Get to know your camera
The main thing, whether you are using a camera phone, point and shoot, or a digital SLR, is to understand how it works and the only way you can get to know your camera is by playing around with it. When you start off dont worry about capturing the perfect photograph you will learn just as much from your mistakes as your successes.
See the light
We all love bright, sunny days but squinting into the sunshine doesnt make for a pretty picture – try and look for open shade and position your family in the soft even light it provides. When shooting indoors switch off your flash and position your subject facing a window using the flash will create harsh and unflattering light.
Get down with the kids
Scoop down to your child’s eye level and see things from their perspective. Youll get better expressions and theyll engage with you more. Move with them and play around with the angle to get interesting and dynamic images.
Don’t be a poser
Older children may want to put on a show for the camera although big cheesy grins can look fun – try and shoot your photos candidly. Stand back and capture your children naturally without them looking at the camera, a zoom lens can help. Its really important to me as a mum and a photographer to capture families as they really are without them posing for the camera.
Thinking about the composition of your photograph will make a huge difference to the end result. A good tip is to divide the frame into thirds and position the subject off centre, the photograph will be more interesting than with the subject in the middle of the frame.
Capture the big and small things
Remember to capture not only photos of your children but also your surroundings, the local sights, landscapes and the tiny details your names written in the sand, your favourite local food, the small things that tell the story of your time together.
Make it fun
Capture your children doing what they like doing best and youll get them at their best – Kite flying in the park, baking cakes or feeding the ducks. Some children dont like to be photographed so get them involved in choosing locations and show them the photos youve just taken on the screen rather than pointing the camera at them the entire time. If its not happening respect that and try again another time.
Enjoy your photos
Print your photos dont let them sit unloved on your computer. Think of imaginative ways to display them such as in a photo book or framed collage. Its important to preserve these memories for future generations to enjoy weve all been able to enjoy the old black and white family photos of our grandparents. Your grandchildren wont have the same pleasure if your photos are lost on a CD that cant be opened.
These pointers should help you improve your technique but the most important thing is spending time together and enjoying capturing it all on camera have fun!