Can family photography bring you closer

Family photography: How can it bring your family closer?

Choose family photography to make memories and cement that feeling of closeness.

Having your own family is the dream for many. What is there not to love about welcoming your own little bundle of joy into the world and creating memories you can treasure for a lifetime? Being together as a family is what helps certain people live through each day, so how can you capture those memories you create? Family photography is a big one; one that is becoming more and more popular as the years go by.

 

Family photography_ How can it bring your family closer_

Having a family photoshoot experience has a whole host of benefits for you and your family. Not only is the experience a fun one in the short term, but you’ll also be able to keep those prints for as long as you wish. Looking back on a time you really bonded as a family is enough to brighten anyone’s spirits!

So, how can family photography bring your family closer? Here are a few of the many advantages:

Capture a moment in time.

Having a photoshoot with your family can capture those genuine emotions and show you just how strong your family bond is.  The finished outcome in the form of printed photographs can become treasured memories, something you can place up on the wall in your home to remind you of a specific time where you had fun and bonded further.

Have fun.

Photography allows you to really come out of your shell once you feel comfortable in front of the camera. For those who feel a bit awkward, it’s good to know the other members of your family are in the same boat. To really enjoy the experience, breathe, relax and even share an inside joke or two between yourselves to lighten the mood and create genuine smiles for the camera!

Capture milestones.

Family photography doesn’t have to be just a spur of the moment activity. It could actually be a perfect experience for an important birthday or to capture some of your child’s first steps or movements. Not only this, but your photographer can capture your real-time facial expressions and the joy you’re feeling inside at any particular moment.

Be natural.

Looking at the camera and smiling isn’t the only way to take a photograph. This is something you don’t do every day, so an unnatural smile is something photographers will probably steer clear of. Instead, they will probably encourage you and your family to interact with each other to create genuine smiles, laughter and emotions.

A loving pose.

The right pose can make all the difference in a photograph. Without it, the shot will seem awkward – perhaps leading people to wonder if you’re a group of strangers having your photo taken together! Make sure your bodies are close together, showing you’re a loving family. Your photographer will probably arrange you in terms of family relationship, perhaps the older generation first or in the back of the shot and the younger ones second or at the front.

Family photography can certainly bring you and your family closer.

It’s true that you are at your happiest surrounded by the people you love and through family photography, you can really bring your family closer and share some special moments together. Have you ever been on a photoshoot, perhaps by yourself or with your family? How did you find being in front of the camera? Share your experience in the comments!

The post was in collaboration with Nousha, professionals in family photography. For more information about their services or to get in touch with their photography team, visit their website: https://nousha.co.uk.

Making time to get in more photos

How to find the time to get in more photos

As a parent it can feel like life is non-stop, a constant whirl of activity.  And while you might be aware that you want to make sure you’re in more photos with your children, it can be really hard to find the time to actually do it.

It’s easy to grab your camera or your phone and snap some photos of your baby.  But it somehow feels so much harder and time consuming to get in front of the camera with them.

I think it’s so important that we do it though.  So here are my top tips for finding the time to get in more photos.  Both with and for your children.

How to find the time to get in more photos

 

Remember why you want to do it.

If you focus on why it’s important to you to get in more photos then you’ll be more keen to make the time to do it.

Think about the future, and how you want your children to have plenty of photos of you to look back on one day.  Use that feeling to get yourself fired up and motivated to jump in front of the camera more.

You could even print out a reminder to yourself, just with the something like the words ‘exist in photos’ and stick it on the fridge as a daily reminder.  When something matters to you it becomes easier to find the time for it in your life.

 

 

Lower your standards. 

If you tell yourself that every photo of you has to be perfect then you’ll always have an excuse not to do it.

Stop focusing on perceived perfection and start thinking about the memories that your children will enjoy seeing when they’re older.  Let go of this idea that every photo has to be perfect.  Or that you need to look perfect to be in a picture.  You are absolutely good enough to be in a photo just as you are.

Slightly blurry photos are better than no photos at all.

Photos of you in a messy lounge are better than no photos at all.

Honestly, your children love you and they’ll just want to see you in these photos in years to come.

 

 

Make it easy for yourself.

The more steps involved in taking a photo, the less likely it is that you’ll bother doing it.

If you have to go upstairs to fetch the camera, and set up a timer, and sort out the focus and so on, you’ll talk yourself out of taking the photo before you even start.

So keep your camera handy.

If you spend most of your time at home downstairs then keep the camera there too.  And get yourself a remote trigger for it so you don’t have to run back and forth using the self timer.

Basically, make it as easy as possible to get in these photos as often as you can.

