Celebrate World Photo Day - four ideas to improve the photos you take with your family

How many photos do you take in the average day? Whichever camera you’re using, there are always ways to make your photos more creative and interesting, and better preserve the memories you want to keep.

This Sunday, 19th August, is World Photo Day which is a great chance for everyone to celebrate the power of photography to have a positive impact on our lives.

Here are my top tips to improve your family photo game this weekend, and share a little joy in the process.

1. Move before you capture

How often do we swipe up on our phone’s screen and take a photo of our kids from exactly the position we happen to be standing? When you want to take a photo, think about whether moving before you capture the image could improve your photo.

The reason a photo from standing level looks factual but perhaps a little dull is that we’re used to seeing the world from this level.

Ask yourself: what level are your kids at? If they are down low, could you take a photo from their level to capture their perspective, or show their expression head on? Or from below to show a moment of triumph such as climbing to the top of the slide?

 By getting down to Ethel's level, we can better connect with her when we see the photo

By getting down to Ethel's level, we can better connect with her when we see the photo

2. Why does it matter that you take this photo?

Before you snap, think about the message you want to send, or the mood you want to remember, and how you can express this. Some ideas include:

  • If you’re capturing two children engrossed in play, could you create a lot of negative space (for example sky, greenery or a wall) around them to portray the sense of them being in their own little world?
  • Cropping in your photo to focus on the thing which is interesting, for example, showing just your child’s smile and hands showing off an artistic creation, rather than a usual portrait?
  • Trying to take a photo when your subject doesn’t realise, or they’ve forgotten you’re photographing. Can you capture a moment when they’re concentrating or in a moment of thought? This can make for a more authentic portrait.
 Create space around your subjects to tell a story

Create space around your subjects to tell a story

How often do we swipe up on our phone’s screen and take a photo of our kids from exactly the position we happen to be standing?

3. Can you get a catchlight?

You know why the eyes of magazine cover stars always look so bright? They always have a catchlight in them – that little spec of light which lightens up the eyes and makes them shine. To get this, you need to make sure there’s a light source (or at least a very pale surface such as a white wall) reflecting in your subject’s eyes before you take the photo.

If they’re not in a position where this is possible, take a photo from a profile perspective (if you don’t have flash available) or of something else until they’re in the right position.

 Get a profile image if there's no catchlight

Get a profile image if there's no catchlight

4. Bring your own perspective

The fab thing about photography is that, with very few tools, you have the chance to show the world how you see things – your own unique perspective. When I’m out and about, I like to think of my camera as like a little scrapbook where I can hold onto cool little details I notice, which could be something as simple as a combination of colours, an interesting story unfolding or a dappled bit of light.

Think about the sorts of things you’d like to capture to make your own personal scrapbook too and tag your photos #worldphotoday to join in on the action.