Phone Photography Tips for Family Photos

As we talked about in one prior post, you do not need to invest hundreds of dollars in a camera to take photos around the house or on family vacations. You don’t even have to get an inexpensive point and shoot camera for this. All you need is a smartphone with a good camera and a little guidance on how to take good photos.

  1. Light is Everything

Well, not everything, but a very decisive part of every photo. Light is what makes your subject come into focus, it is what creates the ambiance for your photo, and it helps you take noise-free photos with your phone. So before anything else, just make sure you have a good amount of light on your subject.

  1. Composition is Half the Game

Taking family photos with your phone doesn’t mean that you can’t compose your shots a little carefully. You don’t have to just take out your phone, make sure the subject is in frame and tap on the shutter. Instead, take a little time to compose your frame. Put the subject either in the center of off to one side. Make sure the background isn’t distracting. Think about your shot a little more than usual and you’ll see how amazing the images from your smartphone camera can look.

  1. Shoot Manually

Every major smartphone brand these days has introduced a manual mode in their camera apps. This means that you have control over the shutter speed, ISO, and focus point of your camera. Learn to manipulate all these parameters to your advantage. Adjust the settings in a way that allows you to take the best possible shots. Take RAW photos if your camera allows for it and merge different exposures in any of the best HDR software out there. Be creative, be bold, and be resourceful. Doing that, you probably won’t need to invest in a fancy camera for a very long time.

Do You Need a DSLR for Family Photos?

Camera technology these days has gotten great. You do not need a professional grade DSLR camera anymore to take great photos. There are very capable alternatives that can produce very good results for a very little price. Let’s talk about two types of cameras you can use to take photos of your family at various events.

1. Your Smartphone

Yes, you read that right! Smartphone cameras have gotten so good that you can do pretty much anything with them. Of course, the quality is nowhere near as good as a DSLR, but do you really need all that for family photographs? Smartphones these days have wide apertures, OIS in lenses, and even portrait modes to create a bokeh behind subjects.
The biggest advantages of using your smartphone to take photos are that you always have it with you and it’s easy to charge with portable battery packs on long picnics.

2. A Point and Shoot

While usually called ‘point and shoot’ cameras, these compact shooters come packed with features these days that you can use to take professional looking photos for not a lot of money. These are lightweight, easy to carry, and often pocket-able despite boasting manual controls and larger sensors than smartphones. You can get compact cameras that range from literal point and shoot cameras to those with manually controlled lenses and multiple shooting modes to deliver great photos.

So if you’ve ever asked yourself whether you need to buy a DSLR with an expensive lens to take family photos, the answer is the resounding no.

Tips for Starting a Scrapbook

Creating a scrapbook can be a lot of fun. Taking photos, putting them together, labeling them, and then looking back all those memories fondly after years have passed by is what this process is all about. However, the process can be made even more fun by following some suggestions.

1. Develop a Theme

To make a scrapbook that does not look like a random collection of photos, settle on a theme. The theme can either be related to the subject, the type of photos, or even the subject. For example, you can have a scrapbook showcasing the life of your daughter from the day she was born till her graduation. You can have a scrapbook of all the family vacations and picnics you take. It can be about general moments with all the pages of a certain color. A theme will add consistency to your scrapbook, making it more enjoyable to look at.

2. Design a Layout

Building on the theme, developing a layout for the different pages will also make your scrapbook look organized and well thought out. Think of where you want the photos to be, and how many should each page have. Think about how you want to label the photos. You can tell a whole story under just one photograph if you want or put multiple photos on one page and write a story on the page next to it.

3. Title or Mark Pages

If your scrapbook contains different kinds of photos – like photos of your children as well as family events – then it can help to title the pages or just differentiate between the different types of images with color coding. This can help a lot with navigation and when you want to find a specific photo.

4. Up your Photo Game

If you want to really take your scrapbooks to a new level, then try different kinds of photography techniques. We do understand that scrapbooking is not about having professional grade photos, but if you’re interested in photography then there’s no harm in taking great photos. Try things like HDR, color splash effects, vintage effects etc. These will add another layer to your photos and make your scrapbook much more pleasing to look at.

For more information about HDR photography, visit www.aurorahdr.com. If you’d like to play with vintage effects, visit www.macphun.com/luminar/vintage-photo-editor.

 

Following these tips will ensure that your scrapbooks are well-organized and beautiful to look at. They will also help you keep a consistent look for all your pages as this is important for compiling something that will always look fresh and be easy to navigate no matter how big it gets. ba

An Easy Way to Digitally Backup your Scrapbooks

We all have some old photos lying around that we never want to get rid of. Maybe it is a photo album from your grandfather’s time or from your own childhood when all people had were SLR cameras. Maybe these photos are in the form of a scrapbook that your parents made when you were little. These kind of physical photo collections are still very important, but at the same time the modern world has made digitally backing up these memories so easy that it’s just a shame not to.

All You Need is your Phone

In order to make digital copies of scrapbooks, the only thing you need to have is a smartphone, which most of the population has these days. There are many applications that turn your phone into a portable scanner, allowing you to create high-quality digital files on the go. One of the best and most highly rated of these apps is CamScanner. It has a very simple interface and a very good processing engine. Just be sure to use it in good lighting to get the best quality.

If you want something that is made for scanning physical photos, then Google’s PhotoScan is your best bet. The app is developed by Google for the sole purpose of turning your old physical photos into glare-free and high quality digital files that you can back up to Google Photos right away.

So if you have ever wondered what you can do to make sure that your precious memories stay with you forever, just take out your mobile phone and simply back them up.

Don’t Let Spain’s Hot Summers Ruin Your Photos

Spain is undoubtedly a beautiful country. The natural beauty of the country, with the historic architecture, winding streets, and vast coastline make it one of the best travel spots in the world.

Whether you are traveling to Spain or live there permanently, you may have faced a problem when taking family photos outdoors with the harsh sunlight. The blue skies that you see with your eyes would wash out into white backdrops most of the time, doing an injustice to the beauty that the country holds.

A Quick and Easy Fix to Your Problems

A great way to take perfect family photos in Spain is to make use of HDR. Many cameras have this functionality built in, where they take successive shots of a scene at different exposures and merge them to create one well-exposed photo. However, if your camera does not support this feature, you can make HDR images yourself in just a few steps:

  • Take at least three photos at different exposures. One of these should keep the sky in perfect exposure, one should focus on the shadows, and one on the people in your frame.
  • Go to www.aurorahdr.com and download the software. Also go through some of the tutorials and features of the program to learn a little more.
  • Import all the exposures into Aurora HDR and simply merge them. You can then tweak the final image to your liking, and the end result will be a picture that showcases your family in front of the beautiful natural backdrop that Spain has to offer.