 

 

Learn your camera settings.

Following on from the last point, if you’ll be using a proper camera rather than your phone, get to know all the settings so you’re ready to go quickly.

 

 

Make it part of your family routine. 

Like with any new habit it can be hard to get into the practice of taking photos regularly.

So try making taking family photos part of your routine.  I struggled for ages to take regular family photos until I really committed to doing the Me and Mine project.  This project involves taking a family photo every month.  I mark it in my calendar to make sure we so it each month.

Until it becomes a habit you need to choose to make getting in family photos a priority.  Put it on your calendar and make the time to get it done.

 

 

Try a project to fire you up.

The thing is, with things like this it’s not really about finding the time to do it.  It’s about getting motivated enough to make the time.

One way to do this is to challenge yourself to complete a project.

It could be as full-on as a project 365, where you take a photo every day for a year.  Or you could do what I do and just pick a month where you’ll take a photo a day.  Another idea is to do a 10 on 10 project where you take 10 photos on the 10th of each month.

Get creative and see what ideas you can come up with to challenge yourself.

 

 

Life really is busy.

If you’re not actually motivated to get in more photos it’s all too easy to just tell yourself you don’t have the time to do it.  That you’ll do it at the weekend.  Or next month.

The thing is, the time goes so quickly.  Before you know it months and months have gone by and there are still hardly any photos of you.

So get fired up.  Get to know your camera and always have it handy.  Make it a priority to get in photos with your family.

Make the time to make it happen.

So in the future your children will have a whole pile of photos of you to cherish.

Less stress family photos

How to make taking your own family photos as stress-free as possible

Since January 2017 I’ve been taking a family photo every month as part of the Me and Mine project.

I actually attempted the project in 2016 I think but didn’t last long at all with it.  It seems like such a simple thing to do, but honestly I have really struggled with it at times over the last few years.  But it is so worth the effort each month to take these photos and I absolutely love having them to look back on.

If you don’t ever really take any photos of you with your family because it seems too hard, or you think it’ll be too stressful then this post is for you.

Here are my top tips for taking your own family photos and making the process as stress-free as possible.

How to make taking your own family photos as stress-free as possible

 

1. Lower your expectations

I mean, really lower your expectations.  If this is the first time you’re trying to take your own family photos then try not to expect too much from this first attempt.

Let go of the idea you have in your head of the perfect family photo.  This way you can hopefully not put pressure on yourself and your family to capture this ‘perfect’ shot.  Try instead to focus on getting a photo that is perfectly you.

Keep in mind that the weird grimace-like smile that your 4 year old does for the camera might be a bit frustrating right now when all you want is a ‘nice’ photo.  But in a few years time you’ll look back at it and love how much that fake smile captures who he was at this time in his life.

 

2. Make life easier with the right equipment

If at all possible use a tripod and a remote trigger to take your family photos.

Set your camera up on the tripod and then get your family where you want them in the frame.  Then jump in with them and snap away with the remote trigger.

If you don’t have a remote then use the timer function on your camera.  This can be actually be a great way to get more natural smiles from your children as they laugh at you frantically running to get in the shot each time!

If you don’t have a tripod then get creative looking for places to prop your camera up.  We’ve used walls and benches at the park quite a lot when I’ve not wanted to take the tripod out and about with us.

 

3. Have a plan of attack

Sometimes it can work to take family photos on the spur of the moment, but for the most part it’s worth making a bit of a plan in advance.  Think about where and when you want to take the photos.  Try and plan them for a time when everyone will have been fed recently and no one is due a nap!

Have a quick chat with your children before you start and explain to them that you’d like to take a few quick photos of the family together and that you would really like them to just cooperate.  Use chocolate bribes if necessary.  If everyone knows what you want them to do before you start you’ll have a better chance of getting some good photos.

When you start taking the photos do the more posed, everyone-looking-at-the-camera type shots first.  Children will lose interest and get restless quite quickly so get these pictures done first and then you can move on to more relaxed photos.

Taking your own family photos with less stress more fun

 

4. Think outside of the traditional portrait poses

Once you’ve got the more posed photos that you want you can try a few other options.

You can encourage everyone to hug each other, to look at one another, to tell each other jokes.  Tickling little ones is a great way to get fun, happy family photos.  You don’t have to stay still either, you can set up the camera and then get photos of you all walking towards it.

These kinds of photos where you interact with each other, instead of the camera, are quite often my favourites.  And they’re generally easier and less stressful to take than when you’re worrying about having everyone look at the camera.

 

5. Don’t worry too much about clothing

If you want to then go for coordinating pieces rather than matching outfits, but really the best, less-stress option is to just let everyone wear what they’re comfortable in.

