6 Photography Tips for Capturing Great First Day of School Photos

Back to school can be many things: emotional, stressful, hectic, exciting or all of the above. Most importantly though, it should be memorable. Capturing the memories of your little ones heading off on their first day of kindergarten, or their first day of the new school year can be a fun annual tradition. We’ve put together some tips on how to capture the day, so your photos pop, and the memories live on.

1. Do Some Planning

Planning your back to school photos is the first step. It might seem like you can just capture what you see on the day, but a quick 5 minute plan will help ensure you capture everything you’re hoping to, and won’t look back on your photos wishing you had remembered a key shot. It can be as simple as a shot list of must-have photos, or as complex as getting props, coordinating colours and upgrading your camera equipment. If you’d like to go all in, you can even have a custom lunch box kit made by our London Drugs Photolab with a photo of the family pet, or a shot from your summer vacation and incorporate that into your first day of school shoot! The plan all comes down to what your goal is, and what time you have available.

2. Pick Your Background Wisely

Do you ever wonder why certain photos just pop so much more than others? A very simple way to improve the overall aesthetic of your back to school images is to be very conscientious of the background. There are a couple key components to this: distance, technical settings, and content.

Compare the two images above. Notice how in the doorway (image left), separation between the subject and the background is lost, whereas when shooting with more distance between the child and home (image right), it creates a nice clean separation.

Another element of backgrounds is clean walls. It could be a colourful wall, a fence, or even the side of the house. A clean clutter-free background will let your little one pop as the subject and remove all the visual distractions in the image.

Lastly if you want to put a little more planning in, or are dropping them off at school, think about incorporating the school into the background, or the bus rounding the corner. This idea would require a little more thought and timing, but can lead to pictures that have that added storytelling element.

3. Shoot at Their Eye Level

 

Get down on a knee so you’re aiming the camera straight at your child, instead of aiming the camera down on them. This will play into that background point above, and will make your horizon line seem more natural vs when shooting from your eye level. This is a technical point many photographers overlook, but will really help make the image pop. Compare the vantage point in the two images above, and how they impact the image. Notice how when shot at their eye level (image right), the image has more depth, and pulls the viewer in?

Now that we have our background all sorted, let’s dive into the most important part of the image: your child!

4. Have Fun with Props and Outfits

This is where you can let your creativity shine. What would you like to incorporate into the image? Your imagination is the only limit here. Some parents have an adult-size “Grad 20XX” t-shirt made. They photograph the child in it every year until they finally fit into it, creating a very fun growth visual year over year.

Others make chalk boards with stats like: age, grade, teacher, school. This can be done by writing directly on the board, or by adding it using an editing program afterwards.

Our Photolab also offers My First Day Of School photo templates, so you can easily pop in a photo of your child and add their info in, like age, current likes, favourite subject, what they want to be when they grow up, and the date. Simply visit your local London Drugs Photolab, fill out the order form with the info above, and submit it to our LDExperts with your chosen photo. We can print you as many 8×10’s as you like!

Another fun idea is to print out last year’s photo as an 8×10 print, and have your child hold it up.  As the years go on, the image slowly gains depth as each year, if you look closely, you can see the previous year’s photo continually disappearing like opposing mirrors.

5. Shoot More Not Less

It’s better to shoot a wide variety of images so you have lots to choose from, rather than not shooting enough and later wishing you had taken more. And if you happen to love all of your first day of school shots, you can print a back to school photo book showcasing a whole bunch of them! Another fun idea is to create custom photo gifts for family. And, if you pop into your local London Drugs Photolab, ask about the Take and Create options for custom children art items! You can have them draw their first day of school using our Take and Create booklets, and then our Photolab can print those drawings on a mug, magnets or even coasters for the grandparents!

6. Shoot with Shallow Depth of Field (Bonus Tip for Advanced Users)

If you’re using a smartphone camera, portrait mode replicates the shallow depth of field effect. If you’re using a mirrorless or DSLR and aren’t too familiar with the manual settings, use aperture priority mode.

In aperture priority, use the smallest F stop number available on your lens (usually somewhere between F1.8-F4). This will let the camera calculate everything else and you can focus on your shot. This is what creates that beautiful blurred background and even more levels of separation. The image above shows the aperture blades at different F stops. The more open, the shallower the depth of field is.

