I sat on the train and watched two women on the platform laughing as they looked over their photos. The reality that I can’t remember the last time I printed any photos.
I went out after work with a colleague, and as we talked I went to find a photo on my phone for reference. There was shock at the number of photos I take.
Not only our lives, but our lifestyles are moving so fast.
Whilst I have a stock of memories in digital, like reading a good book, it still feels like there’s nothing better than something you can touch and feel.
CM had to prepare a project during the last half-term – ‘All About Me’.
Unlike the boys’ CM has a large box in her wardrobe containing all the memorabilia of her early years. Not only the name bands that hooked onto her wrists and ankles when she was born, and her red book, but the photo book we created when she was 18-months old.
It goes without saying we didn’t create one when the boys were 18 months old. Such is the joy of the first child and the time on your hands.
But it was a time thing, rather than an oversight.
I have as many photos of the boys on electronic devices- phones and laptops.
As they grow older it’s about the photos we take of them as individuals and as a three.
2016 saw me finally investing in a course to help me use my camera in manual. Finally after so many attempts at one hour workshops, reading books and watching tutorials. In terms out I’m all about immersion.
It turns out all my parents really want for Christmas, whilst I’m busy looking at rugby tickets and handbags, is a photo of their grandchildren.
So, I was a little grateful when Snapfish stepped in with tips to help create a family portrait:
1) Get an extra pair of hands. A family shoot is tricky enough without the added stress of positioning the camera, setting the timer and then sprinting back into position. I’ve bought a handy little remote for our camera with but friends and neighbours equally helpful.
2) Lighting, crucial to any photoshoot, it’s the trickiest of elements to get right. Natural light is your best friend, so if you’re indoor, set up near a window to take full advantage of the winter sunshine. Sara- Jayne also recommended avoiding midday when light can be at its most stark. First thing or early afternoon seems to work best for us.
3) Look the part! Matching accessories will add a touch of festive fun and help take your shots to the next level. This year matching pyjamas as seen in Matalan and Asda seem to be all the rage (and you’ll never guess where you’ll catch me on payday!).
4) Props. Christmas is all about fun, so why not jazz things up with a few Christmassy props? Your family photoshoot doesn’t need to rely on the house being transformed into Santa’s Grotto or a Winter Wonderland – a few tinsel touches or the odd sprig of mistletoe will do the trick.
5) Pets complete your family! So whilst your puppy may be hell-bent on getting his teeth around the fairy lights, including them in will be well worth the hassle when you see the finished result. (See Tip 6 for how to do this!)
6) Rewards (also known as bribery!) are the easiest way to keep pets and children interested! Guarantee their full attention throughout the photo shoot by keeping a suitable stash of treats to hand.
7) Tell a Story. Snapping people when they least expect it often results in the best photographs. So tell a funny joke or encourage them to, and be ready to capture candid, relaxed moments instead of saying ‘cheese’ and hoping for a few stiff grins.
8) Keep it fun! Your family shoot doesn’t have to be a solemn occasion. Get everyone involved in the planning process and encourage them to contribute their ideas to make for a happy, relaxed atmosphere and a truly memorable shot.
And once you have a favourite photograph, the next question is what to do with it.
A great photo with Christmas props could make a wonderful Christmas card for friends and family. I’m more than a little take with Snapfish’s Round Acrylic Ornaments. Whilst I’ve had to revert to a cover with childproofing power, my favourite phone case was created with a favourite image from Nash Point. And then there’s proper traditional. I have an image of my three when the boys were a couple of months old- the focal point of our lounge. What pulls a room together better than a great photo in a frame or as a canvas? Fortunately Snapfish makes it easy to create a perfect gift for you or others- and there’s still enough time to order in time for Christmas!
Disclosure: I received a voucher from Snapfish for the purpose of this review. All opinions and words contained are my own.