Better Family Photography – A Traveling Family Series

A while back I wrote an article called, “Family Vacation Photos: Memories That Last.” For a while it got a little buzz on Pinterest, and I hope it genuinely helped people take better family vacation photos. Since then my base level DSLR died, and some loving and generous family members pitched in to get us something a little nicer (I’m sure wanting to see images of my beautiful children had something to do with it). Now we are looking to take our family photography to the next level.

When we got our new camera we decided to do something quite drastic… shoot all of our photographs in Manual (M is for Manual). After many, many deleted photos and hours upon hours spent on Pinterest searching through photograph tutorials (thank you fellow photography nerds!)… something started to happen. The quality of our photos started to change. Soon that change became pretty dramatic and I was flashing back to my very first camera, a 35mm Minolta (with no autofocus) that my parents passed down to me. I remembered how much fun photography could be and how expressive of an art form it is.

Self Portrait with my Smooshie-moo. Yes I took a self portrait with a wiggly baby on my lap in manual mode (something I thought impossible a few months ago).
Self Portrait with my Smooshie-moo. Yes I took a self portrait with a wiggly baby on my lap in manual mode (something I thought impossible a few months ago).

This is a series I have been wanting to do for a while now, especially since I decided to go into this uncharted territory with my DSLR… kicking autofocus to the curb (not completely, sometimes I still use it, it definitely has its purpose). My pictures have come out so much better since I started to take the time (a few extra seconds, really) to focus them myself and choose the right ISO, shutter speed, and f-stop for each individual circumstance. Does the technical jargon I just used make you uncomfortable? Well, don’t worry!! If you can raise children, you are smart enough to learn how to improve your family photography.

I am not saying that this tutorial will turn you into a professional photographer, or that I am a professional photographer (by any means!). However, I feel confident that I can help you capture vivid and colorful family memories on your next vacation (or in everyday life). And remember that photography is a hobby that everyone in your family can enjoy. Ksena is already starting to compose her own shots! She loves it!

Here are the topics we will be covering in this series:

The #1 Thing – Photographing a Traveling Family

-“Within The Frame” – The Travel Photography Book To Have

How “Auto” is Hurting Your Photos

The Exposure Triangle

-Angle, Setting, and Composition

-The Right Stuff – How To Fully Utilize Your Equipment

-Post Processing

-Creating A Photo Keepsake

So keep on the lookout because this series is going to be so much fun to write, and read!

Happy Travels,

Kristin Spencer

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