 

Hopefully these tips inspire you to have some fun with your camera this back to school season, and create memories you and your children can cherish forever. Remember to print your photos and remove them from the digital-only realm. Prints are great for framing, but you can also use these images in lots of other creative ways, like on a mug for grandma, or on next year’s family calendar (for the month of September, of course).  Or explore our Photolab website for many more unique ways to share your child’s first day of school memories.

Complete This Ultimate Photo Scavenger Hunt This Spring Break

Looking for a fun Spring Break activity for you and your family? Get your smartphone or camera ready, we’re going on a scavenger hunt! To help inspire your creativity and encourage you to experiment with photography, our London Drugs Photolab invites you to participate in the ultimate Photo Scavenger Hunt this Spring Break. Each of the photo categories below will challenge you to examine your surroundings from a different perspective, experiment with different photography styles, and hone your photo-taking skills. Plus, you can share your scavenger hunt photos with us on Instagram for a chance to win a $100 printing credit for our London Drugs Photolab!

Here’s how to participate in our Spring Break Photo Scavenger Hunt contest:

  • Follow @LDPhotolab on Instagram
  • Share your scavenger hunt photos on Instagram with the hashtag #LDPhotoScavengerHunt to be entered for a chance to win a $100 LDPhotolab printing credit!

You can post one entry per scavenger hunt category, for a total of up to 20 entries. The more categories you enter, the more chances you’ll have to win the $100 prize! Make sure to indicate in your caption which category your photo is fulfilling. The contest runs March 15 – April 5, 2021. Official contest rules can be found below.

Plus, your photo could be selected for a feature on our Instagram Stories!

Tips to Get You Started

This photo scavenger hunt is meant to get you thinking creatively about your surroundings! Once you’ve looked through the list of categories above, here are a few photo tips to get your started:

  • Think outside the box – You don’t have to take the categories literally! For example, ‘something green’ could be the colour green, or something environmentally-friendly.
  • Try a new perspective – Before you take the shot, consider if a low or high perspective would add to the photo’s interest, rather than simply shooting it straight-on. Sometimes, a change in perspective can convey an entirely different message.
  • Try shooting on film – One of the things people enjoy most about film photography is that it makes you think more intentionally when composing and capturing your shots. Plus, there’s the wonderful feeling of excitement that comes with seeing your newly developed photos for the first time! If you don’t already have a film camera, we offer a selection of single-use cameras and instant cameras. And if you already have a film camera, we have you covered, with a selection of film products as well. Of course, we can also develop your film for you when you’re done the roll!
  • Get creative at home – You don’t have to leave the house to participate. Just get creative with the categories. For example, ‘an uplifting sign’ could be a sign you see through your window, and blossoms could be from a house plant.
  • Challenge friends/family – Why not create some friendly competition? Challenge your friends or family to see how many categories they can capture within a set amount of time. Or delegate one person as a judge, and have awards for the top photos based on photographic skill, artistic sensibilities, emotion, impact and originality. This could be something you do together with your bubble, or connect virtually with those outside your bubble afterwards to share your photos.

Proudly Displaying Your Scavenger Hunt Photos

Once you’ve completed our scavenger hunt, it’s time to admire your photos! You might just find you’ve taken some real gems. Before those photos disappear into the abyss of your smartphone or memory card, why not do something more with them?

If you’re particularly proud of one of the photos you took, consider printing it as an enlargement you can display. We can print all the way up to 44×96 and offer mounting up to 24×36. Aluminum metal panels, canvas gallery wraps or our fine art prints (like Kauai and Baryta) are also great options if you want to really elevate your images. If you can’t decide on just one image that you love, create a collage with all of your favourites!

If you participated in the scavenger hunt as a family, you can create your own personalized Spring Break photo book, with pages featuring each person’s images. Your photo book could also include images beyond just the scavenger hunt, from bike rides to baking at home – however you’re spending time together! Considering this Spring Break will look vastly different than usual, it’s worth documenting all the ways you and your family made the most of your time at home this year. It will make a valuable keepsake you can look back on years from now.

 

We look forward to seeing all of your Spring Break Photo Scavenger Hunt snapshots over on Instagram with the #LDPhotoScavengerHunt hashtag!

Spring Break Photo Scavenger Hunt Contest – Official Rules

To enter:

Looking for a fun Spring Break activity that will inspire your creativity? Participate in our Spring Break Photo Scavenger Hunt!

