Photography tip of the week – don’t say cheese!

Photography tip of the week – don’t say cheese!

I’ve got a quick, light-hearted tip for you this week.  When you’re taking photos of your young children, don’t ask them to say ‘cheese’.  And for the grandparents out there, please don’t teach your grandchildren to do this when the camera is pointed at them!

It’s too late for my daughter (thanks Pops!), but there’s still a chance for the rest of you!

I have to admit, I do actually quite like the photos I have of Nerys enthusiastically saying “cheeeeeeeeeeeese”, but they’re really not the pretty photos of her I was hoping for when I picked up the camera!

So, tip of the week, don’t get your child to say “cheese” for photos.  It’s also best not to simply ask them to smile, because then you tend to get the weird, ‘showing their teeth’ fake smile.  But that’s something for another post I think!

Do you find yourself asking people to say ‘cheese’ when you take a photo of them?!  I’d love to see your photos if they’re as funny as this one of Nerys – please do come and share them with me on my Facebook page!

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Photography tip of the week – Make one person the focus

Photography tip of the week – Make one person the focus

This is quite a nice little tip that you can use to really start making your family photos more interesting!

When you’re taking a photo of several members of your family, take some time to make just one person the main focus of a few images.

So, instead of having everyone in the photo looking at the camera and smiling, make it so that just one person is looking right at the camera and have everyone else be looking at each other.  Or keep one person in the front of the image in focus, and allow the people in the background to be blurry!

This really pulls your attention to that one person and makes them the star of the photo.
In this example, the son is absolutely the star!  The parents are snuggled in close to him, focusing all their attention on him, whilst he is peeking straight at the camera.  When you look at the photo, who are you most drawn to?!
This tip works nicely for fun shots too.  The focus of this family shot is completely on the daughter, with both her parents facing her and smiling, her laughing face straight on to the camera is completely the centre of attention.

There are a few other ways you can use this idea.  If you’re jumping in photos with your family, you can be the one to look right at the camera and then ask your children to look at you, or each other.  You could also be the one to sit still and face the camera while your children are busy playing or running around you!

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Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday

Ok, it’s a bit of a funny one for this week’s Flashback Friday, because the photos were actually taken today.  But wait, I’m not really cheating I swear!

See, I’ve been taking Rhys and Nerys to Holibods sessions this summer.  We’ve had a great time, and I’ve loved watching Nerys’ confidence grow in that short time too.  She didn’t want to leave today, and kept hiding in the Wendy house!

What I’ve really loved though, is seeing Rhys back there as a real ‘big kid’, because I used to take him to sessions when he was just a few months old.  So, it’s been a real mixture of new experiences and flashbacks of old ones.  See what I did there?!  I told you this was still a kind of flashback post!

Today was the last session of the summer and most likely the last time Rhys will come to this sort of activity with us, seeing as he starts reception next week (sob!), so I’m really pleased I got these photos of him having so much fun!

If you’ve never heard of Holibods you should go and check them out, they offer various different sessions now and are great fun.  Nerys and I are booking in for the artibods sensory fun sessions next term, I think she’ll absolutely love it!

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Photography tip of the week – remember the details

Photography tip of the week – remember the details

I absolutely love lifestyle photography, mainly because it captures personality and your life as it is right now, which is so much better than a studio photo session (in my opinion!).

So I say don’t try and recreate a studio environment in your home.  There are some times when it’s nice to tidy up a bit, and have a clear background for your photos but for the most part I say leave your environment as it is.  Embrace those details that reflect your life as it really is.

Think about it, when you look back at photos from your childhood, don’t you just love pointing out the little details in the background?  Those little details are what will make your photos mean so much more to you in the future.

Don’t stop with leaving the details in the background though.  Make them the focus of some of your shots.  They’ll be a great addition to your collection of photos of your family and will really bring back memories of who your children are at this moment in time.

This week’s photography tip of the week – remember the details!

Get in close and focus on those little details that sum up your child’s interests and personality.  Like this photo above of Rhys playing with his Peppa Pig and Angry birds figures.
Focusing on the details in your photos is a great way to capture your children when they’re working on, or mastering a new skill.  Like little hands practising writing letters, or little feet in their first pair of proper shoes after learning to walk.
This tip also ties in with one of the first tips I wrote about – your photos don’t always have to include faces!  Don’t worry about getting the whole of your child in the photo, get in close (switch your camera to macro mode if you want to get in REALLY close), and focus on those details that will otherwise fade away in your memory over time.

What details do you want to remember about your children as they are right now?  The wellies that they’ve insisted on wearing all summer?  The teddy they can’t sleep without?  The way their tiny fingers carefully pick up finger foods at dinner time?

Whatever it is, go take some photos of it, then please come and share them with me on my Facebook page!

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Beloved playbreak

Beloved playbreak

I wrote a few weeks ago about the play break challenges that are being set each week at the moment in the Beloved community.  This week’s challenge was to act as if my digital camera was actually a film camera, and to only shoot one roll of film.  So I needed to choose a special place or situation to take pictures of, and stop shooting once I’d taken 24 photos.

I decided to capture a quiet, rainy day at home.  These kind of ‘nothing’ days often end up being some of my favourite days.  And these are the moments I want to remember with my children.  Nothing posed, nothing out of the ordinary going on, just a lovely normal day.  Perfect!

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Flashback Friday

This week’s flashback Friday photo is from 3 years ago, when we decided we would brave taking Rhys on a plane to Marrakech when he was about 15 months old!

He actually coped really well with the flights and we had a fab time, spending most of our days splashing around in the pool.  I love having photos like this from our holiday to look back on; one look and I can feel the glorious sunshine and smell the rosemary that was planted all around the site.

It’s amazing how photos can instantly take you back to a moment in time.

Memories tend to fade over time.  Photos though, they’re always there to give you a doorway straight back to that moment.

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Photography tip of the week – Use leading lines

Photography tip of the week – Use leading lines

I’m diving in a bit deeper with this week’s photography tip.  If you’ve been reading the rest of my tips you should be finding that the photos you take of your family are already starting to look much better, more interesting and a bit less ‘snapshot-y’.

This week’s tip will help push you even further in the right direction as it’s all about one of the main rules of good photo composition.

Photography tip of the week – use leading lines.

Leading lines are basically elements of your photo that ‘lead’ your eye to the main subject of the image.

In the photo above, the ropes that Rhys are holding onto are the leading lines.  They draw your attention in from the edges of the photo and straight to him at the centre.

In the photo above the lines are a little more obvious, as they are actual lines on the bench.  By taking the photo at this angle (so the bench is on a diagonal rather that straight on to the camera) the lines pull your attention in towards the subject (my gorgeous niece!).
You can see the same thing in this photo.  The metal fence is on a slight diagonal, which leads your eye to the children, and the vertical posts on the fence also help to move your eye up towards their hands, where the action is!

Once you start taking a little bit more time to compose and frame your photos you’ll find that they start to look so much better.  Looking for ways to use leading lines in your photos of your family is a great place to begin.

I’d love to see what photos you take using this tip – please do come and share them with me on my Facebook page!

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Flashback Friday

Flashback Friday

This week for my Flashback Friday photo I’m sharing one of my all-time favourite pictures.  This was taken back in August 2012 on the beach in Llangennith, and I still absolutely love it!
If you’d like to see more photos from this maternity portrait session, taken at Llangennith beach, Gower then you can see them here.
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