Take great photos of your family indoors

How to get great photos of your family indoors

This probably won’t come as a surprise to you, but I love taking photos of my family.

What I don’t always love though, is taking photos of them indoors.  Our house can be really gloomy at times, and it makes it challenging to get the kinds of photos that I have in my head.  I’ve learnt a few things though, over the years, that have really helped me get some great photos of my children inside our house.

So if you want to improve your indoor photography and get some gorgeous photos of your children without having to drag them outdoors, keep reading!


Look for the light

Photography is all about light.  And when you’re taking photos indoors it can be harder to find good light than when you’re outside, surrounded by natural sunlight.

If you’re serious about taking pictures in your home, then it’s really worth taking some time to look for the light.

Grab a notebook and walk round your home at different times of the day.  Make a note of what time of the day the light is best in each room.  You might find that your bedroom is full of beautiful morning light, while your kitchen is flooded with warm, evening light.

Once you know where the light is in your home, you can set up photo opportunities with your children in the spots with the best light, depending on what time of day it is.


Play with the light

Once you’ve found the light, you can start to play around with it.

For beautifully lit portraits you can position your children in front of a big window, looking out.


Or you can get some gorgeously hazy images by backlighting them.


Go for black and white

Sometimes, no matter where you look in your home, there’s just not quite enough light.

When this happens your best bet is to push the ISO up on your camera, and accept that your images will be a bit noisy.  What I find works well for these kinds of photos is to convert them to black and white.

Monochrome images just tend to look better with the grain than colour images!


Use flash if you need to

I really love natural light, and will try to use it in my photos as much as I possibly can.

Sometimes though, I have to make my peace with using my flash.

If you know you’ll need a flash for your photos quite a bit, then it’s worth investing in a speedlight that you can swivel round.  This way you can bounce the light off the ceiling, or the walls, which produces much nicer results than when the flash is pointed straight at your subject.


Get in close to cut out the clutter

Another issue I sometimes have with taking photos of my family in our home is all the ‘stuff’ everywhere.

We are definitely not a minimalist family, and I don’t always want my photos to be cluttered with that stuff.

One way round this is to get in close and fill the frame with what I DO want to be in the photo – my children.  This might be their faces, or it might be focusing in on their hands playing with toys, or their grubby knees at the end of a long day.

On the other hand, embrace the clutter

Sometimes though, I like to include the clutter and the stuff in my photos.

I think we’re in danger of editing our lives so much in our pictures that we lose something in the end result.  There is something about the bits and pieces in the background of photos that takes you right back to when they were taken.

The books that are on the shelves, the mug you always drank from on the coffee table, all the baby paraphernalia that you’ve long passed on to friends.

Don’t be in too much of a hurry to delete it all.

Embrace the clutter and the stuff that will tell so much of the story of your family life right now when you look at it in the future.

Play with your angles

If you feel like all the photos you take of your family at home end up looking the same, then mix things up with different angles and perspectives.

Get down low, get up high, move around.

Step to the edge of the room for a wide shot, and then zoom in close to get the details.

Get in the frame

To really get great photos of your family, you need to be in them too.

Set everyone else up in the lovely light that you’ve found, put your camera on a timer or use a remote trigger, and then get in the photo with them.


Hopefully these tips will help you get some gorgeous photos of your family in your home.

What tip are you going to try first?

Preserve your summer memories with a photobook

Preserve those precious summer family vacation memories with a photobook – Everything you need to know to create one

As summer starts to wind down and the kids prepare to head back to school, it’s only natural to look back at all the great family memories that were made this year. Summer is typically that time of year where families escape on a holiday, if only for a couple of days, giving everyone a chance to enjoy the great weather, fresh air, and share some special times together. 

With that said there’s also no doubt that you snapped quite a few photos over the course of the summer holidays. So what happens with all of those photos? Sure you can keep them on your phone or send them to the Cloud, but you’re taking your chances there as there are no guarantees your digital files will remain safe. Not only that but it’s hard to enjoy them when they’re stuck on your phone. This is exactly why photobooks are such a fabulous and popular idea.


Photobooks allow you to pick and choose all your best memories, moments, and photos from the summer holidays and make them into a lovely and permanent picture book that everyone can enjoy. If this sounds like a project you’d be interested in but don’t know where to get started, then this guide to photobooks is a must-read.


Choose a theme

Typically the best place to start is to choose a theme for your book. Sure you can go ahead and fill it with random photos, but it just won’t feel as cohesive and complete. Instead, choose one theme, idea, trip, memory, and build the book around it. If you packed a lot into this summer, then it may be necessary to make a number of photobooks and start your own library of memories.