Follow @LDPhotolab on Instagram and share your scavenger hunt photos with the hashtag #LDPhotoScavengerHunt to be entered for a chance to win a $100 LDPhotolab printing credit! You can post one entry per scavenger hunt category, for a total of up to 20 entries. The more categories you enter, the more chances you’ll have to win the $100 prize!

Spring Break Photo Scavenger Hunt Categories

  • Blossoms
  • Letter L
  • Bird
  • Something tall
  • Rain boots
  • Reflection in a puddle
  • Something green
  • Candid
  • Outdoor mural
  • Unique building
  • Prized possession
  • Something with paws
  • Canadian flag
  • Someone smiling
  • Sunset
  • Beautiful landscape
  • Uplifting sign
  • Shadows
  • Something close up
  • Selfie

Contest Dates: March 15 – April 5, 2021

  • No purchase necessary. Limit one (1) entry for each category listed in the Spring Break Photo Scavenger Hunt (the “Contest”) – up to a maximum of twenty (20) entries per social network per contest. Contest will commence on Monday, March 15 2021 and all entries must be received no later than 11:59 pm Pacific Time on April 5, 2021, 11:59pm PST.  London Drugs is not responsible for entries that become lost or misdirected.  All entries become the property of London Drugs Limited and will not be returned.
  • Contest is open to all residents of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba who, as of the date the prize draw is made: (i) have not won a London Drugs contest since April 5, 2020; (ii) have reached the age of majority in the province in which they reside as at March 15, 2021 (iii) are not employees of London Drugs, or any family member living with any such employee.
  • Entries must be posted as a feed post on a public Instagram account to be eligible.
  • In the event of a dispute as to who submitted an electronic entry, the entry will be deemed to have been submitted by the authorized account holder of the Instagram account associated with the entry. “Authorized account holder” of an Instagram account is defined as the natural person who is assigned to an Instagram account by the applicable social media platform
  • The entrant must clearly indicate in the caption of the Instagram post which category the photo is fulfilling. If the entry is not clear which category the photo is fulfilling, both in the caption and in the photo, it will not be eligible. London Drugs reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any entrant should entrant’s registration be incomplete, not meet all requirements of these official Rules, or contains inappropriate or offensive content. Your entry may be rejected if (in the sole and absolute discretion of the London Drugs) is not fully completed with all required information and submitted and received in accordance with these Rules during the Contest period.
  • A carousel post that features multiple photos will only be considered as one entry (the first photo in the carousel).
  • In the event that more than one entry is posted per scavenger hunt category, only the first entry collected (starting from the bottom of the contest hashtag on the Recent hashtag search tab) will be eligible.
  • Entries must be posted to Instagram between the dates of March 15, 2021 and April 5, 2021. Entries posted before this date will not be eligible (this includes entries that were posted before March 15, 2021 and were edited to add the Contest hashtag between March 15 and April 5, 2021).
  • The selected entrant will be randomly chosen by London Drugs on April 8, 2021 in Vancouver, British Columbia, from all eligible entries received. To win, selected entrants must have correctly answered the skill-testing mathematical question on the online entry form and must sign London Drug’s declaration and release confirming compliance with the contest rules and acceptance of the prize(s) as awarded, releasing London Drugs from liability in association with the contest and prize and consenting to the use of their name, photograph, voice and statements for promotional and publicity purposes.
  • There will be 1 (one) prize awarded to 1 (one) winner: prize is one (1) promo code for the London Drugs Photolab valued at $100. The promo code will have an expiry date of December 31, 2021. Prize must be accepted as awarded, is non-transferable and no substitutions are permitted. London Drugs reserves the right to substitute a prize of equal or greater value should any prize become unavailable for any reason. Prize will be awarded via email or the social network it was drawn from.
  • Only one prize may be won by any one person and household. In the event that any selected entrant incorrectly answers the skill-testing question or is otherwise unwilling or unable to comply in full with these rules, a new entry will be drawn.

