A photo a day
When I got my phone upgraded to an iPhone 6 at the end of last year, I made two decisions. Firstly, I would learn more about iPhone photography. Secondly, I would use the iPhone camera daily.
The iPhone is definitely no replacement for my DSLR. Let's face it, my Canon camera is big, very expensive and when going from A to B with children, pushchairs and a change bag stuffed with nappies, it isn't always coming with us.
With a camera so easily accessible in your back pocket, taking pictures everyday has never been easier.
I've put together some tips on photographing family in and around your home:
1. Catching the light. Get close to a window with daylight. Turn off any lights in the room. Remove clutter that might show up in the picture. You may need to move furniture a bit closer to the window. Try using a piece of white card or a reflector to reflect the light and brighten faces.
2 . Photographing your children? Have time and patience. Getting our 2 year old to sit still and smile at the camera? Not going to happen. I actually prefer pictures I have taken of her happily playing. My advice would be to clear some space near a window & choose some toys or an activity. Or let them happily play in garden, avoiding harsh direct sunlight. Let them play and have fun and photograph the results. Be patient and take lots of pictures.
3. Phone vs camera? Use what works for you. I use my iPhone 6 to take most of my pictures for Instagram. A few times a week I will plan things a bit more and take pictures with my Canon 5d Mark III DSLR camera. I have a fixed Canon 35mm lens that is great for capturing family moments.
4. Get in the picture yourself. This is something I'm trying to do more. I realised recently it's never me in the pictures with my children. I want that to change. Last week I dusted off my tripod, attached a Joby GripTight GorillaPod and hooked up my iPhone. I set up the shot while our toddler was asleep, clearing background clutter but intentionally including one if our favourite paintings in the frame. When our 2 year old woke up, I gave her a lolly and we had about ten attempts at the shot with a self timer until I found one I was happy with.
5. Take time to edit. When I do a baby or family shoot for a client, I'll spend the equivalent of 1-2 full days editing the images in Photoshop. When I take pictures for Instagram (usually on my iPhone) I'll always use the apps VSCO or Snapseed to lighten and brighten shots before publishing. It takes just a few minutes and looks much nicer than slapping on an Instagram filter.
6. Printing and sharing. Artifact Uprising remains my favourite printing site. We chose them for our new baby thank you cards and their stylish square print sets. I'm a big fan of Apple coffee table books and they do great personalised photo calendars that don't cost the earth. I'm hooked on sharing pictures everyday through Instagram. It's also a fantastic way to get inspiration from people all over the world.