Are you a parent? Do you have a camera? Will you be taking photos of your kids this summer? Then you've got to join our Summer Photo Project and our Summer Photo Bingo! 

Ice cream faces, muddy knees, sprinkler high jumps, beach days, park days, flower fields, paddling pools,  bike races, picknics in the park - SUMMER is all about fun for the little ones! Join in the fun with the camera and capture their summer beautifully!

We're here to help!

 

Join our FREE Summer Photo Project

and get clicking


✔️ weekly lessons with a wealth of tips and inspiration for photographing your family in summer

✔️ tips and techniques of how to capture these moments best ( how to use composition and your camera settings for the best impact )

✔️ brilliant Facebook group to keep you going through the summer

✔️ weekly Summer Photo Bingo challenge to help you focus and grow your photography

✔️ LOTS AND LOTS AND LOTS of photo inspiration for any camera, level and ability!



Wait, did you say BINGO?

Yup, a printable weekly sheet full of photo prompts for you or your kids to tick off to GUARANTEE a summer's worth of varied, fun, exciting images at the end of August. 

Parents love it, because it gives you something to focus on. Kids love it because - well - it's a bit like a game! 

'It's like a Mummy's treasure trail!'

If you join us, you  could be capturing photos like these: 


3 more reasons to join us: 


1. HANDS ON LEARNING

Because NOBODY learns just by watching. The format of the Summer project is very much about having a go - whether you're a complete beginner or further along in your photo journey. Every week will come with a specific photo challenge so you'll know exactly what to focus on - and have some fabulous photos to cherish at the end. 

2. PLENTY OF SUPPORT

You will be joining our dedicated FB group where you'll be able to share your photos, get advice, ask for help and get inspired by your fellow bootcampers.

3. IT'S FREE!

Free, no charge, gratis, no tie-ins, nothing. Just click on and join the fun! 

How to join us:

1. Click on one of the buttons below to be redirected to a registration page

2. Complete the registration  - if you are an existing or past student, you need to enter the email you already have registered with us. If you're new to us, you'll need to set up a learning profile on our site - don;t worry - it's free 🙂 

3. You'll be redirected to our learning pages instantly - jump right in ( and don't forget to join our Facebook group as well - there will be additional resources added there!) 

This category includes our current and past students on paying online courses as well as past bootcamp participants - in short those who already have an account registered on our Learning site.

It does NOT include those who just downloaded our freebies or took our self-paced email based courses.

If you're never attended any of our courses ( even if you joined our free email based course) this is a category for you. As part of the registration we will be creating you a brand new account on our learning pages which you'll need to access the material.

lets have some fun!

In the last post we explored a few different way in which you could approach photographing an egg. Today - we have a fewmore for you! 

This one egg is not like the other...

This composition principle can otherwise be called 'pattern disruption' but come on - doesn't mine just roll off the tongue? 

The idea is that as we look at anything, we are pre-wired to look out for things that might potentially be important to us, carry some information, or just be different enough from the rest to 'mean' something. 

So if you create a repeating pattern, and then replace one of the pattern elements with something else, you are drawing the viewer's attention to that particular thing, and that's what makes it stronger and makes it stand out. 

This photographic principle is really widely used - once you know it, you start noticing in lots of places! 


Strength in numbers:

If you want to highlight multiple subjects and not necessarily only draw attention to one single 'thing', you could consider grouping objects. There are generally three ways to do it : 

Like with like 

when your objects are pretty much the same - grouping them together can make for a more dynamic composition, especially if you set their 'sameness' against a contrasting backgound.

Opposites attract

We're going here for drawing attention to what makes the subjects different, while still showing they have commonalities - such as shape for instance! 

Alike but different:

when the subjects in question are 'nearly' the same, but not quite and it's those minute differences that make them interesting

Now, WHICH of the three approaches you choose depends entorely in the subjects you have and what's important to the story. It's fun to play around! 


The broken egg

'You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs' goes the old saying. 

As much as eggs are beautiful objects, ultimately, what we want from them is to be yummy. And to show that I'm afraid it will reguire us to break them. 

Here is something that food photographers know well - we respond more to photos of objects which display some sort of tension.

Maybe they promise some action and make us want to respond to it - like watching a drip of yolk bursting over the edge of the egg and about to make it's way down ( which makes us want to catch it.