Decide what type of book you’d like

The next step is to think about the actual book, meaning the physicality of the book. What kind would like you? Do you want a softcover or hardcover, how large should the book be, what kind of binding do you want, what about the material used, how about the colour and finish? Then again, maybe you aren’t really particular about the details, which means you’ve got a lot more options available to you.


Use a comparison tool

Another great tip is to use a comparison tool to help you choose the best photo book provider out there. Take for example this website, which provides people with photo book reviews, detailed descriptions of the various photo books, the features and tools offered, a listing of all the big brands out there, and even access to a photo book voucher code, which can save you money. 

Photo Book Deals does more than just look at the surface, it goes into detail on everything you need to know about creating your own photo book.


Start to go through your photos

This step is the one that will end up taking you the longest time, but you want to be sure you have a chance to go through all your photos first before you start to create your book. If you’re finding it hard to narrow down the photos, try using three categories – yes, no, and maybe – you can then dwindle your list down from there.

Try to keep your main photo book theme in mind as you go through the photos, as this will also help you in the selection process. If it doesn’t fit the theme, then it is an automatic no. Keep in mind there’s nothing to stop you from creating additional photobooks, so there’s no need to feel restricted in the number of pictures you choose.


Be picky about the photo quality

As you browse through your photos, it’s also important to think about the photo quality and how that particular image would look blown up and in a photo book. The image should be sharp and clear, but also visually intriguing. 


Give thought to the layout

Next comes the actual layout, where again you want to take your time and really think things through. Just like with any book, a photobook should tell a story so there should be an order in which the images are presented. In terms of your summer family vacation, it makes sense to go in the order of the events that took place rather than skipping around from day-to-day. This will help the book to have flow and feel cohesive.

It’s also a good idea to be a little bit creative where the actual layout is concerned, not using images that are the same size each time, and using features like a bleed or border.


A lovely memento from summer holidays

So before you start to feel too nostalgic about the many memories that have occurred over summer holidays, go ahead and create a lovely photo book for all to enjoy all year-round.

Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post

#ShowYouWereThere round up

Show you were there round up

It’s almost the end of the month, and it’s Sunday so that means it’s time for another round up from my little Instagram community #ShowYouWereThere.

In case you’ve not come across it before, #ShowYouWereThere is all about getting more parents in more photos, both with and for our children.


My first pick for this round up is from Lucy at Mrs H’s favourite things.

I absolutely love the joy in these photos, and am so happy for Lucy to have these of her with her two children when it’s something that doesn’t happy all that often!

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*RARE* ________ It is so rare for me to be in a photograph with both my children. Let alone 3 photos. I love these photos because we are all so happy. It comes from having a lovely day in the sunshine and shouting the word "macarena" at the top of our voices. ________ It has been a great weekend. Yesterday was a rare productive day. We managed to deep clean and tidy most of our house. It is so nice to be starting the summer holidays with a pristine house. ________ And today we've had a lovely family day. We visited the @nationaltrust property Smallhythe Place. We had a picnic, played croquet, danced the Macarena and ate ice cream. ________ It has been a perfect weekend. ________ #ig_bbcc #ukparentbloggers #beinthepicture #thisparentlife #mama_pals #uniteinmotherhood #honestmotherhood #ohmama #ohmamamoment #oureverydaylife #rememberingthesedays #capturingthemoment #capturingtheday #lifecloseup #mamabear #nothingisordinary #littlestoriesofmylife #acupofmotherhood #motherhoodthroughig #ponderingparenthood #lovelifeoutside #highlightsofhappy #liveinbrightcolour #myhappycapture #themagicineveryday #snaphappybritmums #showyouwerethere #ourweekendhappy #joyfulmama #ohmama

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Next up is this brilliant family photo from Vicky at Team Triffic.

I just love all the different expressions on their faces, especially the very serious look her daughter is going for!


My third pick this time is from Leah at Home Family Life.

There were 2 lovely photos I was trying to choose between from Leah, and I hope she doesn’t mind that I picked this one which isn’t as polished as the other one.  This photo is just perfect to me.

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No make up, comfy clothes, hair needs some serious attention and I feel as tired as I look. But do you know what I don’t care, I’m out with my boys having fun and making memories. . . . I was solo with them today as Keith was working an extra shift, so we headed to the @ncmme_miningmuseum We didn’t see much of the museum, but did enjoy the little train, outdoor play area, seeing the horses and the nature trail. And for only £5 per car it’s a very affordable day out. If I’d had the energy there was more we could have seen and done. . . . . Linking up with @andbreathe_challenges for her July challenge #julyideasandinspo for cheap days out. And linking up with @themrsproject for #getintheframemama . . . Photo edited with @littlepaperswanpresets Spring Pastels

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My last choice for this round up is from Wendy at Naptime Natter.

