How To Take Touching Father's Day Photos - Courtesy Of Tamron

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Amanda Brummer-Onstott explains how she uses the Tamron SP 24-70mm VC lens to show Dad at his best. Article by Jen Gidman - Photos by Amanda Brunner-Onstott.
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Photographer Amanda Brummer-Onstott takes photos of her husband all year long, but Father’s Day gives her an extra-special reason to document him, both with the kids and on his own. “I wish I were joking when I say that sometimes I find photographing men to be more of a challenge than photographing children!” she laughs. “But like all challenges, it's one a photographer needs to work with and conquer. With Father's Day quickly approaching, it’s a fantastic time of year to get a few precious photos of dads with their children and even multigenerational photos. They’re true treasures that will last a lifetime.”

As the kids get older and more active, you can aim for similarly endearing images with more direct father-child interaction. “When they’re toddlers, I think it's so sweet to get a picture of them hugging their father's leg,” Amanda says. “Some of my favorite photos have been this type of pose. And when you have an entire clan, I like to get the kids to pile around their dad, with their arms hugging his neck or sitting in his lap, with everyone close and snuggly. That really shows the softer side of a dad with older kids.”

Switching over from “precious” to “playful” in your images results in images that showcase a dad’s more everyday relationship with his children—those moments when a dad is really being a dad. “Ask him to swing the kids around or walk around with one of the children on his shoulders,” Amanda says. “It’s a wonderful visual to capture. After a few minutes, Dad is able to relax in front of the camera and just be in the moment with his kids, which translates to fun, genuine photos.”t4

Amanda uses a variety of Tamron lenses for portraits, but her favorite is the Tamron SP 24-70mm VC lens. “This lens is such high quality—I always get supersharp images, especially when I use the Vibration Compensation feature to get rid of camera shake,” she says. “It has ample zoom capability to put some distance between me and my subjects. And its fast F/2.8 maximum aperture is awesome because it helps me shoot in lower-light situations, as well as get that bokeh I love so much.”

When scouting for a place to take Father’s Day–themed photos, look for a location that can serve as the backdrop for a more environmental image (Dad in his favorite armchair reading, for instance), or simply a place where you find the best light. “It depends on your natural surroundings,” says Amanda. “I prefer to shoot outdoors, since I find ambient light to be so beautiful. I’m usually inclined to take my husband outside with the kids. We have lots of trees in our yard, as well as a lovely front porch. Both make a nice background for photos.”

If you can’t find a suitable background (e.g., if you have to shoot indoors in a cluttered room), open the 24-70 all the way up to achieve a shallow depth-of-field. “By blurring out your background, you can still get a sense of place while keeping the focus entirely on your subjects,” Amanda says. “I love being able to get the green of the trees in the background, for instance, but the viewer’s eye isn’t totally distracted by it.”

When your children are babies, highlight Dad’s strength and protectiveness in your images to contrast their vulnerability. “When babies are small, I love to photograph them in their dad’s arms or sleeping on his chest,” Amanda says. “It shows how small the baby is (you sometimes don’t realize it when they’re in a photo all by themselves) and reinforces the idea of the father as the baby’s protector.”

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As the kids get older and more active, you can aim for similarly endearing images with more direct father-child interaction. “When they’re toddlers, I think it's so sweet to get a picture of them hugging their father's leg,” Amanda says. “Some of my favorite photos have been this type of pose. And when you have an entire clan, I like to get the kids to pile around their dad, with their arms hugging his neck or sitting in his lap, with everyone close and snuggly. That really shows the softer side of a dad with older kids.”

t3Another way to take a timeless picture that will last beyond Father’s Day is to capture Dad doing whatever he does best, whether it’s a task for his job or a favorite hobby. “I love looking at old photos of my dad and grandfather doing the things they loved, whether it was fishing, farming, or posing in their military gear,” Amanda says. “Those photos tell a story to your family for generations. In my husband's case, I try to take pictures of him working in his garage with his many tools or out on the lake waterskiing. These images will be just as important to my children (as well as to my family’s history) as the ones with Daddy and the kids together.” To see more of Amanda Brummer-Onstott’s work, go to the Real Moms Real Views website at www.realmomsrealviews.com.

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