Maybe they simply imply that something has happened that altered the state of the object, which makes our subconscious brain wonder - what happened? why? Like showing an egg that's a little craked - who did it? can we peel it now? what's hiding inside? 

Sometimes just a simple action of placing an instrument of 'threatened destruction' - like putting a knife next to an otherwise perfectly fine objects will create a response in our brain.

In short, when it comes to food photography, don;t be afraid to break a few eggs...


Have you read part 1 of our guide?

It's HERE - How to phhotograph an egg part 1


How did you like our little mini-egg series? And did it inspire you to capture some photos of your own? 

If so, you should DEFINITELY be intering our Easter Egg photo competition! Ends Monday !


PHOTO COMPETITION !!!

You have a chance for to win a place on one of our online photography courses! 


All you have to do is to take a photo of an egg ( any egg - chocolate, fried, hatching)  and post it to Instagram or on our Facebook Page , tagging us in, at any time between now and end of Monday 22nd April. 


You MUST tag us in (otherwise we won't know to include it in the draw) and hashtag  #photoparentsegg

 

The winner will be picked at random on Tuesday 23rd April

We have a little Easter treat for you!  There is no Easter without eggs and so today, we'll give you a little tutorial on how to photograph the humble egg.

In this, and a couple other tutorials following in the next few days, we'll be showing you a few differenet ways to capture THE EGG, paying attention to a number of different composition principles and style conventions. 

Today, we're giving you a few examples on how light can affect the way that your egg looks and how to achieve it without studio lights, constly props etc. 


Let's start simply: 

The minimalist egg

White egg ( mine was duck's ) on white plate, and white background. Pure simplicity. Nothing there to distract from the oval beauty of the egg. 

What I did:

I placed the egg and the other props by a window with indirect natural light coming in. That means, the sun was not directly opposite the window, so the light was gentle, rather than harsh. 

I used a white foamboard as a background placed on the table and put a simple white plate on it. Then I placed the egg on one of the edges of the plate and composed so that I could capture a fragment of the plate in such a way that the curve of the plate creates a partial frame, bringing the eye to the egg. 

All elements - the backdrop, the plate and the egg were white - allbeing in slightly different shades of white - this allowed me to create a minimalist, shades of white image that uses shapes as its main composition principle. 

I used solely natural light from the window - the gentle light created only gentle, wrap-around shadows which highlighted the eggy shape and made the egg look three dimensional rather than flat but were not too harsh at the same time. 

I experimented with reducing the shadows by bringing another foamboard to the side of the picture, but found that the added extra light didn't work out in this composition - it took too much of the shadow away and made the composition look flat. 

Important note on exposure. The images you are seeing are SOOC ( straight out of camera) = no editing beyond a gentle crop. To make sure I got the right look and the right exposure in this white on white on white image, I ended up overexposing by 2 exposure stops - otherwise the image was looking very ashen. I did that in manual, but if you're shooting in semi-auto modes, you can use the exposure compenation button. 


The drama egg

Just as our last photo relied on small and gentle shadows, this one takes full advantage of more dramatic light to highlight the egg's texture ( I just loved how freckly it was ) and shape. The shadows are deep and sharp, the backdrop inpenetrably black. The light shines and reflects of the shiny egg, giving it a bit of a sheen. 

What I did:

This is a tale of 3 black tshirts which I used to 'dress' my white foamboards. My egg was placed in virtually the same place as in the last picture, with the window by its side, slightly elevated compared to the plate I used previously. 

I then used the curtains to narrow down the beam of light coming onto the egg - I wanted the light to be coming from one direction only and since it was overcast and all I had was indirect light ( which worked so well in the previous image) - I needed a way to shape it a little. 

I dressed my whiteboards in the black Tshirts and placed one behind the egg and one on the side facing the light. By using a dark surface there, it meant that the light which would be hitting it from the window would be absorbed and not reflected back onto the egg, allowing me to shape the light more precisely. I used the third Tshirt to drape over a little box the egg was resting on. 

How is the egg staying up? Bluetac and a match placed strategically behind it. 

Composition wise, I used an approximation of the rule of thirds and allowed more space on the side the light was coming from. 

From exposure point of view, the same way as our cameras make white look ashen, they make black look a little more charcoal like. But I wanted black-black and a good contrast with the shiny part of the egg.  So I ended up underexposing by -1.7 stop to make it look just right. The image above is again unedited, straight out of camera. 


