjustment, application of a filter to a larger or smaller degree to something more complicated like manipulating certain light conditions in a picture. The taste of the photo-editor makes or breaks the picture.

Not gonna lie… but this is what difference post-production makes:

 


Last but not least, here’s a few quick tips (to the best of my knowledge/imagination) to colour-matching your dress to the surroundings.

Hope it’s of help!

colourmatching

Be patient, even though you might feel like killing each other at times! I guarantee you’ll have lots of memorable moments captured on camera together!

WechatIMG550

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