Tips to Capture Family Moments at Home

Tips to Capture Family Moments at Home

Tips to Capture Family Moments

As the state of Texas and other states slowly start to reopen, we will most likely find ourselves still at home during this time of uncertainty. While we are still at home, it’s a great time to document our moments and capture some memorable and meaningful family photos.

Eventually I would love to start booking sessions. However, I think it’s also important to be careful and wait it out a little longer. See how things progress. Since I’m not scheduling sessions quite yet, I thought it might be nice to provide some tips for you to do so on your own. It’s definitely an interesting time that is constantly changing. We can stay positive and do what we can to enjoy this time with our families. Below are my tips to help guide you in capturing your family during this time.

Utilize Your Environment

Find the best light. This might be near a window if you are inside. One thing to note is that the light coming through can sometimes be too harsh when it is more direct.  If this is the case, then position your subject at a further distance from the window or wait until the sun is in a different position. If you are outside, stay away from harsh sun. You can take photos in the shade for a more even light. Pay attention to the direction of light. Notice whether there are strong highlights or shadows. Also make note that the light right before sunset is amazing! There is a nice warm glow to the skin which can be very appealing.

Pay attention to background. Look for anything distracting within the composition. Also pay close attention to any object located near the head.

Experiment With Perspective

Get down to their level. It’s always nice to get down to the level of your subject, whether it be a pet or your child. Not only are you getting a flattering perspective when you are at eye level, but also a better connection while you take your image.

But that being said, also try different angles for fun. Look for something different. Try taking a photo above heads, or get down on the ground. Be creative and try getting a reflection in the window.  Or look around for other creative perspectives.

Engage Everyone

Find an activity. This could be simple. Some ideas for this are reading, playing with toys, taking a walk, cooking, or playing a board game. Just document any or all of the activities that are naturally occurring or plan for activities to document.

Don’t tell them to smile, make them laugh. Nobody looks natural with a fake smile. You know your family the best, therefore you are probably the best person to get them to laugh. You can also find a way to distract them. Talk about something interesting. Ask questions. Any distraction from the camera will allow for more natural facial expressions.

Make sure not to take all the photos. During this time you will want to look back and remember the whole family time together. If you have children, let them take some photos. It can be an educational time for them. Explain how to use the camera if they don’t already know how. Teach them to wait and take the photo when they see something interesting.

All of these ideas are things that I keep in mind during a photo session. Hopefully they will be helpful to you as you document your family time. I hope to be back offering sessions again very soon, but in the meantime, check out my Facebook page to keep in the loop as to when that might be.

Fun Smartphone Photo Tricks to Try at Home

Fun Smartphone Photo Tricks to Try at Home

Panoramic Banner

As our world is changing and we are currently confined to our homes, I thought I’d try to find something to write about that includes fun activities for people to try at home.  So I searched google for fun camera tricks to try at home.  I varied the searches as I continued to try to come up with enough ideas to keep people busy.  Here’s what I found.

Fun with Panoramic Photos

For the feature image above, I had my daughter start by standing at the left.  I moved my iPhone slightly to the right and once she was out of view, I paused and had her run around me and sneak into the center position.  Then I did the same thing as I panned to the right.  The photo below is essentially the same, but using my husband in two different positions as I panned.  The third image is my daughter running as I panned.

Panaramic Image
Panoramic with Runner

The next three images below are using the panoramic feature, but vertical.  The first two I used movement to my advantage.  As I was moving the camera upward, I asked my daughter to move her arms (image 1) and move towards the camera (image 2).  The last vertical image, which is of our pond, I panned upward using the wide angle lens to get a distorted effect.

panaramic vertical image 1panaramic vertical image 2panaramic vertical image 3

Using a Second Device

The next few images are creative photo ideas using a second device.  The first image demonstrates a mirror effect.  In this shot, I setup my iPhone and used our tablets reflective side.  I placed my iPhone horizontally and then lined it up with the edge of our tablet, so it’s under the lens.  You may have to play around with this a bit.  You can also try tilting the other device to change the position of the effect.

The photo under the mirror effect uses an image I found of cat eyes.  I then had my daughter place the iPhone over her eyes and took the shot with a second iPhone.

Mirror Effect

Cat Eyes

Long Exposure

Who knew we could create a long exposure on our camera phone?  Ok, well I definitely did not!  I don’t know if it works for other smartphones, but here’s how it’s done for iPhones 6X and above.  Open the camera app and select Live in the upper right corner (icon with concentric circles).  Then select the upward arrow in the center top of the screen and notice some icons now appear at the bottom of the screen.  Look for the timer icon and select it. Then press 3s and take your photo.  There is a choice for 10s, but I found that the 3s worked better for me.  If you happen to have a tripod for your iPhone, use it.  I did not.  I just held my phone very still.  After the photo has been taken, open it in the photos app and swipe up on it to reveal effects.  Then swipe left until you see the Long Exposure effect.  Select it and your done. If you don’t like it, you can always revert back to the original.

iPhone Long Exposure

Perspective Ideas


Perspective 1There are so many things you can do with this.  Just search Google and you will find plenty!  However, I just stuck to a few very simple ideas.

The first one is my daughter lying on the chair with her legs angled up, but when the image is rotated it looks as though she’s sitting on a chair.  This would look even better if the back part of the chair looked more like the seat and was not angled.  The position was hard because her head naturally wanted to tilt downwards.  We also had to place her hair to the side of her neck so it wouldn’t hang down.

The second image (below) is of my husband lying on our driveway.  This is the only image I took with my camera instead of my iPhone.  This can be done with a smartphone, I just happened to take it a few weeks ago when I first started this project .  We were trying to create an image where I was looking down at my husband as he was hanging from a ledge.  I’m sure this can be done even better with more practice!

I would love to see what others come up with.  If there is enough interest, I would be happy to create a page where I could post other people’s images and share.  If you think you are interested, send me an email or respond to this post on my Facebook page!

 Perspective 2