The double egg

This, to a degree is a version of the Drama egg from above. 

I used to intertwined forks to create a little seat for the egg and placed them on a shiny surface. I wanted an uninterrupted black background but to achieve it, I had to improvise. The only shiny black surface I could find in my house was the surface of the cooker. I used my black tshirts draped over my foamboards again, this time using 3 of them and creating a mini booth for the egg so that I could direct the light to come from one direction only to limit the glare on the cooker surface. 

I was careful to compose in a way that highlights the symmetry of the composition.

Exposure wise, I had to underexpose again to make sure my black background showed up as true black. 


I did perform one small edit after downloading the images from my camera. Due to the nature of my shiny surface ( - working cooker!) , I couldn't get away from the white markings ( to regulate hobs and temperature)  and they showed up in the original image. I used adjustment brush in Lightroom to get rid of them. See the photo of my set up and the  unedited image below - the white markings are showing in the bottom right part of the frame.

If you enjoyed this little round up of ways to photograph an egg, you'll be delighted to find out we have a couple more to come over the next few days! 


PHOTO COMPETITION !!!

You have a chance for to win a place on one of our online photography courses! 


All you have to do is to take a photo of an egg ( any egg - chocolate, fried, hatching)  and post it to Instagram or on our Facebook Page , tagging us in, at any time between now and end of Monday 22nd April. 


You MUST tag us in (otherwise we won't know to include it in the draw) and hashtag  #photoparentsegg

 

The winner will be picked at random on Tuesday 23rd April




Nobody starts out a photographic genius. But we can get better and better. Check out the before and after images of our own students. You will be amazed how much things can change!

If you’re like me ( and let’s face it : thousands of other parents ) – your phone, your hard drive and your Instagram account are full to the brink of your children’s photos. But can you find the ones you like easily? Are they ordered in a way you can have a clear view of your photo collection? If they’re not, you’re missing a trick and should get them organised pronto. Here are our steps to a well organised photo collection.

1. Organise your folder structure: 

Yes, it’s an obvious one but so easy to get wrong. Decide what your folder structure is going to be: are you going chronologically? Or by event? Or by who’s in the photos? A combination of all would  work too. Below is our recommended structure – think about managing it in 3 levels (well, potentially 4 but more on that later) :

Level 1: All your photos in one place

You don’t want to be hunting your photos all through your hard drive! Make a habit of keeping them all in one place for easy management.

>Sarah’s Photos

Level 2: Selection by year

Chances are, some events will be repeated from year to year : get a simple chronological order in place and you’ll find it a lot easier to manage, search and cross-reference

Sarah’s Photos
    >Photos 2012
    >Photos 2013

Level 3: Further refinement – including the “who, when and where” info in the Folder name.

Do pay attention to what your folders are called – the names don’t need to be this exhaustive, but I find it does help. The point is, they need to make sense to the future you. If you search for a photo 5 years fro now and open a folder entitled : Jake_May – will you instantly connect it with Nana’s visit?

Sarah’s Photos
    >Photos 2012
           >Baby Jake_May 2012_ Nana’s visit
           >Jake_birthday_June 2012_Kiddieland
>Photos 2013

File names

Are your photo files named DSC_9019 or Image_3097?  Chances are, if you saw them in your file catalogue, you wouldn’t have a clue what kind of photos they were without opening each one. However, if you renamed all the photos to something a bit more meaningful, like : Molly_Park_April13_122 –  you get all the most relevant info – who’s in the photos, where and when they were taken without having to open them. They are search friendly and so even if your folder structure collapses, you can still look them up quickly. If you’re using a photo management/editing package like Lightroom Photoshop, you can rename ( and even tag) all the files at the point of download. Otherwise, you can very easily rename them in batch afterwords – here is a little handy tutorial on how to do it : http://www.mediacollege.com/computer/file/batch-rename/

Sarah’s Photos
    >Photos 2012
           >Baby Jake_May 2012_ Nana’s visit
                    >Jake_Nana_0512_001
>Jake_Nana_0512_002
>Jake_Nana_0512_003
>Jake_Nana_0512_004
>Jake_Nana_0512_005
>Jake_Nana_0512_006
           >Jake_birthday_June 2012_Kiddieland
>Photos 2013

2. Select your best photos

This will hurt. I know, I know. The thought of getting rid of any photos of your precious little baby is a daunting one. But hear me out. If you’re keeping ALL of them in the same place and having to trawl through ALL of them to find the few amazing pics, you’re wasting a lot of time and are more likely to miss the really good ones that you’d love to show to the world. So here is your baby-steps, 1-2-3 solution to making this task a bit more manageable.

