Are you shopping for a camera for your child this holiday season? Do you want to introduce your children to the wonders of photography, without sacrificing your fragile iPhone or pricey camera in the process? With all the stuff out there this holiday season, a camera is a relatively inexpensive gift that will last for years, while providing hours of education and creativity in kids as young as two years old. Adoramapix Ambassador, Jay B. Wilson of Jay B. Wilson Photography gives us five tips on introducing your kids to the amazing world of photography.
1. Avoid “Toy” Cameras - There are a lot of toy cameras out there, and while they may seem like an easy choice for your child, I’d caution you on most. They tend to take extremely poor quality images – something they might have lived with ten years ago, but if your kid has experimented with your smartphone camera, he or she is going to be disappointed. Yes, they’ve got princesses and superheros plastered all over them, which may get you some big smiles when they’re unwrapped, but kids aren’t dumb – they’ll lose interest quickly if they can’t really enjoy the images they create. And you’ll be frustrated too, trying to explain why that photo of the cat they worked so hard to get looks like a furry smudge.
2. Go for Durability - Any camera you get for your child is going to get dropped, stepped on, thrown, and generally mistreated. Yes, you want to instill a sense of responsibility and care in your child, but if you teach him or her to treat their camera like a delicate flower, with constant admonishments to “be careful!” they’re going to be afraid to use it. One of the most important considerations for pro photographers when choosing a camera is feeling comfortable with it in our hands and having a good “build quality” – it’s durable and will stand up to constant use. Take it a step further with your child’s camera and choose a water-proof, shock-proof model. Not only will this give you peace of mind your investment won’t be listed on eBay for parts by New Year’s, your child will be able to take it to the playground, to the beach, and even in the water, which will open up creative possibilities they wouldn’t have if the camera had to stay home. I particularly like the Nikon Coolpix S31 - which comes in a variety of colors (yes, even pink!) is waterproof to 5 meters, and takes HD video. Best of all, it’s less than $100 and you can find it HERE on the Adorama site.
3. Get Them Inspired - One of my favorite bedtime activities with my daughter is to scroll through my Instagram feed looking a photos from around the world. She’s developed a specific taste in styles and subjects – she despises black & white – and loves recognizing locations and photographers she’s familiar with. Share the photos that you’re taking – of family events, vacations, and more – preferably on the big screen of your computer or television, so that your child gets the full effect of what a powerful image can be. Take her to a photography museum like ICP, or a local gallery in your town. Find some fun photography books like Underwater Dogs at the library or bookstore. Stoke your child’s imagination with the possibilities of their new camera, and they’ll have a head start on creating beautiful images.
5. Don’t Push It - You’ve bought the perfect camera, made prints of your child’s work, encouraged her to bring it along on vacation. But she’s just not taking to it as you had hoped. Don’t force the issue. In my experience, trying to force a new hobby or interest on a child who isn’t receptive is doomed to failure, and may close their minds to other experiences. Perhaps he’ll never develop an interest, but maybe it’s just not the right time. Conversely, if he takes to photography like a fish to water, encourage him. Lots of schools and community centers have photography classes for kids as young as kindergarten. As with any skill, photography takes lots of practice – the sooner you start her off, the sooner you may have the next Vivian Maier on your hands.
Thank you to guest blogger and Adoramapix Ambassador Jay B. Wilson of Jay B. Wilson Photography for these insightful and fun tips in getting your kids introduced to the world of photography.
We had an amazing turnout once again to our Family Affair : Top 10 Tips for Fun and Profitable Family Portraits, hosted by NataschaLee of Nataschalee Studios of Colorado. It is one of our most popular webinars to date. We wanted to share with you the winners and give a generous thank you to the sponsors of the webinar.
Galler.ee – 1 year membership: Patricia McCaleb
This is one of my favorite times of the year as we get together with family and friends. It’s the time of year that is both busy and festive and yet, it’s also a great time to reflect, focus and photograph the moments that are fleeting. There are a few things to keep in mind to get natural and beautiful shots of everyone at Thanksgiving. With just a few simple steps you can build a beautiful photo book from this one special day.
Start your Thanksgiving photography casual by focusing on the details. Let your friends and family warm up before you start to put them in front of the lens. Get close-ups of the turkey, the decorations and of course the table setting before dinner is served. These details will not only help set the stage but will help as filler as well when making a Thanksgiving photo book.
