MiLC Blog

Lockdown Photography with Peter from Nifty 50 Photography

With more time being spent at home, there should be plenty of extra opportunities for capturing better images of a memorable time (for better or worse) in the life of your family. Most people will always carry around their most convenient way of taking a photograph – a smartphone.
 
As digital camera technology has improved, so have the possibilities of capturing photographs at any time from your phone, allowing sharper images with better colours. The latest phones contain extra lenses for different situations, such as wide angle lenses for getting more into the frame or telephoto lenses for when you’re not able to get physically closer to your subject. Generally though, the standard lens on the rear of your camera will be the best for taking portraits of your family, avoiding warped features or sacrificing image quality.
 
The aim with a camera on your phone is to provide a decent quality image without increasing the size of the device. So while you will get a much better image than you would have even a few years ago, because of the size of the sensors within your device, it’s not currently possible to get the same quality of image as you would from a professional shoot using a DSLR or mirrorless camera. 
 
The convenience of being able to capture a moment anytime however, is the main advantage of a phone camera. It is possible to get a “professional camera-style” picture by using modes such as the iPhone “Portrait Mode” (or similar for Android phones e.g. “Live Focus” on Samsung devices). This artificially creates depth of field where the subject is in focus while the background is blurred, keeping your attention on the person you’re taking the photo of while removing distractions around them – ideal for when the person is more important than the location. This effect generally works better if you don’t have anything too close to your subject, so make sure there’s a bit of distance between your subject and anything around them – even a step or two forward can help. 
 
The more natural light available, the better the image you will get – this is especially important when there is more movement than would be ideal such as when taking photos of a younger child to avoid motion blur. Try and take your photos outside or close to windows – avoid artificial light or using your phone camera flash. Even a cloudy day will produce better images than using household lighting.
 
Try and fill the frame of your image with your subject and take a moment to compose the image. Don’t limit yourself to just one photo – you can always delete later if storage is an issue. Avoid using digital zoom on your device as this will reduce the quality – move closer to your subject instead. If the composition isn’t ideal, there are apps available for your phone which allow you to edit images on the go such as Snapseed or Adobe Lightroom. Snapseed in particular offers simple adjustments such as cropping the image or raising the brightness in darker areas without being overly complicated. Perfect for when you want to quickly put a photo onto Instagram or Facebook.
 
At the end of the day though, any photo is better than no photo so snap away. If you’d like to put any of my tips to use, I’d love to see your efforts – please use the hashtag #MiLCLockdownPhoto on Instagram. If you have any questions or want some advice – get in touch with me at [email protected]
 
After a lockdown break (with my daughter as my only subject), I’ve recently started offering doorstep photoshoots, taken with a telephoto lens, allowing at least a two metre distance from myself and your family – perfect for social distancing. If you’d prefer, I can also offer photos in another outdoor location. As with all my packages, I offer a 20% discount to all members who purchased a MiLC Membership, providing you with fantastic value for a family photoshoot.
 
To book, visit my website at www.nifty50photo.com or get in touch via Instagram (@nifty50photo) or Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/nifty50photouk/)
 
Thanks for reading – I hope you’ve found this useful for taking better day-to-day photos of your family with just a few minor adjustments.
 
Peter
Nifty50 Family Photography

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