You’ll get much better pictures when everyone feels like themselves.

Taking your own family photos with less stress

 

6. Be prepared to take a lot of photos

The beauty of digital photography is that you can take way more photos than you actually need.  So use this to your advantage when you try to take your own family photos and just keep taking picture after picture.

Take more photos than you think you’ll need, to have a better chance of everyone being in focus, with their eyes open and looking where you want them to be looking.

 

7.  Stop and check your photos as you go

Following on from the last point, make sure you stop regularly to check the photos you’ve taken.   You don’t want to take hundreds of photos to only realise at the end, when everyone has had enough, that none of them are actually in focus.

So stop now and then to check the photos.  Make sure the settings are ok and that the pictures aren’t too dark or blown out, and check that you’re all in focus.

 

8. If all else fails, try again another day

Remember that this is meant to be fun, so if things just aren’t working out stop, and try again another day.

Some days you’ll find that someone in the family just isn’t in the mood to have their photo taken, or you just won’t feel happy with the pictures you’re getting.  On these days it really is just best to stop, take a break, try again later.

 

 

When was the last time you had a photo of you and  your family all together?

Hopefully these tips will help give you the confidence to head out with your family and take some if you’ve not done it for a while.

week 1 show you were there 2019

A month of photos 2019 – week one

For the fifth year in a row I’m doing a personal photography project this month.  Basically for the whole of March I’m planning on taking a photo of me, of some kind or another, every day.

I first started this challenge in 2015, back before I started my Instagram community #ShowYouWereThere.  Back then I called it my ‘mummy was there‘ project, because that was (still is) what it was all about.  Taking the photos with me in for the children, to show that that I was there too.  I wasn’t always just stuck behind the camera recording their childhood, I was part of it too.

Here are the photos from the first week and a bit of this year’s project.  A mixed bag of windswept outdoor photos, pictures that don’t show my face but still show me pretty well, and photos of me with my family.

Show you were there 2019 week 1

 

I’ve always found this project to be quite hard at times, trying to come up with different ideas for photos to take, and getting a balance between simple ‘photos of me’ and photos that capture a bit more of my life as it is right now.

I think I’m off to a pretty good start so far this year though, although it is a bit harder to get photos of me with the children now they’re both in school all day long.  It’s good though, it forces me to think a bit more creatively and focus on the moments and activities I want to record this year.


If you’d like to read a bit more about this challenge that I set myself every year, and see how much the children have changed, then go and check out all my photos from 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

Tips to help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera

How to feel more comfortable in front of the camera

If I were to pick up my camera and ask if I could take a photo of you, how would you feel?

If you’re anything like me you’d probably feel a bit uncomfortable, worrying about what you’re wearing or how your hair looks.  And then there’s the fear of just not knowing what to do with yourself in front of the camera; how should I sit? What should I do with my hands?

Given half the chance we can all come up with loads of reasons why we don’t want to have our photo taken.  But if you know me at all you’ll know how important I think it is for us all to basically get over ourselves and get in more photos.

If you really don’t like people taking your photo, then here are my best bits of advice on how to start feeling more comfortable in front of the camera.

How to feel more comfortable in front of the camera

 

The first thing you need to do is face your fear.  

If you keep just avoiding having your photo taken you’ll never get used to it and one day you and your children will look back and be so upset to find that there are no photos of you to be found.

So take a deep breath and prepare to get familiar with your face.

Start by sitting in front of a mirror and spend some time slowing moving your face around to see what angle you like best.  It might be that you like the way you look straight on, or maybe you prefer having your right side a little bit more towards the mirror.

Just have a bit of fun, posing it up and trying out different angles.

Yes you might feel really silly to start with, but no one is looking, no one can see what you’re up to and once you get past that ‘I feel silly’ feeling you should be able to start to relax and have some fun with it.

 

The next step is to move on from the mirror to getting in front of an actual camera.

This is baby steps though so no need to worry too much.

Just grab your phone and start snapping a few selfies.  Try out the angles that you liked in front of the mirror and see if you still like the way you look at that angle in a photo.

The beauty of digital cameras is that you can take hundreds and hundreds of photos and it doesn’t matter.  It’s not like the days of film cameras where you were limited to 24 photos per roll.  So take photo after photo of yourself, have fun, experiment with the phone at different heights and distances away from you.  Try all sorts of different angles again to learn the way to position yourself so that you’re happy with how you look.

Doing this means that next time you have your photo taken you know which angle to go for and the way to pose so that you’ll be happy with the end result.

 

The other big reason for all this practising is that it’s like with anything that’s scary or that we’re not really comfortable with; you have to keep exposing yourself to it until those feelings of fear and unease get less and less.