2. Action Shots
This is always the fun part. After the details, you can start to warm up your family and friends by getting action shots. No posed shots at this point. Get mom taking the turkey out of the oven. Photograph grand dad showing the kids how to set the table. It can also just be a close up of someone laughing. At this point it’s important to get all of the little moments that occur in the hours before the big meal before they disappear.
3. Formality of Thanksgiving
Now that everyone is warmed up and excited for the meal, this is the perfect time to photograph the big dinner. First get pictures of all the food in its place on the table. Then when everyone is seated take the formal shot of everyone at the table. The important thing here is to make sure you can see everyone. Use a wider angle lens to include the whole table and family and friends at their place settings. After this photograph, put the camera down for a bit and enjoy the conversation.
This is typically a time when generations get together. Think about this as a family historian. Photograph the grandparents with the grand kids. Think of other family combinations as well like siblings together and parents. Do a lot of different variations. This doesn’t have to be formal, it can be casual and fun. Getting those candid moments are just as important as the formal ones.
5. Get Outside
This time of year there is so much going on outside your home’s door. Take a few minutes to go outside and capture what’s going on with your surroundings. Try getting images of the front of your house, or maybe the wreath on your door. These photographs will help to make a wonderful starting and ending point to your Thanksgiving photo book. Start the book with an image of your front door. End the photo book with maybe an image of the sun setting.
The key to a great Thanksgiving photo book is to fill it with all different aspects of the day, but not forgetting to have a proper start and finish to the book. Remember to keep the day candid and fun while not forgetting to capture the memories, traditions and even the quiet moments. You’ll then have a photo book to cherish and pass down from generation to generation.
-Written by Libby for Adoramapix
Every week we dedicate a blog post to tips and tricks in our PixPublisher to help you make amazing photo books. This week we focus on swapping out your pictures in your layout.
When putting the finishing touches on a photo book, sometimes you’ll find that a spread looks better if you exchange the placement of some of the photos. This is particularly true when using the auto fill function to place your photos for you. This is where the swap function in PixPublisher comes in.
Rather than having to find the photos in the image pane and re-dragging them onto the page in the proper placement, you can just pick two photos and swaptheir positions. The steps are as follows:
1. When you have two photos on a spread and you want to swap their position, you first have to select them both. You do this by holding down the SHIFT key and clicking on both the photos you want you exchange.
So have the rules changed now that smartphones are capturing more photos a day than dslrs? As a photographer you’re generally concerned with all the details, button and dials to make everything work and create an image. However with the smartphone, we get to take a step back and simplify things a bit.
Guest Blogger, Kate Hailey is a freelance portrait photographer in Seattle and an avid iPhoneographer. I noticed her work a few years ago and instantly was intrigued by the way she photographed with her smartphone. Over the past four years, she’s thoroughly enjoyed her photographic journey via the iPhone. She shares with us some tips on composition with the smartphone.
While simplicity is fabulous and many individuals use their smart phones to document their day to day lives by taking snapshots, I always make the effort compose my images with care.
I thought I’d share some of my best tips to master composition, “in camera” with your smartphone.
1. Rule of Thirds
There’s a long standing rule of not having your main subject, smack dab in the middle of your image. Envision a grid (pictured below), you have 9 segments in that grid, your main subject should be placed along the right third, left third, top third or bottom third. Whichever strikes your fancy, this is generally considered more visually pleasing. This concept also applies to painting and filmmaking.
2. Leading Lines
When we look at a photograph, our eyes are drawn along lines, pulled in, led left, reaching right etc… with leading lines we can direct the viewers eye.
3. Symmetry + Patterns
There’s something rather appealing about symmetry and something intriguing about patterns. Look for a scene that has balance and symmetry. Or to change things up, seek out repetition.
4. Point of View
We’re all different heights, so we all see the world a little different. If a scene looks interesting to you, but you feel like the angle is just not right, even after trying a couple of snaps. Stand up on something, sit down on something, or even lay on the ground. You never know how changing your perspective this way, might be just pay off!
Is the background of your image adding to or distracting from your main subject. If it’s distracting, then move your subject, if you can’t move your subject, then move yourself to a different spot where hopefully you can better capture your main subject.
I hope these tips help you out. All of these images were captured and edited on an iPhone4s. – Kate