13 Photo Tips Just for Parents to Move Beyond Snap-and-Post Photography
So you’ve taken a whole bunch of photos of the kids doing what kids tend to do. It’s a pretty impressive collection you’ve got there but you do know it could be jazzed up a touch, right? There’s nothing wrong with what you’re doing right now but sometimes you need to dial down the ‘dad’ part and dial up the ‘photographer’ part.
Here are our very best tips to turn even that cheap-o point-and-shoot camera into a masterpiece creator.
Parenting Photo Tip #1: Change Subjects
Sure, there’s nothing wrong with a million photos of the kids smiling and laughing all the time.
But there is going to be a time when you wish you had captured that photo of your child crying or sleeping or covered in food or vomit. It’s true. Sometimes photographing something other than pretty and precious will make you see things a little differently through the lens.
Parenting Photo Tip #2: Get Squinty
Here’s a quick tip on shadows and highlights. If you were to squint at the scene you are about to point-and-shoot you will see something interesting.
The idea of squinting allows your eyes to identify contrasts in color and lighting. What does this trick do? It’ll make you reconsider the angle of the shot and as a result, you’ll get a better looking photo. You’re welcome.
Parenting Photo Tip #3: Keep It Handy
When you carry a camera with you at all times you’ll be able to capture those moments that just happen. They aren’t staged, they won’t have perfect lighting and they will most certainly be random.
Off of these factors make for some very interesting, cool and authentic photos. It’ll also make you more alert to your surroundings where you will spot photo-ops that you never noticed before.
Parenting Photo Tip #4: Change Your Perspective
The world looks just one way to us when we shoot photos from eye level. You’ll be surprised at how things look from different perspectives.
Try shooting photos lying on the ground, hanging upside down or by holding the camera at your hip. The same scene will suddenly come alive with a whole different vibe when viewed from above, below, beside or wherever.
Parenting Photo Tip #5: Play With the Settings
Even on a point-and-shoot camera these days you will find different features. Explore what they do and play around.
We are fond of the options that change the contrast, shape and general content of the photo through what would otherwise be filters. Shoot photos in negative or with distortions. You’ll never look at a scene the same again. Guaranteed.
Parenting Photo Trip #6: Speaking of Editing
One nifty way to expand your photography horizons is to go back in time. Well, in your mind, anyway. Take some photos as if you didn’t have computer software to tweak and fix any issues. It’ll be fun, trust us.
Parenting Photo Tip #7: Remember Your Crappy Photos
Remember back in the day when all you had was a roll of 136mm film and whatever you shot was what you got? Yeah, well those days are gone, but you can still learn from your mistakes.
We know that it was impossible to have each frame as perfect as possible so there were some rather bad photos in the pile. Well, we suggest you keep the bad digital photos as well. They serve a purpose in teaching you how shoot them better.
Parenting Photo Tip #8: Read the Manual
On the offhand chance you didn’t throw away the instruction guide that came with your camera, spend some time and read it.
Sure, it’s usually basic stuff but you may pick up on a tip that may make that next session of outdoor photos that much better. There may even be a website listed where you can find additional hints or tips to help with your photo skills.
Parenting Photo Tip #9: Ask Mr. (or Ms.) Google
One of the things we like most about the inter-web is that there is some actual fact buried in the piles of fake news and other stuff. Plus, if you ask correctly, you’ll get tons of links to visit.
Try entering “how to take better photos” and you’ll have reading material for the next decade. Enter “how do I impress my wife with my family photos” and you’ll be golden.
Parenting Photo Tip #10: Change It Up
Have more than one camera? Why not try some of the things you do with your trusty stand-by with a different camera?
The fun part is that you’ll learn new tricks on a different camera that may not only improve your photos, it may play with your imagination enough to get you thinking in different directions. We call it breaking out of the mold.
Parenting Photo Tip #11: Speaking of Different Cameras
Here’s a wacky idea. Why not leave all the cameras at home and wander around with your smartphone instead?
You can still take photos but depending on the type of handheld device you have you may be forced to improvise a lot more than usual. Don’t let that spook you as improvisation is a good way to learn how to adapt to the circumstances.
Parenting Photo Tip #12: ABL (Always Be Learning)
There is still a lot of good you can gain from a night school or online photography course. Even just hobby photographers can learn a great deal more about technique and other nifty ways to make that photo of the dog and your child a lot more interesting than it already looks.
Plus, courses can be taken at your own pace and can be a lot of fun!
Parenting Photo Tip #13: Chat Up a Photographer
The next time it’s your turn to watch the kids at the playground, ask a few of the other moms and dads there with cameras what they do.
You may find that not only are they in the same boat as you, there could be some great sharing of knowledge opportunities. You won’t be the only guy there confused about f-stops and auto-focus issues. This we can easily vouch for.
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