It’s just such a gorgeous photo of her with her beautiful Tilly.

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My beautiful Tilly Mae turned one whole week old today.💕 It's been an exhausting but wonderful week. Here's a little update of what the first week with a new baby has been like for us.. We are co sleeping as it is the only way i get to have any sleep! I love waking up to Tillys gorgeous face every morning and I can't be bothered to try and get her in her bed – she hates it! Having a few teething problems with breastfeeding. Tilly has a good latch but I've somehow managed to get a blocked milk duct and oh my god the pain! Feeding through it but I won't pretend it's easy, I'm in a lot of pain and my boobs just seem to be constantly leaking and engorged – bras are not my friend right now! As far as postpartum recovery is concerned, I'm doing well. The cowboy walk appears to have eased and I'm walking almost like a normal person now! My belly feels like a wrinkly half deflated balloon and is still quite tender after labour. I did manage to pick Alex up for the first time today though so there's still a core somewhere in there. After 9 months of no periods I am not exactly loving wearing maternity pads the size of pillows but I know the bleeding doesn't last forever. On the whole though I am feeling good, although still a little bit run overy 😅. I had been worrying about how I would feel mentally after baby arrived but I am pleased to report I am feeling really well. I don't feel anxious, I've cried a bit but totally hormone related and I'm not constantly worrying that Tilly is going to stop breathing (something I obsessed about with Alex). I am feeling so full of love and so happy. Oli is takong amazing care of the house, the boys and me so I am feeling very relaxed. I know it's only early days but, so far, I'm feeling well and hopeful a pnd storm isn't waiting for me. So that's been week one with a newborn. It has been tiring, wonderful, hard, amazing, exhausting and magical. 💕💕💕 #newmum #newborn #newbornbaby #ig_motherhood #honestmothering #coolmumclub #showyouwerethere #myhappycapture #mydarlingmemory #rememberingthesedays #myeverydaymagic #littlestoriesofmylife #snaphappybritmums #emmasdiary #postpartum #thefourthtrimester

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Thank you so much to everyone who is using #ShowYouWereThere, I love seeing your photos popping up over on Instagram, they always make me smile so much.


Now my turn.

A few weeks ago we went for our standard walk/play on the beach at Swansea bay.  I asked Steve to take a few photos of me and this one is one of my favourites.

I think I’m laughing at the children playing behind the camera, but honestly I could just be laughing at Steve telling me to pretend to be laughing at the children playing behind the camera.

Either way, the smile is genuine and I love it!


If you’d like to join in with my little community and possibly be featured in my next round up (with a nice link back to your blog!) then just share a photo of yourself over on instagram using #ShowYouWereThere.  It’s all about getting more parents in more photos.

How to photograph everyday family life

How to photograph your everyday life

I love a nice photo of my children smiling at the camera as much as the next person.

But what I love even more, are the perfectly imperfect photos of our everyday life.  The photos that capture what our life looks like, right now.  The photos that hold all those little details that take me back to that moment in time when I look back at them.

If you’d like to photograph more of your everyday family life, but aren’t sure where to start or how to go about it then these tips will help you get going.


Have your camera on hand

This is something that my mum said to me when I first had my son and it’s advice I still keep in mind today.

You never know when something is going to happen with your family that you’ll want to photograph, so keep your camera out and on hand as much as you can.  So when those moments arrive you can grab your camera and capture it.


Watch for the moments that make you feel something

Think about the things you’ll miss about this stage of life when it’s gone and aim to capture photographs that show these things.

Look for the moments with your children that show you more than just what they look like.  Record the peaceful moment they fall asleep in your partner’s arms.  Capture their little feet dangling at the edge of the chair, nowhere near reaching the floor yet.  Photograph them with their favourite cuddly toy that they sleep with every single night.


Be patient

Wait for the moment to happen.

You can step up activities for your children, like if you want to photograph them playing with their favourite lego set, but you’ll still need to be patient and wait for the perfect moment to take the photo.


Think about your composition

Take some time to think about the composition of your photos.

Don’t always keep the main subject of your photo in the middle of the frame.  The rule of thirds is a great rule to keep in mind to create more interesting photos.  This is basically where you imagine your frame being divided into a grid of 9 rectangles.  You want to place your subject on one of the gridlines, which will be a third of the way into the image.

