With the current lockdown looking as if it is going to continue for a while yet, people everywhere have been getting creative with cameras!
Many of those with children are rediscovering the joy of extended family time together and are documenting these special moments with photos and video as keepsakes for the future, for when life returns to some level of normality.
Many more have begun online journals, blogs and other ways to keep in contact with loved ones who they cannot see in person at this time.
But how easy is it to create fun family photos at home? Can you create a perfect photograph, just with the equipment you have to hand?
At Splento, we know you can – provided you follow a couple of simple rules. And here they are.
Set your scene
There are always going to be spontaneous pictures to take, something unexpected happens, you grab your camera (phone?) and snap away. And they can produce some great candid results.
But if you are trying to record a moment that is not one of those times, then 2 minutes planning will make all the difference to your family photoshoot at home.
The first thing you want to decide is where you are taking the photo; this seems obvious but take a moment to think about it.
What we mean is who is in the photograph, what are they doing and what is going on in the background? There are many possibilities for family picture poses.
If you are taking a family portrait, think about who stands where – do you want one or two of them sitting? In other words, compose the shot.
In every home, there are usually areas that will be less cluttered in the background and areas that will be just too distracting – especially if you have had young children at home for the past 2 weeks!
Pick a background without too much going on. As plain as possible if it’s a portrait. Avoid windows as backgrounds, as you don’t want the light behind the people in the photo!
Speaking of lighting, use natural light where you can. Many indoor lights can throw off the colour balance of the final image.
Making the most of the camera you have
We are assuming here that most of you will be using your camera in your phone, but many people have a digital camera tucked away somewhere and forgotten about, and that may be a better option for a quality photograph.
If you can, set the camera up on a stable surface rather than hold it to take the photo. Many great images are lost because of a little camera shake, and an improvised tripod, even a pile of books, will work wonders.
If you are using your phone, remember that almost always the rear-facing lens is much better than the ‘selfie’ lens on the front. For a digital camera, use the maximum resolution it offers.
One final point here – avoid using any filters on camera phones! They will distort and lose important detail that is needed if you want to end up with the best possible photograph. Filters are great for fun snaps, but they are just not up to the job if you want a quality finished result
Taking the shot
Remember to focus the camera! For most, this will usually mean making sure the autofocus is aimed at the faces of the people in the frame.
Even if you are physically taking the photo, use a timer or voice activation feature if you have it rather than pressing a shutter button (again, to reduce wobble). If it’s a family shot, you’ll want to be in the picture anyway. Many modern phone cameras can be activated by making a noise or even saying ‘cheese’.
Take a minute to find out what works best for you in your situation and take a couple of practice images.
Also, if your camera offers it, switch on the ‘burst’ mode. This means it will take 5, 10 or even more photos in quick succession. This greatly reduces the chance of someone being caught blinking and almost guarantees you’ll get at least one perfect shot.
Making it look professional
Finally, it is retouching (editing) the results of your hard work that will turn your picture into a professional photograph. Improve hair, lighting effects, face and skin tone, edit the small details if needed.
Most of us don’t have the software or experience to retouch our photos to a high standard, but fortunately, we don’t need to, as Splento does.
Take a quick look at some of the examples on this page to see what we mean. Play with the slider controls to see the before/after difference that a little retouch can make.
You can try it now for free – upload up to 10 family photos and get your free retouched family portraits with Splento easy and professional photo editing.