Photo Tips From The Pros – Shell Dransart of Wildflower Studio

photography tips Shell Dransart

Today on Photo Tips From the Pros, Shell Dransart of Wildflower Studio shares one of her favourite image as well as a couple photography tips with you.

Meet Shell

photo tips by shell dransart

Hi! I ‘m Shell, photographer behind Wildflower Studio, specializing in whimsical, soulful portraits of couples, families, and kids.

I love to capture the love and connection between my clients, but also the magic and wonder of childhood. Rather than focus on poses, or the props themselves, my overall goal of each session is to truly capture the essence of whoever has stepped in front of my camera.

The best compliments I get are when my clients are crying with joy saying I SAW who they really were, or their kids really are. That is the best feeling ever to know I was able to capture their essence and have it preserved in pictures forever!

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I was raised in Southern California, but have been living in New England for the past 2 and a half years. I am a mom of 2 sweet little boys and married to my cute scientist hubby. We are a nature-loving outdoorsy family and you can find us looking for adventures no matter what the weather has in store.

photography tips from Michelle Dransart

My top favorite things in life are: my family, creating in some form, travel/exploration, and enjoying nature in any way possible.

Favourite Photograph

I have a really hard time picking favorites of anything! Picking a favorite photograph is especially hard, because they are all so different and I have emotional ties to all of my sessions. I am not kidding when I say, I just spent the last hour scouring my blog archives trying to narrow my favs down- that is way too hard for me. (Here are my favs most recent favs from the past year).

For the sake of the article I will pick a photo I took of a dear friend’s daughter a couple of years ago.

I had moved to Rhode Island about 6 months before and was out in CA shooting and visiting. She and I were on a walk one morning at the beach catching up, and at the end of our walk I remembered I had my camera in the car, and thought, why not get some pics of her little one? It was extremely spontaneous, and her daughter was super shy at the time.

best photo tips shell dransart

She made me work a good long while before she warmed up to me with the camera. Also, I love shooting in the soft light of late afternoon/early evening, and this was shot in the harsh light time of day – late morning/early afternoon, so I was playing with the light and little shady spots at the beach where I could find them.

What I love about this image is that I was challenged by the time of day, her shyness, and the spontaneity of it all – but once I figured out her recipe I was able to really capture her – I mean she is truly glowing from the inside out!

How I Made This Photo

At the beach, I found a grassy area somewhat near the sand. The dunes were making some shade and I just positioned my self there. Also, because her mom was holding her, I could have her mom block the sun as well to create an open-shade effect. She and I were playing peek-a-boo with her mom spinning her around to see me. It was taken with my Nikon D700 with my 24-70mm lens at 2.8.

Best Photo Tips

The top tip I can give anyone out there if you want to improve your photography is to learn to shoot in manual mode. Your images will be 100x better!

Aside from that, when my subject is shy, I love to introduce a prop that they can play with, and that allows them to play around and takes the pressure off of them. From there I just capture what I see – them having fun and being relaxed. Its truly magical!

photo tips shell dransart

How This Image Was Made

I had the family and their daughter (pictured here) pack things they love before our session. At our session I went through all of their goodies. I set up a scene and let her play!

By having a child play with theirown loved toys, it not only makes them more comfortable, but adds emotional value to the image because its something from their home, something that can represent them.

I use this trick on my own kids all of the time. You can practice this tip at home by finding something special your kids love and using it in a session with your kids! 🙂

The pics will mean so much more that way, and the pressure is taken off your kids, and they will be much more cooperative.

More Beautiful Photos Shell Has Made

photography tips by Michelle Dransart work 2photography tips by Michelle Dransart work 3

best photo tips by shell dransart

Where To Find Shell

Website  /  Blog  /  Facebook  / Instagram

Want to be Featured?

Are you a children photographer who have some great photography tips to offer and want to share your knowledge? Email me at amy.lee (@) and we can have you featured =)

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Melissa Donahue -

The picture with the bubbles is absolutely amazing!!!! Such beautiful photography. 🙂

Baby Gators Den -

I LOVE these pictures!!

Wildflower Studio Photography By Shell Dransart -

Thank you for the feature Amy! 🙂

Sarah Steidinger -

The family pictures on the bottom all make my heart so happy!

Sheri McShane -

Great tips!! I love all your photos. You’re so talented. The idea of a favorite toy, something special…what a great way to capture who they are.

Kim Hilliard -

Wonderful post Shell and Amy!!! Great tips and gorgeous images!!!