You’d have to be living under a rock to not be aware of the situation going on in the world today. As the world gets a little more uncertain and we are basically living life one day at a time, waiting for this to pass, we can benefit from the slowing down that we are all experiencing. Well, except for the health care workers and first-line responders; they are definitely not slowing down. Thank you, by the way, for the great work you guys are doing!
Are you following the guidelines of self-isolation? Maybe you have been put into quarantine because you just came back from a trip overseas? Many of us are home, some of us working and others are not. Many schools are closed which means the kids are home with us.
What to do with all that time on your hands? This can be a great opportunity to do some of the things that you’ve always wanted to do.
We’ve put together a list of photo-related activities that you and the family can do while you are confined to your home.
Family Portrait Session
Now that the family is all together it’s an excellent time to do some family portrait shoots. You don’t need any expensive equipment to get some great family shots. All you need is your phone, a little preparation, a tripod, and everyone on board.
Light and Setting
The first thing you will need to do is find good light. Natural light is best so head out to your yard or outdoor space if you can. Find some shading because direct sunlight can cause shadows on people’s faces, especially mid-day.
See the dark shadows on the people’s faces in this photo? We can’t see their eyes because they are squinting.
Tip: The best time for portraits is during the golden hour. This is one hour after sunrise or one hour prior to sunset. The light at this time of day is soft and flattering.
If heading outside is not an option, then set up your photoshoot inside. Find a background that is not cluttered or distracting to place your family members. A blank wall usually is best. You can also hang a solid sheet or blanket as a backdrop. Let as much light in as you can by opening drapes and windows. Analyze the light and look at how it is hitting the people.
Taking the time to examine how light is affecting people’s faces and the shadows it is casting is vital in order to create pro-looking family portraits.
Poses and Clothing
This may be difficult because let’s face it, most of us are not models. Applying a few simple tips and tricks can make it easier for everyone to feel at ease.
Prepare the shoot by coordinating the clothing that each person will wear. Try to avoid loud prints or bright colors that will distract the attention away from the subjects. Also, don’t go overboard when matching outfits, this can look a little cliché and unnatural.
While the lighting is good in these photos, the matching all-red shirts and denim pants are a little much.
See how the outfits are coordinated but not matching in this photo. This creates a more natural portrait.
Try to make people feel comfortable by not imposing poses that feel unnatural. You want to get a feeling of what your family is about in your portraits. Try sitting poses, using props, and putting hands in pockets.
Family portraits don’t need to look static and staged. You can get creative to truly capture unique shots.
- Get in close and shoot details.
- Shoot in a natural family setting.
- Prepare a fun background.
- Don’t forget the furry member of the family!
Use a photo editing app like Snapseed to correct your portrait photos. You can correct white balance, exposure, and even remove any unwanted objects. Remember not to go overboard on the edits so that your photos remain natural.
Now is the best time to take a course and learn everything that you ever wanted to learn about photography. There are many online photography classes and courses available no matter what level photographer you are.
Read our blog about the best online photography classes out there today.
Now is also a great time to teach your kids about photography. Has he or she demonstrated an interest in photography by asking questions and wanting to take part when you take photos? You probably never had the time to sit down and explain the basics of photography to them.
Download our e-book and share it with your kids. It’s easy to understand with clear tutorials and some fun photo projects that you can do together.
Read about Photography
You may have a list of books that you have been meaning to read but didn’t have the time to get to. Add some photography books to that list to get inspired and to learn more technical aspects of photography.
Projects with your Printed Photos
Do you have boxes full of photos and you just haven’t had time to sort through them? Join the club. You had good intentions when you printed your last vacation photos, right? Maybe putting them into an album? There are many different ways to display your photos in your home; from photo collages to fun frames.
Here is a list of fun things you can do with your photos. We especially like the driftwood display.
Daily Photo Challenge
You can create an amusing daily photo challenge with your kids if they are old enough and have smartphones. Every day set up a theme and everyone has to take a photo with their own perspective on the theme.
Of course, this is limited because we are all stuck in the house. This can actually benefit creativity because participants have to think more about how to achieve the daily challenge with limited opportunities.
Examples of daily photo challenges:
- Color (red, Green, Blue, Yellow, etc)
- Black & white
- Texture (soft, fluffy, rough, hard, bumpy, etc.)
- Self Portrait (something more than a selfie)
- Rule of thirds
- Happy place
- Shape (square, round, triangle, etc)
- Negative space
At the end of the day, sit with your family to review everyone’s photos. Pick a winner!
We know times are tough right now for families all over the world. Remember to stay active with your family the best you can. We hope these photography projects can help pass the time in a fun and constructive way.
Share this blog with your friends and extended family members who you think would need some inspiration right now.
Stay safe and stay kind out there. Remember, we’re all in this together.