What parent doesn’t want to capture the perfectly imperfect joy of family life through photos? From holidays and vacations to portraits and shared moments, celebrated photographer (and mom) Me Ra Koh not only helps moms and dads take better photos, but inspires them to discover photography as a way to connect with, cherish, and celebrate their family. With forty beautiful “photo recipes” anyone can follow—with any camera—preserving your family’s story has never been easier!
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About the Author
Read an Excerpt
Five tips for photographing everyday life
1. Keep a camera out. The beauty of everyday life most often happens when we least expect it. Keep a camera out at all times and within arm’s reach. This also helps desensitize the family to having their photos taken. The time it takes to get the camera out of the camera bag, find the right lens, and find an SD card and charged battery eats up the patience your family had. But if the camera is there and ready to go, there’ll be less resistance to picture-taking.
2. Use the camera you have. Don’t have your DSLR nearby? Don’t worry. The iPhone and other smartphones take remarkably good photos. The best camera is the one you have with you.
3. Scope out the light. Be aware of the light in your home. Which rooms get the best light at different times of day? Set yourself up for success by making note of when great light is available
4. Use Continuous Shooting mode. When you’re trying to capture everyday moments without putting your family on guard, use this camera mode to quickly fire a few rapid shots in succession rather than taking one image at a time.
5.Choose Your Weekly Story. Consider upcoming events of the week (baseball game, ballet class, backyard movie night, or play date at the park). Choose one event to work on capturing. Begin to picture how the event will unfold and what the best photo ops could be. Trying to capture ALL events will burn you out, but honing in on one becomes a fun, inspiring photo challenge.
Table of ContentsPreface: My Story
Setting Yourself Up for Success
7 Spots in Your Home for Great Light
10 Steps to Set Up Your Photos for Success
9 Ideas for Getting Your Family in the Mood
3 Ways Black and White Can Transform So-So Photos
My Top 10 Times to Take Candid Family Photos
Developing a Photographer’s Eye
Practice Framing Daily Moments
Unpacking a Photo
8 Ways to Discover Color, Line, Shape, and Texture
9 Cues for When to Shoot or Convert to
Black and White
No Longer Afraid of the Dark
Storyteller vs. Photographer
Five tips for photographing everyday life
1. Saturday Mornings
2. Breakfast or Mealtime
3. Heart of the Home
4. Video Games
5. Backyard Fun
6. Outdoor Sports
7. Out and About
8. Bedtime Rituals
Five tips for photographing the holidays
9. Valentine’s Day
11. Fourth of July
Five tips for photographing family portraits
16. Self-Portrait of Mom
17. Portrait of Dad
18. You and Your Spouse
24. The Family Portrait
Tweens & Teens
Five tips for photographing tweens and teens
26. Tween Self-Portrait
27. Friends Forever
29. Senior Portraits: Girls
30. Senior Portraits: Guys
Family Vacations & Travel
Five tips for photographing vacations and travel
33 A Day at the Beach
34 Snow Day!
35 The Great Outdoors
36 Sunset Silhouettes
37 Amusement Parks
39 Visiting the Monuments
40 Breathtaking Landscapes with Kids
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Me Ra Koh’s book Your Family in Pictures: The Parent’s Guide to Photographing Holidays, Family Portraits, and Everyday Life (the third in her series) was just the motivation I needed to get back to documenting everyday beauty. I have always been intrigued with capturing beautiful images, but I honestly don’t know much about photography. I know a few basics. And I have self-taught (probably in the most difficult way) myself a few tricks that I think help spiff up my photos. But, Me Ra Koh’s book starts with the basics and lays a very simple foundation for capturing meaningful photos and is geared toward moms. Perfect! There are several ways to set yourself up for success, Me Ra Koh says. She talks about developing a photographer’s eye. From lighting, to certain spots in your home you might not think of as good “locations”, to choosing what type of story you want your photos to tell, to getting your family in the mood – she covers it all! She teaches you how to discover photo-worthy textures and how to play with color to make your photos pop. She has broken up the book into 7 different categories (setting yourself up for success, developing a photographer’s eye, everyday life, holidays, family portraits, tweens & teens, and family vacations & travel. I love the way she has organized her book. It really makes it easy to flip open and find some inspiration before heading out to a birthday party or a day at the park. Me Ra Koh also includes photo recipes that will help you adjust the settings on your camera. She makes experimenting with your camera seem a little less daunting. But she doesn’t just include tips for DSLR’s, she also has tips for point and shoot cameras. So this book really is beneficial for everyone! Your Family in Pictures has really motivated me to be intentional in capturing meaningful moments in daily life. Me Ra Koh encourages her readers to become less of a photographer, and more of a storyteller. I am excited about using her book as a guide as we continue to hit new and exciting milestones! My hope is that someday, I will be able to look back at our photos and remember the stories they tell from this crazy time in our lives. *I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.
"Your Family in Pictures" by Me Ra Koh is an easy to understand crash course in photographing family events, holidays, and other everyday events. This book is a simple tutorial on how to get the most out of photos that you are taking. I loved the simplicity of this book - I'm definitely an amateur photographer, but this book kept the technical lingo to a minimum, and really had tons of helpful tips for getting much better photos in less time. One of the things I really liked about this book is that it offers tips for both point and shoot cameras as well as DSLR cameras. I thought that this was helpful for any user, and gives camera specific help, so truly anyone could use this book and get something helpful out of it. There are tons of photos in this book, to show you how the shot turned out, as well as aperture settings and shutter speed for the DLSR camera. I thought that this book gave a lot of prompts for photo taking, such as Saturday mornings, when kids are just being kids, or bedtime rituals. These are everyday occurrences, but sometimes are overlooked, and having photos of some of these times are definitely must haves for me.
Your Family in Pictures is a visual delight. I like to say that it's like "ice cream for the eyes." With tips for everything from developing a photographer's eye to photographing everyday life scenes to snapping pictures of moody teenagers, Me Ra Koh covers it all. Each "recipe for photography" has its own recommendations for time of day for best lighting, preparations that should be made, camera-specific settings, and orientation for best focus. With each recipe that I viewed, I felt a little more confident in my abilities as an amateur photographer--which is, I believe, exactly what Me Ra Koh wants to pass on to her readers. I was surprised to find that there was no diagram of a camera in the book. I guess that's what instruction manuals are for. This book is satisfying on so many levels, though, and is definitely a keeper. I was thinking about giving it away to one of my more photographically-minded family members, but, after looking through its gorgeous pages, I'm tempted to keep it on my own bookshelf. I was given a copy of this book by Blogging for Books in return for my honest review.