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How to do Facetime Photo Sessions

May 1, 2020

Couples, Family and Kids, In Home sessions, Portraits

Have you been wondering how to do Facetime Photo sessions too? Even if you haven’t even heard of a Facetime Photo shoot yet, I am so happy to talk to you about them!

Virtual Facetime portraits are a great way to document this time where we are staying home during the pandemic, and doing some special and quirky portraits!

  

What’s a Facetime Photo session? (for those wanting one!)

It’s a Virtual Photo Session that happens while we talk over a  Facetime Video call.

All you have to do is prop up your phone!

This works because Facetime has a button onscreen to take a ‘Live’ photo, where your caller doesn’t appear! So is actually a phoot of you with very good quality, which is uploaded to the cloud . This is why even if the call looks blurry the quality of the photo is good !

The photo or “file” that Facetime creates  is basically a 3-second video that you I pull photos from or export as a GIF

How do I know where to put the phone! 

We will chat ahead to talk about the best spots around the house, we are basically looking for two things: best light and backdrop!

I usually have you show me the best spots around the house – like a virtual tour ! You can send me a video or photos!  The typical spots I like are next to a window, but not in the direct light! Just a room that is filled with light.

We can shoot in the couch, kitchen, bedroom, stairs, living room floor!   I’ll tell you exactly what to do!

How do we know what to do!

I’ll help you set up your phone to get the angle and composition I think is best!   I’ll give you direction on  where to stand and  what to do.  For families we will plan ahead on a couple activities we can do, such as reading a book, or play and jump in the bed ! For couples I recommend you have some music on and try to be yourselves as much as possible 😉

What to expect

 During these Facetime photo sessions I  focus on capturing the emotion and the interaction ! And just have fun.
Your Facetime Photo Session is around 15 minute to 20 minute session, and we end up with around 20-30 good snaps!
The photos are low resolution but they are edited to look their best 🙂 Think of them as Digital Polaroids!

Book your facetime shoot!

Questions?  Email us at info@lauraalpizar.com or use the Contact form.

Technicalities

  • Phone : You need an Iphone with Facetime installed, so far I haven’t found a Video call software that works as well for Android . An Ipad works as well but the camera isn’t so good.
  • Your Iphone needs to be running IOS 11 or later
  • Need to have FaceTime Live Photos enabled (Settings>FaceTime>Live Photos – on)

    Tips for Models

    • Prop up the phone using rubber bands, playdoh, or craft a little DIY tripod with anything!
    • Clean up the lens
    • Put some white curtains to filter a little bit of the light
    • Turn off the lights (tungsten, LED and different sources create too many conflicting colors in the photos!)


How to direct a Virtual a Facetime photo session (For Photographers)

Directing and posing from a phone might be a little strange at first, but it is a great practice on good communication.

1. Find the best light

Have your models show you the area ahead of time so you can plan your session and where you will start. Of course you can always wing it 🙂 I have done this with models who I already know or already know their homes! (Yes, I have had repeat clients do them!)

For a couple clients I have done a Facetime call the day before just to tour the house at the time we will be shooting. Then I give them three areas where we can shoot and a little advice , like  hide that lamp, close the shades, hide that kleenex box 🙂 Whatever you see in there that you think it will “steal” away from their portrait, have them change it the day before!

2. Change it up

Once you are shooting, try to change poses every 10 or so frames so they don’t feel too frozen, unless they are having a good moment. Also try to change it up with how close and far you are, as well as shooting vertical, horizontal. With later Iphones you can shoot wider in the front camera so that’s another thing you can try!

3. Easy directions (and praise!)

There is nothing as telling people their hands look enormous! Ha! This goes back to communication. Instead of pointing out what looks weird, tell them what to do . Please move your elbow closer to your body. If your clients are struggling with one pose or another, just have them sit like they would! Or stand like they would normally, and move from there. Most importantly, let them know they are doing a good job and praise them, these helps TONS.

I am happy to help with any questions. Email me at info@lauraalpizar.com or use the Contact form if you have any questions!

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I grew up in the tropical lands of Costa Rica, where I met the love of my life, and we started our lives in Minneapolis after years of long distance! Together we have the most spunky little one. 
My photos are all about the genuine smiles, the connection between people and the LOVE!

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I grew up in the tropical lands of Costa Rica, where I met the love of my life, and we started our lives in Minneapolis after years of long distance! Together we have the most spunky little one. 
My photos are all about the genuine smiles, the connection between people and the LOVE!

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