Contests dates: March 15 – April 5, 2021

Draw Date: 12:00 PM Pacific Time: April 8, 2021

  • Selected entrants will be contacted by email, or social network they were drawn from. No correspondence will be entered into except with selected entrants. If the selected entrant does not respond then she/he will be notified for the second time, 3 (three) days after the first notification. If the selected entrant still does not respond within 3 days of the second notification, a new winner will be chosen in the same manner until a winner is successfully contacted.
  • The chances of winning a prize will depend on the number of eligible entries received. Decisions of the judges in respect of all aspects of this contest including, but not limited to, eligibility of entries and correctness of answers given to the skill-testing question, are final.
  • London Drugs, their respective advertising and promotional agencies, the independent judging organization, and their respective agents are not liable to an entrant in any manner relating to the contest or the awarding and use of the prize(s).  Contest winners must hold the copyright and necessary consents and licenses to any image they provide for entry into the contest.
  • This contest is subject to all federal, provincial, and municipal laws and regulations. By entering the entrant consents to the collection of all personal information included on their entry and agrees to the use and disclosure of such information by and between London Drugs and their agents. The winner(s) also agrees to the collection, use and disclosure of their name, entry, photographs, voice and statements for London Drugs’ publicity purposes without further compensation.  All personal information collected from entrants will be used only for the purposes of administering the contest and for marketing and promotional purposes as contemplated by these rules; under no circumstances will any personal information be sold or rented to third parties.  All personal information collected by London Drugs will be kept in accordance with the privacy policy of London Drugs, which can be viewed at londondrugs.com, and in accordance with all applicable privacy laws.
  • This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or any other social media platform which may be used to communicate this contest.  All such entities are completely released of all liability by each entrant in this contest.  Any questions, comments or complaints regarding the contest should be directed only to London Drugs.
  • London Drugs is not responsible for any failure of any website during this Contest, nor is it responsible for any problems or technical malfunctions of computer online systems, servers, access providers, computer equipment, software or any e-mail, online or internet entry lost due to technical problems or traffic congestion on the internet or at any website or any combination thereof, including any injury or damage to an entrant’s or any other person’s computer or property related to or resulting from playing or downloading any material in the promotion.
  • The right is reserved by London Drugs to terminate this contest, in whole or in part, and/or modify, amend or suspend the contest, and/or these rules in any way, should any cause beyond the reasonable control of London Drugs or its agents affect the proper administration thereof.

Statement of Declaration and Release

All selected entrants will be required to sign the Statement of Declaration and Release attached before they can be declared a winner and receive a contest prize.

 

Pro Tips for Photographing Your Pets and Immortalizing Their Cuteness

Especially with so much time spent at home lately, you may be running out of subjects for your photos – but what about your furry friend? They make a great pawtography subject!

To help you get started, we’ve launched a new video all about taking pet photos over on our Photolab’s DIY Studio! Our Photolab members have free access to all of our DIY Studio modules, which are a great resource of insider photography tips to help you improve your photos. If you don’t already have a Photolab account, you can join for free here. In our latest video, pro photographer Erin Manning is sharing lots of helpful tips for taking great photos of your pet – she’ll even show you how you can immortalize their purr-fect little face on all kinds of fun pet photo items, from pillow cases and tumblers to key chains and pet bowls.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy camera, your smartphone will do just fine! In fact, Erin has some clever tricks that will help you take even better photos of your pet using your smartphone. Get a sneak peek of her pet pics video below, and watch the full DIY Studio video here!

 

Once you’ve got some great photos of your fur babies (thanks to the photo tips you picked up from DIY Studio), here are some fun and adorable ways to share them.

Make Your Pet a Meme

A creative way to put your best pet photos to use is by captioning them with something funny! If you’ve got an adorable photo of your tired doggo, why not add that photo to one of our photo mugs, and add some text like: ‘Mondays, am I right?’ or ‘Case of the Mondays’? The possibilities are endless – just take a look through your collection of pet photos and see which ones have humanlike attributes you can associate with them. A quick online search for ‘pet memes’ will give you lots of ideas to get you started!

Our Photolab makes it easy to customize every part of your mug, from the colour to the photo, theme and text. Just customize, order, and pick-up in-store or ship to home. It’ll be a great way to make you smile first thing in the morning (even if you’re not a morning person!).

Immortalize Their Hungry Face

Snapped a great shot of your pooch mid-lick or tongue-wagging? Sounds like the perfect photo to customize a pet bowl! Our Photolab offers two pet bowl sizes, small and large, so you can pick the right one for your pet. Then just choose from the available photo templates that include fun pet patterns, and customize the number of photos featured on the pet bowl, from one to nine photos (because who really can pick just one?).

