“Emotions” is the theme of this year’s photo contest, and our 11 winners range from delighted to down right angry.
HOMETOWN: Cedar Hills
Subject: Emi Lorscheider
Angela took this shot of her niece, Emi Lorscheider, on Easter Day 2005. Being thrown in the air is one of Emi’s favorite things, according to Angela, and this photo was taken on Angela’s first — and only — try.
Photographer: Savannah Mullen
Hometown: Pleasant Grove
Subject: Harley Gonzales
Savannah’s niece, Harley, was dressed up as Wonder Woman for the American Fork Cute Baby Contest and got mad while “wonder-ing” what another child was doing on her bike.
“Son Playing Soccer”
Lesleigh took this picture of her 11-year-old son, Stephan, at Grandview School in Provo. She loves how aggressive he is while playing soccer and took this photo to show his determination and enthusiasm.
Photographer: Julie Blackhurst
Subject: Carlie Johnson & Chester
Carlie loves horses, and this photo — taken by her mother — shows that man and beast can truly be the best of friends.
“Tree Frog Excitement”
Photographer: Todd Stonely
Subject: Bradon Stonely
Bradon Stonely was overjoyed at the chance to hold a tree frog during a visit to Tampa Bay, Fla.
“Between Grandpa and Grandson”
Photographer: Danette Otteson
Subject: Caleb Otteson & Elwyn Cameron
Danette captured this shot of her son, Caleb, walking with his grandfather — Elwyn Cameron of Las Vegas — while the two were enjoying a moment together.
“Amalia’s cutie pout lip!”
Erika K. Jimenez
Hometown: Cedar Hills
Subject: Amalia Jimenez
Since Amalia was six months old, she’s used her lip to express her emotions. Her mother finally got a picture of the famous face during a trip to Amalia’s grandmother’s house in Provo.
Photographer: Shennon Mercer
Sarah was less than thrilled about being placed in a hole in the sand during a trip to South Padre Island, Texas.
Dale & Camille Tracy
With the kind of weather that whips up a unique wedding day, Dale and Camille Tracy decided to have fun despite the wind and rain they experienced at the LDS Manti Temple. Lori caught the couple fighting a wind gust while still holding on to each other.
Photographer: Darren Rosenlund
Hometown: Pleasant Grove
Subject: Abram Rosenlund
Abe’s mom tickles him on the back porch.
“Achieving a Goal”
Photographer: Denise Howard
Hometown: Cedar Hills
Subject: Miranda Howard
Nine-month-old Miranda showed great pride in herself after standing up in her crib for the first time.
Things to know before yelling out, ‘Say cheese!’
Having a fancy camera does not guarantee a stunning picture. No matter how much you spent on that new digital, it will not make up for poor composition.
When taking pictures, think before you click. Follow these simple tips from valley photographers, and you’ll turn “that blurry blob in the corner is my mother” photographs into treasured memories that you can proudly frame or stick on your fridge.
Technology is on your side
You do not need to understand aperture or shutter speed to create a portrait feel.
“A lot of cameras will let you use the portrait mode, which puts the subject into focus and allows the background to become slightly blurry,” says Bob Boyd, who owns Bob Boyd Photography in Orem. “That is the difference between a snapshot and a portrait.”
Most cameras have a dial with different settings. Instead of using the automatic setting each time, experiment with various other options. The instruction booklet will clarify your alternatives.
Find the sun — and then avoid it
“Take pictures in the shade and use your flash,” says Bryant Livingston, who owns Bryant Livingston Photography in Provo.
By using shaded areas and filling in light with the flash, you will get more flattering light than if you were to place your subject in harsh sunlight. You can even use your flash in the sun to help fill in unsightly shadows. If you are wondering if your lighting is right, digital cameras will let you see your pictures as you go along, allowing for easy correction of mistakes.
Watch the background
Trees and flagpoles growing out of the subject’s head are generally not aesthetically pleasing.
“Often people are so excited about the picture they forget to notice what’s going on in the background,” says Orem photographer Kenneth Linge. “Right before you push the button, scan around the subject and make sure there are no disturbing elements.”
When your next “photo-op” comes along, pause long enough to arrange the image. Get close and consider putting your subject slightly off-center.
Make your holiday snapshots the best you have ever had, and keep watching for future photo contests in Utah Valley Magazine.