Basically, feel the fear and do it anyway.

I don’t particularly love having my photo taken, but I am much more comfortable with it now than I was a few years ago.  And I think a big part of that is down to me challenging myself to get in a photo every day for a month each year.

I’ve done this every March since 2015, and it is a challenge every time but I am so pleased that I push myself to do it each time.  I really do believe that it’s one of those things where the more you do it, the more you get used to it and the more comfortable you get with it.  Or the less you care about all the little fears that bother you at the start.

 

The thing for me that pushed me to start doing this every year, and to start my little Instagram community #ShowYouWereThere, is the thought that one day my children will want photos of me from when they were little and I want them to be able to find plenty.

I don’t take the photos for me, although when I look back at them later I’m always grateful that I took them.  The photos are really for my children though.  One day they’ll be all they’ll have, and I want them to have a pile of them to look through.

Tips to feel more comfortable in photos

 

This thought though, that it’s not for me and not about me, has really helped me basically get over myself. 

I don’t always like the way I look in photos.  I’m not as slim as I’d like to be.  But that doesn’t matter.  When my children look at photos of me they just see me.  The mum that they love.

So if you need a push to get started with being in more photos, let that thought be it.

If you don’t want to do it for you, that’s fine.

Do it for your children instead.

They deserve to have photos of you.

 

On a more practical note, here are some other things you can do to help you feel more comfortable in front of the camera:

  • Give yourself something to hold.  Having a prop of some kind, even if it’s just your sunglasses or your bag, gives you something to do with your hands so you’re not worrying about where to place them or if they look awkward hanging by your sides.

 

  • Have photos taken while you’re busy doing something.  This is taking the first point one step further.  You’ll feel much more relaxed if you’re doing something than if you’re just standing stiill having your picture taken.  Try walking towards the camera, hugging your child, or even telling a joke to someone standing behind the camera.

 

  • Take photos in natural light as much as possible.  It’s just much more flattering.

 

  • Have someone you’re comfortable with take the photos.  I know that my favourite photos of me are taken by my husband, because I am completely relaxed with him and can just be myself.  If you’re hiring a photographer to take some family photos then see if you can spend a bit of time just chatting with them before you start taking pictures so you can get to know them a bit.

 

There is no simple step to magically becoming more comfortable and confident in front of the camera I’m afraid. 

You need to push yourself to do it even though it feels uncomfortable, or even scary at times.  The more you do it though, the easier it gets and the more relaxed you’ll feel about it.

And it is so worth it to make sure you exist in photos for your family.

 

Ideas for photos with you in

The ultimate list of photo ideas to get yourself in more pictures

Once a year I spend a month making a point of getting in a photo every single day.

I’ve been doing it since 2015 and it is always a challenge to come up with ideas for photos so I don’t just end up with 30 identical portraits or selfies.  See, I don’t just want a photo of me for the sake of collecting photos of myself, I want to record my life as it is at that point.  I want something more from the photos than just pictures of my face.

I actually went looking on google recently to try and find some inspiration for self portraits and ideas for photos I could take of myself and couldn’t find what I was looking for.  So I’ve come up with my own list of ideas.

If you’d like to try and get in more photos both with and for your children, here is my ultimate list of ideas for photos you can take of yourself, or that you can get someone else to take of you.

The ultimate list of photo ideas to get yourself in more pictures

 

The classic portraits

  • A full body posed photo.  Either taken by someone else or by you with a remote/timer
  • A posed headshot or head and shoulders portrait
  • A posed, everyone-look-at-the-camera family photo
  • A more relaxed family photo where you’re looking at each other and interacting rather than smiling at the camera

Classic portrait ideas to get in more photos

 

Photos of you on your own

  • Reading a book by yourself, in your favourite spot in the house
  • Getting ready for the day in front of the mirror.  Drying/brushing your hair.  Putting on your make up.  Whatever you normally do each day.
  • Holding your favourite mug
  • Close up self timer/remote photos of your face/hands/hair
  • Close up detail shots of jewellery that you love to wear
  • Your shoes/boots while out on a walk, taken by you simply looking down
  • A phone selfie
  • A mirror selfie
  • Close up of details on a favourite piece of clothing
  • Enjoying your favourite snack
  • Working on your laptop/making something
  • Making a meal
  • Overhead/over your shoulder photo of you preparing a meal/making packed lunches
  • You doing other household jobs like loading the washing machine
  • Your shadow
  • Your silhouette – by a window, outside, at sunset

Ideas to get in more photos

 

Photos of you with your family

  • Feeding your baby, whether it’s breastfeeding, bottle feeding or spoon feeding your baby who is weaning
  • Enjoying food with your children
  • Cuddling your children on the sofa
  • Reading a book with your children
  • Cuddling your children in bed
  • Watching TV/the iPad in bed with your children
  • Playing with your children while they’re in the bath
  • Drawing/colouring with your children
  • Playing a board game
  • Helping with homework
  • Helping your child brush their teeth, get dressed, get ready for the day
  • Baking together
  • Your view of you holding hands with your child
  • Shots taken from behind of you together

Ideas to get in more photos with your children

 

The thing to think about, if you want to be in more photos that really mean something to you, is going beyond the standard posing and smiling for the camera type photos.