Treat Them to a New Pet Tag

Upgrade their pet tag with a beautiful aluminum one that is fully customizable! Portrait-style photos are great for this (make sure to follow Erin Manning’s tips in her pet photos video). Just choose from one of the three pet tag shapes, bone, heart or round, and then add your photo. You can also add your pet’s name to the tag too, if you like. We also recommend customizing the back of the tag (if you choose a double-sided tag) with your contact information, in case your beloved pet ever goes missing.

Turn Your Fur Baby into Fine Art

Yes, you heard that right: that great photo you took of your fur baby is worthy of a fine art print! Choose from beautiful papers like bamboo, Baryta, Kauai, canvas, metallic paper, and metallic canvas, each of which offers a unique and elevated look to your images. Frame the print of your photogenic pup and hang it above your desk, or anywhere else in your home so they can put a smile on your face every time you see it. In fact, if you’re particularly smitten with your pet, why not create a whole gallery wall to honour them? Mix and match frames and print sizes for a bit of added visual interest.

Preserve Family Moments Together

Your four-legged friend is part of the family, and being able to see them grow together with the rest of your family is so precious. Preserve those sweet moments together by turning them into keepsakes, like this photo puzzle. Once you’re done piecing it together, take it apart and pass it along to another family member to complete, or frame it and hang it on your wall!

Of course, your pet photography doesn’t have to be limited to just cats and dogs. Many of Erin Manning’s pro pet photo tips (and our ideas for preserving those photos) can be applied to pet birds, gerbils, lizards…or whatever animal has captured your heart. There are also lots more tips available on DIY Studio covering everything from composition and lighting techniques, to how to improve the look and sound of your video calls. More helpful videos are coming soon on DIY Studio, so make sure to check back for new videos.

A don’t forget – if you’re snapping pet photos from your smartphone, make sure to download our London Drugs Photolab App (available for iOS and Android) to order quickly and easily straight from your phone. When ordering photos or other products with your prized pet on them, you can choose to have them shipped to your home, conveniently pick-up in-store, or select curbside pick-up if available at your local London Drugs location.

We’d love to see what you create with your pet photos! Share with us on social media by using the hashtag #LDPhotolab.

Gift Guide – Gift Ideas for the Photo Lover

Looking for the perfect gift for the photographer in your life? We’ve curated some ideas in our gift guide for the photo lover. From unique accessories to the best cameras, we have something for whoever you are shopping for this holiday season.

GoPro HERO 9 

Everyone loves a GoPro. Versatile, compact, and powerful, with a wide assortment of mounts, a GoPro can keep up even in the most extreme environments. From snorkeling, to sky diving, this camera will keep up with just about anything. Great gift for the adrenaline lover in your family.

Fujifilm Instax Mini 11

Great for all ages, this Instax camera revives the pre digital revolution instant photo experience. Creating one of a kind prints instantly, it’s great for little ones and older ones alike. Don’t forget to pick up some film to go with it, or a stylish case!

Sony ZV-1 Digital Camera

The Sony ZV-1 is the all in one power house for the budding content creator. Designed specifically for vlogging, featuring built in WiFi for quick and easy uploads. It’s 3″ swivel LCD screen and advanced autofocus makes sure your images stay sharp, and you can keep an eye on your shot, even when it’s of you! It’s an all in one power house that everyone will love.

Photo Accessories

Acessories are always a great gift. Anything from a new bag, travel tripod, microphone or a sling camera strap, there is sure to be an accessory that is a perfect holiday match!
With so many options for the camera lover, these are but a few suggestions to start. Be sure to browse our full camera section here to find the perfect gift.

Canon R6

If you are looking to get serious with your photo related gift, consider the all new Canon R6. With a 20MP full frame sensor, and DIGIC X processor, this powerhouse camera can capture 4K video at 60 frames per second and 1080 HD at 120 FPS. With Canon Log and HDR HQ output options, seasoned filmmakers can get the precise edits they need.

Betsey Johnson Camera Drop Earrings

These cute earrings are the perfect accessory for the photo enthusiast in your life. Show them you know what they love with these unique earrings that show off their passion even without a camera in their hand.

Photolab gifts

Remember our Photolab also has a wide assortment of gift ideas. From mugs, to express photobooks, even puzzles, there is sure to be a gift that strikes your interest. Many items are available to order and pick up before Christmas, right until the 23rd of December. Click here to view our order deadlines to have your item before Christmas.

