How I Edit My Blog + Family Photos

Monday, May 7, 2018

I've had some questions recently on how we take family photos and how I edit them so I thought it would be fun to quickly share here what I do for my blog pics/ family pics!

Okay so I have almost zero photography experience and none when it comes to editing but I have a decent camera and lens my really good friend Sara has showed me how to use. I am sure I am doing it wrong half the time but I remember a lot of the things she taught me so I just kind of play around and do my best! The first thing I always do is make sure the lighting is good. We always take pictures out of the direct sun light or even better, in the afternoon. You can't edit bad lighting and I don't even want to try and mess with that so I always go for shadowed areas or lower natural light.

I have a Nikon D3200 that I got from Costco as a graduation present a few years ago. It came with 2 lens' but I ALWAYS shoot with my Nikon 50mm lens. You have to shoot from pretty far away but it's been the easiest and best for portrait and family photography which is all I really do. It focuses on people great and gives the background a slight blur so it takes a lot of the work out of it for you.

For editing I either use VSCO app on my phone or LIGHTROOM on my computer. With these photos I played around with the color on one photo then copy and pasted those settings to all the other photos and then adjusted the settings if needs be. For example if the exposure setting was too bright on one I just lowered it. I don't use a filter or preset yet but have been looking to buy one that I really like. A ton of photographers and bloggers sell presets and make it so easy to edit like a pro! I like my photos to all look similar but don't want them to look like a color scheme so I just edit using the very basics. Lightroom does cost money (I think $10) a month but it's worth it if you take a lot of pictures. It has a cloud where you can edit from your phone and have everything in one place even when you aren't on a laptop or computer. I haven't downloaded it for my phone yet!

As far as who takes my photos it's usually my younger sister or my husband Dylan. I just set up the camera for them and tell them to go at it and just keep taking pictures from different angles and then I direct my family in the photos. I try to keep it fun and casual so I might say something like " let's all hug!" or tell the kids a joke so they laugh. I try to just smile the entire time and keep switching up our poses. When we have the kids we try to go as fast as possible so I just make sure we are walking together and staying close and then I'll have us all turn around and tell everyone to smile. I like to get as many photos as possible and a variation since over half will be garbage so I just tell who ever is taking the pictures to "keep shooting!" I try to start with us as a family and then let the kids run around and that's when I'll take the camera and get pics of them myself. My number one tip is only ask them to pose a couple times and then let them run around and do their thing. I tell Krew to stay close to Dash so I can get them both in the shot and I squat down at their level to get a good angle of their faces. The kids are usually done after group/family shots so then I will take some with Dylan really quickly which you think would be easy but posing can be hard haha. Good pics can feel awkward and Dylan is such a trooper he just goes with it. I just direct him like "k let's look at each other" or "hold my hand and let's walk over here". Over all we take pics in WELL under an hour. I would say it's important to move quickly but not rush or pressure the kids to participate.

My black and white photos are a LIGHTROOM PRESET. I may have to barely alter it if I want the contrast deeper or exposure up or down but mostly it works fine.

Here is a before and after: 







There is seriously SO many things you can do with Lightroom and I just use the very basics so it's really easy if you want to get some family photos without the stress of hiring someone or if you want to save a little money. I know you can easily rent photo equipment as well so if you don't have a DSLR camera that is an option! If you are a photographer please don't judge me! Like I said this is just what I do for some easy family photos to have and print for our home so I am no professional but I will admit I am pretty satisfied with them and always love improving and learning from each time we do them. 
Family photos can be quick and painless if you have a good location, lighting, and promise ice cream to everyone afterwards! I promise that will always get the best smiles and all the patience your littles can muster. 
If you want to see more posts like this please let me know! I edit my instagram photos differently so I can do a whole post on that as well sharing my favorite photo editing apps and the specific filters I use every time.