Another tip with this, if you’re using it with photos of your child, is to make sure they’re moving into the image, rather than heading out of it.

You can also create great photos of your everyday life by thinking about layers.

Some images are best kept clean and clear of too many distractions, but others work really well if you have interesting elements in the foreground, the middle and the background.

If you’re capturing your children at home playing, then you might have toys on the floor in the foreground, a child playing in the middle, and an overflowing bookcase in the background.  All these different elements add so much interest to the photo, as well as holding so many memories to discover in the future.


Think about the details

The details are so often my favourite things to capture.

Close up photos of teeny baby fingers and toes.  The curls that appear in my daughter’s hair when she’s been out in the rain.  Grubby hands and filthy fingernails after a day playing and learning in the dell at school.

These are the details that will fade over time, and they are so special if you can capture them in a photograph.


Think in stories

You can’t always capture what’s happening in a single photo.  That one picture won’t tell the whole story of what your child is up to.

Sometimes it’s worth thinking about taking a series of photos, almost like a personal photo essay.

So if you want to capture your child painting a picture, you could take a wide shot of the whole scene.  Then close ups of their hand holding the paintbrush and the look of concentration on their face.  You could get up high and take a photo from above showing them working on their masterpiece.  Then finally you can photograph the finished artwork.

The key here is to move around.  Zoom in and out.  Mix up your angles and your composition to get different photos to tell the whole story.


Have fun

Get to know your camera, and then start having fun with different settings.

If your child likes to spin around so their dress flies out, use a fast shutter speed to freeze the action, then change to a slower shutter speed to get some fun motion blur.

Have fun playing with focus points in your images and change the depth of field to put the attention on different things.

I love to use a shallow depth of field and focus my camera on my children’s hands when they’re playing or drawing.  This puts the focus on what it is they’re doing in that moment, while still showing some of their features and expressions.


I’ll just leave you with one more bit of advice for photographing your everyday life – make sure you’re in some of those photos too.

I’ve said it so many times before, but you need to make sure you exist in your photos.  I feel so strongly about it that I started a little community over on Instagram with #ShowYouWereThere.  It’s all about getting more parents in more photos, and I’d love to see more and more people joining in with it!


Which of these tips will you be putting into action?

What story about your life right now do you want to take the time to capture in photographs?



Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
Your first video

Cool Content – Your First Video

When it comes to content creation, the more you can do, the more visibility you’ll have. Writing blog content, taking beautiful photos, creating music with Garageband, and on from that video. Youtube and Twitch are two of the leading video sharing platforms, and there are some highly skilled people making amazing content right now. 

But making your first video can leave you scratching your head. Where do you get music? How do you record screencasts? Is my phone camera good enough? So let’s talk about it. 

Starting Out

If you are already creating content, the chances are it has a very obvious direction. It might be a parenting blog, or it might be a website about cars. If people are already reading your site and enjoying your Instagram posts, then chances are you have some willing viewers already.

So, think about the content that you want to show. Is it your weekly shop? Or is it how to clean an oven without harsh chemicals? There are no limits to what you can do. Make a list. 

Your mobile phone camera is probably good enough to start with. Some newer models are on par with basic DSLR cameras and have a range of options. So you shouldn’t worry too much about equipment. 


You can film pretty much anything you like. Just be mindful that if you are shooting in a public space, you might need to seek permission – which they don’t have to give you. Getting creative with your angles is a great idea too. You’re trying to convey your perspective on things. 


Editing can be a lot of fun, and at the same time, wholly frustrating. If you have an Apple computer, then you will find that iMovie has a heap of great options, Window Media Maker is super easy to use too. Both come with a selection of music. You can also source you own by searching for creative commons 0 license music. Try not to rush editing, take your time, and think about how you want to video to look and feel. If you have recorded stunning footage, it deserves the time to make it beautiful. 


Youtube has an easy monetization option. In the creator studio, you can pick where you’d like your adverts to appear and when. But, you will need to stick to specific rules if you want to keep the money trickling in. Showing content with drugs or saying certain words is a no-no, as is using music which is copywritten. 


Use your other platforms to promote your video content, but be aware that YouTube and Twitch (live content) will have more audience than you can imagine. And, due to that fact, people are more free to comment as they please. Of course, you can turn comments off to save your sanity too.  


Take your time when you start recording and planning, work out a regular filming schedule, and consider learning to batch film and edit your footage. You’ll find your style and be populating your YouTube channel in no time. 


Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post

How to take gorgeous photos on grey, gloomy days

How to take gorgeous photos on grey, gloomy days

Photography is all about light, so we often tend to think that bright, sunny days full of light will be the best days for taking photographs.

