Top tips for photographing your family this summer

Top tips for photographing your family this summer

With summer fast approaching and many of us leaving for our family holidays, here are some tips for capturing those memories – whether you are heading off overseas or staying at home. Summer is probably my favourite time of year to photograph, and when I look back on my photo books it brings back the fondest of memories.

Here are some of the reasons I love capturing my kids in the summer, and my top tips on how to do the same:  

1. Take advantage of the amazing holiday light and later bedtimes

You may have noticed the light on holiday just looks especially golden.  Coupled with it being warmer later in the evening, it’s such a great time to take family photos.  We tend to let bedtime slide a little when on holiday and I often get to take lovely photos of my kids playing in the evening sun.  

Remember, ideally you want to keep the sunlight behind your kids so they aren’t squinting.

Image source: Nina Mace

2. Create silhouettes

As a lot of us will holiday close to the coast it’s a great opportunity to create silhouettes with your camera. This photo of my kids below was taken in Thailand but this could be a sunset anywhere!

The trick is to tell the camera (or your phone) that the sky’s the subject so it will automatically make the people very dark. All you need to do is make sure the sky is the largest part of the photo, or you can press the sky on your phone and it will darken the overall scene.  

Image source: Nina Mace

If you want to make the sky even more colourful in the final image there are some great free phone apps around such as Snapseed and VSCO.

3. Take pictures before dinner!

A great time to take a photo of everyone together is before dinner and towards the end of your holiday when you are all tanned! Set your camera or phone to self-timer and also try to get into the photo yourself.  If you do this before dinner starts you won’t need to worry about food spillages on little ones clothing 😊

That said, once you have those lovely clean shots in the bag, keep taking photos in the hope of catching some weaning classics like the one below!

Image source: Jacqueline Botterill

4. Let the kids be in charge of the camera!

Image source: Nina Mace

I love seeing my kids perspective on what we are doing and will often pass them my camera or phone to go off and take some photos. They tend to have a really fresh way of looking at things, like the starfish photo below which was taken by my son on a break in Wales.

Image source: Nina Mace

5. Use an underwater camera or waterproof case 

There are some amazing underwater cameras available now or you can buy waterproof cases for your travel cameras or phones.  These images were taken in Egypt, and having the waterproof case meant I could take the camera with me when we swam out to the coral. When I take photos this way I don’t worry about changing any settings on my camera, I just shoot in automatic and review in the evening.

Image source: Nina Mace

 6. Use your garden – you don’t need to leave home 

Finally, if you are having a staycation, don’t forget to capture the kids at home! We have just put our swimming pool up in the garden and I love these images of my kids playing together after school.  These were taken with my little travel camera and I was on the ground really close to them. I did get a little wet but it was worth it!

Image source: Nina Mace
Image source: Nina Mace

For more ideas and tips including outdoor photography and summer photography projects for kids, here’s my Lifecake blog page.

Image source: Nina Mace

Have a great summer everyone!

Nina Mace

Nina Mace is an award-winning children's photographer who also trains beginner parents and professional photographers. Her work has been recognised by the Guild of Professional Photographers when she won Children's Photographer of the Year. Her work has also been featured in magazines and blogs including Child Photo Contest and Vogue. To see more of her work visit Nina Mace Photography

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