5 tips for great family photos (with a self timer)
As our baby turns 6 months, I've realised we don't have a single photo of the four of us.
Getting some professional pictures taken is definitely on my to-do list but we've just not got round to it. Life has been busy.
Last weekend I was determind to get a picture - the four of us, our little family, my camera and a self timer. Easy right?
It took patience, a lot of patience with a toddler running into the garden after every shot and being dragged back to the sofa for 'just one more!' We got there in the end though.
Here are some of my tips for getting that family shot:
1. Choose your weapon - you may have an SLR or compact camera and a tripod. You may be looking to balance an iPhone on a pile of books. Choose what works for you and work out how to use the self timer function.
2. The set-up - my advice (particularly if you have young children) is to decide on your location in advance (ideally close to a window with some natural daylight). Clear away clutter and any distractions. Use an adult to pose for a trial shot and see how it looks. If you have everything set up in advance, you just literally need to bring the children in and get going.
3. Patience- we bribed our toddler with a biscuit and entertained her with songs. She was not playing ball but we just kept persevering with the self timer, taking numerous shots.
4. Eyes to camera? Do you want everyone looking at the camera? We tried shots some looking at the camera and some away. The image I chose was less posed and more natural. This is the style we prefer but the beauty of the self timer is that you are in charge and you can try lots of different options.
5. Editing - my editing for clients is done on my desktop computer with Photoshop software. Increasingly for day to day family pictures of our life at home I upload my pictures straight to my iPad using an Apple card reader. I then use the VSCO or Snapseed apps to crop, tweak colours and contrast or change to black and white.
Before & After
As you can see I chose to be close to a window with plenty of light. I had originally tried to include a painting we have in our kitchen but in the end decided the painting was a little too distracting and cropping in closer would work better. I also decided without the painting, I preferred the picture in black and white form.
Using the self timer is definitely something to try out. It takes a little planning but great to have a family photo ready for framing on your mantelpiece.