You can get some beautiful photos on those kinds of days, with vivid colours and bright blue skies in the background.  But don’t dismiss the grey, overcast days when you want to take photos of your children.

I absolutely love the soft light on grey days, and I think you will too after reading this and pulling out your camera the next time it’s a bit gloomy out.


Colours can still pop

Actually, colours can pop even more on a gloomy day because they stand out so much against the grey background.

If you put your child in a bright red coat and head outside you’ll get some amazing photos where they are the absolute star of the shot, rather than almost competing with the bright blues and greens of a clear, sunny day.

The contrast of the bright clothing and the soft, grey light can be absolutely beautiful.


Grey days might mean rain

You might think rain is a bad thing if you want to take photos, but it can bring so many fun opportunities.

Head outside with colourful umbrellas and photograph your children splashing in puddles in their wellies.  Play around with reflections in the puddles, you can get some brilliantly creative photos this way.

And you never know, you might get lucky and spot a rainbow.


Stay inside and play with the light

If you don’t want to venture outside then you can still take some gorgeous photos of your children inside on grey days.

My house is quite dark on gloomy days, but when I get my children to sit right by the window I can get some beautiful photos with the soft light coming in.  Have some fun with sitting your children right in the light from the window, and then get them to move around a bit and see how the light changes and how it effects the photos you take.


Grey days give the softest light

Soft, diffused light is my favourite kind of light for taking portraits of my children.

Cloudy days give perfectly diffused light which means no harsh shadows on their faces, and no squinting from the sun being too bright.  This kind of soft light is beautifully even and is really flattering, so it works so well for portraits.


So next time you look out on a grey, gloomy day, don’t dismiss it.

Grab your camera and your children and go have some fun testing out how beautiful the light can be on these kinds of days.

#ShowYouWereThere round up

Show you were there round up

The end of the month has flown around, and that means it’s time for another round up from my little Instagram community #ShowYouWereThere.

In case you’ve not come across it before, #ShowYouWereThere is all about getting more parents in more photos, both with and for our children.


My first pick for this round up is from Alex at bump to baby and beyond.

I’ve always loved how light and bright Alex’s photos are, and this summery shot is no exception!


Next up is this gorgeous beach photo from Laura at dear bear and beany.

The happy faces, rainbow colours and blue sea just make me smile so much!


My third pick this time is from Mary at over 40 and a mum to one.

I love this photo from Mary, and the reminder in the caption about how lovely one on one time with our children can be.

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There's a lot of readjusting going on at home. A lot is changing and it's not all plain sailing. My son has always been used to spending our Saturdays together, just the two of us and as much as it's great to suddenly have some flexibility to what we can do at the weekend, it's taking some getting used to. We've been a double act for so long, and have so many places that have always been 'our places', adjusting to having Daddy P around more isn't always as easy as you might think. It's definitely work in progress and my son has asked if he can have some Mummy and Me days in the future as well as one on one days with his Dad. We'll figure it out eventually and the summer holidays will give us a couple of days each week just for us.  #takeyourkidsoutside #standstillmychild #wishes_and_wanderlust #countrykidsfun #domorewithourkids #takeyourkidsoutside #outdoorsykids #ourchildreninwonderland #snaphappybritmums #tbcsmiles #littlefamiliesofig #kidsoftheoutdoors #documentyourdays #myfamilyadventures #outdoorsfamily #ukparentbloggers #outdoorsfamilylife #themagicofchildhood #watchthemgrow #my_magical_moments #beinthepicture #mummyandme #storiesoftheeveryday #theoutdoorchild #nurturenaturekidswinter #parentsinthepicture #ShowYouWereThere #motherhood_magic #freerangelittles

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My last choice for this round up is from Donna at what the redhead said.

I absolutely love this ‘before’ photo where you can see quite how long Donna’s hair was before she had it cut so she could donate it to the little princess trust.  If you’ve not seen how amazing she looks with the new short hair then go check out her stories where you should be able to catch a glimpse!


Thank you so much to everyone who is using #ShowYouWereThere, I love seeing your photos popping up over on Instagram, they always make me smile so much.


Now my turn.

I am so aware at the moment that I’m not really present enough on my social media channels, so I made a point of taking a few photos of myself while we were out and about recently.  Nerys was watching me take a few pictures and I could tell she was itching to jump in with me.

And who am I to turn down the chance to have a few photos with my girl!


If you’d like to join in with my little community and possibly be featured in my next round up (with a nice link back to your blog!) then just share a photo of yourself over on instagram using #ShowYouWereThere.  It’s all about getting more parents in more photos.