In Front of the Camera

Professional Tips to Capture a Special Day

Focusing on light, subject, and composition—the basics of photography—a good photographer will combine creativity and imagination with an eye for detail into a photograph that will capture a moment forever. To shed some light on the subject, we asked two well-known local photographers to share tips of the trade. 

Christianna Bettis (pictured) and Rudy Ximenez share a passion for photography that started at a young age. Christianna’s first award was in the newborn/maternity category from, a photography community that recognizes talent via contests. Rudy has been a frequent recipient of the Best of Georgetown gold award in the photographer/videographer category since 2013. 

Both approach their art in different ways—an important consideration when choosing the right photographer for you. Christianna’s playful, imaginative style, captures her subject’s personality in the moment. Her use of props brings out a bohemian concept of uniqueness and creativity in each of her photos. 

Rudy focuses on the subject. He places them in the appropriate background as he begins to conceptualize the finished product. He calls this “vision to fruition,” as he may decide to use a filter to achieve a soft, subdued, cinematic look or an off-camera flash, set up on its own stand, to control light direction and intensity. 

Looking your best…

On photo day, both discourage wearing busy prints and agree soft neutrals and pastels are best. 

Group photos work better when the colors are coordinated. For weddings, different style dresses in the same color complement each individual’s shape. For family shoots, the timeless look of white shirts and jeans is always a good choice. 

Both acknowledge it’s best to strike a pose and smile, so the end result doesn’t look like a driver’s license. Roll your shoulders back and stand straight—good posture is key, as is your best angle; i.e., which side of yourself you prefer. For women, Christianna suggests forming a triangle: turn slightly, put one leg forward and one hand on your hip. For a bit more drama, run the opposite hand through your hair. Rudy likes the S-curve pose: slightly bend one knee, then tilt your head the opposite way, not looking directly into the camera (pictured). 

As well, special flashes can transform any sun or shade issues, but, remember, one hour before sunset is the Golden Hour. With more lighting, a bit more makeup is a good idea, but too much can work against you. Framing the photo is also important; their consensus was, pose beside or in between trees, but never in front.