When you have half an hour or so, pick one lot of photos ( perhaps from the first month of your baby’s life or a specific event) and go through them with the following key

1: The Picks: go through your photos one by one and  “star” or “favourite” in some way all the really good photos – well exposed, well composed, best frame out of a few similar ones, showing something unique or just making you smile. Only the good ones. Not the “kinda good”, not the OK ones. Just the really really good ones. These will form your “Best of ” collection – ready to be shown to friends and relatives or displayed in any way.

2: The Rejects: in the same way you went through your photos to pick the stars, now go through it again and pick the obvious duds. Blurry? Delete. Strange facial expression? Delete. Bad crop? Delete. Trust me. Get rid of them now. You will not frame them, send them to relatives or find time and inclination to ‘fix them” (unless they truly are one of a kind and depicting a very special moment in your child’s life)

3. The rest : not good enough to make the cut for the “best of” folders. Not bad enough to just get deleted. Keep them all together in one folder for reference, as “spares” and because you can’t bring yourself to cutting them all. Maybe archive. But don’t mix them with the Stars.

So finally, your promised Level 4 or your folder organisation is your “Best” and “Others” folders. Easy.Peasy

Sarah’s Photos
    >Photos 2012
           >Baby Jake_May 2012_ Nana’s visit
>Best_Baby Jake_May 2012_ Nana’s visit
>Jake_Nana_0512_001
>Jake_Nana_0512_002
>Others_Baby Jake_May 2012_ Nana’s visit
>Jake_Nana_0512_003
>Jake_Nana_0512_004
>Jake_Nana_0512_005
>Jake_Nana_0512_006
           >Jake_birthday_June 2012_Kiddieland
>Photos 2013

You could of course attempt the selection through a different key – 5stars / 4 starts / 3 stars etc – but will you remember what was the difference between 3 stars and 2 stars? Whatever system you chose, the key is to stick to it and keep it up. If you have a large batch of older photos to organise, start small. First, set up a new structure which will serve you from now on. Then go step by step through your older photos in smaller batches, starting from the most recent ones. This can be quite a labour intensive job so do it in a way that works for you. Don’t take too much on either – if you have 10 000 photos to go through, concentrate on getting the main structure: levels 1, 2 and 3 in place, and go back to making more choices later when you’re no longer drowning in disorganised photos. And make sure that all new images that come through are dealt with according to your new system and best practice straight away. You’ll thank yourself!

3. Back up

This should really go without saying but please, please make sure you have more than one place you keep your photos. Burn them to a separate hard drive, create an online backup – just make sure you have somewhere else you can get to your photos in case your computer gets stolen, broken or the hard drive corrupts. Flickr now offers 1 terabyte of free storage ( equivalent to 500 000 full resolution photos) and  you can make it as private as you want. Just do it.

If you flick through your photo collection, you are likely to see quite a few photos that look distinctly  like one another. We tend to find one or two angles that ‘work’ and produce satisfactory results and just limit ourselves to them. The thing is, however nice they are, they rarely tell a powerful story and can get a little bit…dare I say…boring?

This little creative exercise doesn’t require anything apart from 15 min of your time. Try it! It may just help you shake things up!

1. Get yourself a timer ( the old fashion kind or on your phone  – we’re not fussy)

2. Pick a time of the day when your child is calm, preferably preoccupied with something, or for babies – asleep.

3. Make sure your camera is ready, you checked your light settings to make sure the photos have the best chance of coming out bright and then…

4. Set the timer on for 15 minutes and take as many VARIED photos as you can. Move around your child, shoot from above, from behind, from the floor. Go very close and move a few feet away. Shoot the little details and take in the whole scene. Notice the light and how moving around your child will change things.

5. When the time is up, stop shooting and review your photos.

Most people will  exhaust their ‘go-to’ poses in the first 5-10 minutes so the last 5 minutes is the time when you push yourself and are forced to find different angles and perspectives. Some of the photos will turn out great, others not so. It doesn’t matter, if you discover even just a couple of new angles, this will be worth it.

Give it a try!