Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Tell a Story with Easter Photographs – plus how to tie-dye eggs

Easter egg dying is a fun family tradition and a great photography subject. This post will provide examples of how to tell a story with Easter photographs, and as a bonus, will include how to tie-dye your own Easter eggs, courtesy of a set of directions hand-written by me as part of a second-grade school project (and yes, my handwriting really was that awesome).

Tell a Story with Easter Photographs | Boost Your Photography

Plan Ahead

First, think about the story that you want to tell beforehand. For this series, I wanted to capture the process of dying and tie-dying eggs. I also wanted to focus on hands, partially for their storytelling power, and partially because the rest of my extended family was feeling a bit camera-shy about the whole thing.

Tell a Story with Easter Photographs | Boost Your Photography

Think about the scene and the lighting. The process shots were taken at the kitchen table, next to a large window that allowed for significant natural light. Natural lighting is always preferable with this kind of lifestyle photography, and a bright sunny day should allow you to easily shoot handheld without having to raise your ISO above 100.
Easy Tie-Dye Easter Eggs | Boost Your Photography

Think Through the Story

Every family has different traditions, methods, or strategies when it comes to Easter and Easter eggs. Anticipate what those moments will be and how to capture them. For these shots, I knew that I wanted to capture the entire process from start to finish of dying and tie-dying. So, I made sure to arrange and take some intentional set-up shots showing each different step of the process.

Try to capture some before and after shots to show off the transformation. (Read more on doing the 'after' shots and see some examples with a bowl of Easter eggs in the article Easy Photography Upgrade: the tri-fold board.)

Bonus Feature:
DIY Tie-Dyed Easter Eggs

Want to create your own tie-dye Easter eggs? The supplies and process are simple, and the results are always interesting and unexpected.

What you need:
  • Eggs to dye
  • Your preferred dye
  • Cups to hold dye
  • Six-inch squares of thin white cloth
  • Small rubber bands or twist ties

That's it! You can use hardboiled eggs or blow the whites out of raw eggs, if you want to keep the tie-dyed eggs from year to year. (You may want to dye the raw eggs first and then empty the insides, as an empty egg shell will need to be held down in the dye.)

Wrap the egg like a cylinder with the cloth square. Twist the ends closed and secure with rubber bands or twist ties. Choose two different colors of dye to use. Dip the egg and cloth entirely in the lighter color of dye for about three minutes. Be sure that everything gets covered in dye.

After three minutes, carefully remove the wrapped egg. (You may want to squeeze excess dye out of the edges of the cloth.) Then dip the wrapped egg into the darker colored dye for a minute and a half to two minutes. Remove from the dye and squeeze out the edges of the cloth. Place the still-wrapped egg in a carton or other container, and store overnight in the fridge.

The next day, when the cloth is dry to the touch, you can unwrap the egg and reveal the tie-dye pattern. You can even run the cloth wraps through the washing machine and reuse them year after year.

Tie-dye Easter eggs are a fun activity, and the surprise of the reveal is always exciting. Do you have a special Easter egg family tradition? Share a link or photo in the comments below.

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