Start thinking about the normal, everyday parts of your life that you might like to capture.  And don’t disregard the ‘boring’ things, the chores and routine things you do every day or every week.  One day those things will change too and having photos of them will be amazing for sparking memories of this stage in your life.

I have photos of me loading the washing machine with Nerys.

Not the most exciting thing, and definitely not the prettiest of photos, but I love them for the memories they bring back of her as a toddler so keen to help me with everything I did.

Use this list as a jumping off point, then take some time to think about the things in your life at the moment that you might miss one day.

Then get to work recording them in photos, for you and for your family.

#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 time is from Steph at Steph’s two girls.  I love this photo of Steph and her girls, and her caption is kind of what Show You Were There is all about.  So often it’s only when we go to find a photo of ourselves for something that we realise how few we have.  It’s so important that we make a real conscious effort to get in front of the camera more!

View this post on Instagram

Today has been a good day. Hooray! I had a new hairdresser come to the house to cut my hair. Afterwards, Tamsin said it looked much better, while Sasha said it didn’t look any different 🤔😆 Before the hairdresser arrived, I spent about half an hour looking through old photos to see if I could find one of me where I was happiest with the haircut I had. There were so few photos of me over the years that I found it quite a challenge! So I went to husband and asked him to start taking more photos of me with the girls. Suspect he’s already forgotten. Anyhow, I figured that I do want my girls to be able to look back and find happy memories which I’m in too, so here’s my first attempt 😁 The weather has been gorgeous today so they decided to play Swingball together in the garden. Eldest is run down with a cold following the end of her Gang Shoe last week, but a bit of fresh air did her good I’m sure. And as you probably know, Sasha never gets out enough, so it was lovely to see them both laughing and having fun.

A post shared by Steph Curtis (@stephstwogirls) on

 

Next up is this lovely family photo from Emma at Sophie Ella and Me.

It’s such a gorgeous moment captured, and I really love the light and tones in the photo.

View this post on Instagram

Today has been a pretty good one so far! The girls slept through and gave me a lie-in until 9am 🙌🏼, I lost 3lbs at slimming world this week, then went straight to the hairdressers to get my hair done (it feels so much better!). While I was there, I received a call from our solicitor to say we have completed on the house! It’s such a relief, as we’ve waited over a year for this moment. I’m so excited to collect the keys in the morning! So I think Toby and I are going to go out for a meal tonight to celebrate and I might have a gin or two 🍸🎉. I hope you’re all having a lovely day! ❤️ • • • #themagicineveryday #besttimescaptured #letthembelittle #littlefierceones #candidchildhood #uniteinmotherhood #theordinarymoments #childhoodunplugged #lifecloseup #developinglife #myhappycapture #littlelivelaughlove #ourcandiddays #momswithcameras #raisinggirls #girlmama #dailyparenting #candidchildhood #momswithcameras #littleandbrave #letthembelittle #oureverydaymoments #motherhoodrising #motherhoodunplugged #motherhoodthroughinstagram #childofig #pixel_kids #showyouwerethere #parentsinthepicture #motherhood_magic

A post shared by Emma Lambert (@sophieellaandme) on

 

My third pick this time is from Katy at Hot Pink Wellingtons.  I always love seeing Katy’s photos and this one of her with her youngest son is no different.  It’s so lovely, I would absolutely be printing it if I were Katy!

 

My last choice for this round up is from Jen at My Mummy’s pennies.

You can’t beat a proper hug like this when things are a bit tough, and I love how it looks like they might topple over in a minute from hugging so tightly.

 

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 was sent some clothes to review recently and we headed to the park so Steve could take some photos for me.  Now, I’m not a natural model, I clearly don’t know how to pose like the other girls on Instagram.  But I do like the photos that he captured.  They look like me.

Show you were there round up


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.  And if you’d like to take part in my guest post series ‘The photo I’m thankful for’ then take a look at this post or email me at thisgloriouslife@gmail.com for more information.