The Cutest First Day of School Photos

Whether your kids are learning from home or are back in the classroom this September, one thing is certain: the first day of school is even more of a significant moment in time than it usually is. In the midst of such extraordinary times, there’s even more reason to document the ways life has changed (or stayed the same) this year – from life at home to the first day of school. Many parents snap a first day of school photo each year to signify the start of a new chapter for their child, while documenting their growth since the previous school year. They grow up so fast, and photos help you document it!

Below, we’ve rounded up 10 of the cutest first day of school photos of little ones ready to hit the books. And keep on scrolling to learn how you can preserve your child’s first day of school milestone, with prints from our London Drugs Photolab (plus get a code for free shipping)!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Photolab can help you mark this important annual milestone in you and your child’s life with keepsakes you’ll appreciate being able to look back on years from now. Choose from quality prints in different finishes such as glossy, pearl, bamboo, metallic and even canvas. Also, our print size options are nearly endless, starting at 4×4 and going all the way up to 44×96 for some prints. We can even turn those first day of school photos into fridge magnets!

You can conveniently pick up your order in-store, or if you’re not nearby a London Drugs location, we can ship it directly to you. Use our promo code SHIP2020 for free shipping on orders over $7.99! Valid September 17 – September 30, 2020.

NEOWISE Comet – Tools to See and Capture

The NEOWISE comet is viewable for the month of July across western Canada, and we are here with a few helpful tips to help you make the most of it! Although it will only come within about 103 million kilometers of earth, it will be visible to the naked eye in the north western night sky. To get a better view, a pair of binoculars will help get in closer. If you want to really see it up close and personal, consider using a telescope. We have a wide range of options a variety of price points available in-store and online.

If you’re looking to capture images of the Neowise comet in the night sky, for optimal results you will want to use a mirrorless or DSLR camera. Surprisingly, you can capture beautiful images even with a kit lens. If you attach a telephoto lens, you’ll be able to get even closer. Shooting in manual mode with a high ISO and slow shutter speed will ensure to let in as much light as possible and have the control to capture the image you want. Check out the examples below captured by LD Expert Tim Y earlier this month in Saskatoon Saskatchewan. We’ve included the camera settings, and focal length he used to show what can be captured with everything from a kit lens at 55mm to a 600mm telephoto. Hopefully this can help you to create your own striking images!

 

Taken in downtown Saskatoon. 55mm lens, 5 seconds, F4, 1600 ISO This is an approximation of how it would look to the naked eye.

10mm lens, 30 seconds, F8, 3200 ISO

55mm lens, 10 seconds, f2.8, 1600 ISO

135mm lens, 20 seconds, F2.8 800 ISO With camera mounted on a Skywatcher Star Adventurer tracking mount. (Special order item)

80mm lens, 15 seconds, f2.8, 1600 ISO

Whether you choose to view or capture, we have the tools and accessories to get the most out of the experience.
“Remember, there is a big, beautiful sky out there and there is always something interesting to capture with your camera. Take the time to head out where the world is dark, the sky is clear and the memories are just waiting to be made and captured.” Tim Y

See more of Tim’s amazing night sky photography on Instagram @livingskyguy

Tim Y, an LD Expert from Saskatoon. Tim has been a photographer for over 40 years, an #LDExpert for over 30 years, and an astrophotographer for five.

Making Memories: Tips from a Pro Photographer on Taking, Printing and Preserving Cherished Family Photos

It’s true what they say: “the days are long, but the years are short.” Time can be a thief when it comes to freezing moments in time with family, specifically with children. They seem to grow up in the blink of an eye. One day they’re taking their first steps, and the next they’re starting their first day of school. Erin Brooke Burns, an award-winning photographer, is here to share her tips for photographing and preserving your family memories. Learn how to capture real moments with your kids and discover timeless ways to display and cherish those precious memories.

