Family photos..it is that time of year when many of us decide to have a family photo made for Grandparents and or Christmas cards. Many of us think it is too hard, it only takes an hour of your life and gives years of happiness.
I would like to remind those of you who hate having their photo taken that this isn’t about you!! You might be in the family photo however this is for future generations to look back at and say that was my Dad, or my Mother twenty years ago!! So many families don’t have good photos of themselves… When you are elderly it will be fun to look back at photos of family holidays and reminisce. So when someone suggests it is time for a group or family photo don’t shake your head and mutter under your breath; remember it is for future generations. Surely your life means a lot to you and your family, make sure there are great memories of your time on this earth.
How often have you heard that someone has died and there were no good photos of that person, hard to believe in this day and age but it happens. A young person dies and the family are left with a few photos taken on an iPhone…or at a party!! Added tragedy. The charming elderly couple above posed happily for my camera and the lovely aspect of this is that it has their personal possessions around them.
So when you are having a family photo taken don’t mutter you hate it, no one loves it!! But think to yourself “I had better smile so my grandchildren don’t think I was a grumpy old sod!!” You can practise in the bathroom so you know your best angle!! If you are like me and have more than one chin there are tricks we know about how to pose you, so listen to your photographer.. They do know best.
Why pay a photographer I hear you say!! Why not? I say. They know how to pose you or have you interacting in a relaxed manner. They also have speciality lens to enable soft out of focus background and clean crisp (sharp) focused images. My iPhone takes great pics… True – but blow them up beyond a 7×5 or sometimes an A4 and they become pixelated.There is no depth of field – they are good fun shots, nothing more. Some of your favourite family photos will be small file size shots you’ve taken on the back lawn or at the beach. Nothing wrong with this at all, happy moments. I suggest that you print those favourite snaps as when that computer dies (and it always does eventually!! ), you will hopefully still have a few fun prints to enjoy. Hopefully everyone actually backs up their computers these days. Do you back up your I phones regularly? Anyway – it is hard to beat a beautiful large black and white (or colour) family photo framed for posterity.This is a silly fun snap of 3 friends – with uneven light – not the perfect memory.
I wouldn’t want that photo on my funeral casket!! Or to be chosen by my family to remember me by simply because they had nothing else! So make sure there are some really lovely photos of you. Live for the moment and call your favourite photographer today.
I shoot a few family outdoor photo sessions and I can manage a few more before December if anyone wants to contact me. Outdoor natural photography is my style. I can also recommend several other photographers. There are many more too, so look at different websites and choose your favourite. Here are some very good N.Z. photographers whose work is worth looking at. Interestingly there are trends in photography and the traditional formal portraits are very seldom requested these days.
Moira Blincoe Photography – Auckland
Maree Turner – Christchurch
Simon Woolf – Wellington
The other thing about Christmas is think about giving personal gifts not mass-produced stuff! Photo books are a delightful personal present. They are easy to create and come in various price categories. Basically the price reflects the quality. $30.00 will get you a small locally produced book.
I use BLURB. Blurb is an American based company and with our low dollar they have suddenly become more expensive so watch for specials. However there are also cheaper book companies to help you self publish. Grab One in New Zealand sells Diamond Photo book deals regularly. Snap fish are cheap too. The binding is not as good as Blurb, then again the price reflects this. Apple do good books and Momento in New Zealand are the Rolls Royce of books. Overseas there are many companies; Shutterfly, Artifact Uprising etc.
I regularly make books for my grandchildren to educate and entertain them Kiwigran goes to Africa, …India, …Turkey and …Alaska. Some friends have bought this for their grandchildren even though it has the title Kiwigran etc. You can make books for your family…they love the personal touch of Grandmothers books!! As a family we have a holiday together every two years and I make a book of those wonderful times. The grand-children love them.
I mentor a group of Probus members and several of them are currently working on books. They are excited at the prospect. I suggest there is a book in every one of us… Everyone has a ‘life story’ within them which when put onto paper, is a wonderful legacy to share with your family. If sharing ‘your story’ is something you have thought of, or would like to do, but don’t feel you are up to writing, I have a friend who has a great deal of experience in ‘recording and writing’ life stories and she would be happy to assist you, for a nominal fee. Email me for details at firstname.lastname@example.org
You might do a book of your garden, or family recipes, fishing stories or the neighbourhood you live in. Put all your photos into a folder on your desktop then open the website you plan to use and import that folder. Some companies give you two options. 1/ wing it and choose your own templates or 2/ press the button that indicates the computer will lay out the book for you. Add a few words and you’re done. It is like mixing a cocktail… And the result is similar..euphoric!!!
One such book I made was my trip to India. A colourful record of an amazing holiday. This book, I call it a bespoke book,makes a beautiful and special gift for anyone planning a visit or who loved their trip to Rajasthan. You can peek inside these books using the links in pale blue.
Family cook books my sons love this one!
Another favourite I did a year or three back featured my flower photography these books are cheaper than a large bunch of flowers, and trust me, the joy lasts much longer.
So in today’s blog I am asking you to think photography for a few minutes. Has your family had quality images taken lately? Have you a book smouldering inside that needs to be published? Do not procrastinate any longer.. the rewards are for ever. I do my books mainly for me… love what you are doing and someone else will too. Enjoy.