Get Priceless Results Even Without a Pricey Camera

Great photos are about real moments. Period. Yes, a perfectly composed shot with great lighting is a nice bonus, but when it comes to emotions, real moments bring it home. So you don’t need to spend a pretty penny on a big, fancy camera if isn’t not in your budget. A point-and-shoot or even your smartphone does a great job. What’s even better about those is that people tend not to freeze and fall into a rehearsed pose like they do when you raise a large SLR. Without a bulky camera to lug around, look for the “in between moments;” the moments in-between the rehearsed smile and pose, where the real emotions are. With children, these in-between moments come by relatively often, so just have your camera at the ready and bask in the hilarity of kids being kids. As an added bonus to using your smartphone, you have a plethora of apps to choose from to take your photos to the next level – just don’t overdo it on filters; less is more. You can also download the London Drugs Photolab App (available on iOS and Android) to easily order prints, enlargements and even create a Photo Book right from your phone or tablet.

Swing for the Fences

Digital photography has allowed us to make more mistakes, and in return, more wins. As a professional photographer, I might take 200+ photos to use and publish only one. That single shot that I choose will have the emotion that we talked about earlier, something none of the other 199 photos have. So swing for the fences, and take a bunch of photos to get that one fantastic shot. Digital files are cheap, so take advantage, practice, play around and get the shot. You can always delete the others later on. If you’re using your smartphone, take advantage of Burst Mode from time to time. Each phone differs, but generally it’s a sequence of photos taken at a rate of around ten frames per second by holding your finger on the shutter button.

Change Your Perspective

Have fun! This sounds obvious, but as adults, we fall into our go-to poses and smiles. When photographing your kids, we get into trouble if we expect them to behave like adults, so get down to their level and explore the world as they do. It will change what you see in your viewfinder. A different angle or perspective can change a photo dramatically, and getting down allows you to see angles you might otherwise miss. Catch your kiddos doing the things they love and you’ll have all kinds of success. Catch them on the swings, in the sandbox or even just colouring – candid photos have a beautiful reminiscent quality about them that can cause the viewer to stop and pause. So have fun with your camera and your kids. It’s a win-win.

Photographing Babies

Even the most seasoned of amateur photographers can find it a challenge to photograph babies. So, if ‘newborn in a basket’ photos are what you’re looking for, then I would recommend hiring a professional; it’s worth the investment. But when it comes to the average parent, here are some guidelines that will help you take a great snap:

  1. Keep your baby happy by photographing them on a full tummy.
  2. Dress your baby in comfortable clothes, or if you choose to photograph your baby in their birthday suit, keep a space heater nearby to keep them warm.
  3. Choose a spot in the house with a large window; preferably a north-facing window to get a large, natural, indirect light source.
  4. Always keep your baby’s safety at top of mind.
  5. As your baby grows, think about doing monthly photos to document your baby’s growth. It’s a good idea to keep the background consistent to emphasize their growth.

From Digital to Print

Photolab lifestyle

Don’t fall into the trap of taking fantastic photos and leaving them on your camera or phone like so many of us do. We end up taking thousands of photos without a feasible way to control the mess. Digital photos can be lost just as easy as they are taken so it’s wise to choose one of the many options to cherish and display them before things get out of control. In my home, we don’t have a ton of photos on our walls, but we love a good Photo Book. The reason we love the Photo Books is 2-fold. First, you can add as many photos as you like, and second, you can create an entire book of a single event: like a family vacation, or baby’s first year. We find the books offer great flexibility and the kids adore looking through them, especially the older books – it’s like a collection of visual encyclopedias of the family. There are so many different Photo Books available – you’ll find one that is perfect for your needs.

If Photo Books aren’t your thing, I’m really loving the Wall Clings. Wall Clings are adhesive matte paper prints that can be removed and replaced many times. I mentioned we don’t have a lot of photos that adorn our walls, but that’s not entirely true. We love these for our kids’ rooms. It allows them to choose how they create their own ‘gallery walls’ without creating damage to our home. They’re able to move them around how they like, and get creative without any frames, hammers or nails. There are dozens of ways to use the Wall Clings, long term or short term, like incorporating them into a birthday celebration. These are the perfect option for people who want to switch up their photos often or simply can’t commit to one image.

However you choose to cherish your memories, make sure you download the London Drugs Photolab App from the App Store or Google Play to get full access to everything from enlargements, Canvas Gallery Prints, and Calendars to Photo Books right from your phone or tablet. You can also hop onto their website to order online, or visit any London Drugs Photolab in-store.

Meet Erin

Erin Brooke Burns is an award-winning photographer and graphic designer based in Calgary, Alberta. You can follow Erin and see her latest works with Erin Brooke Photography & Design on Instagram: @erinbrookeburns.

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