Did the holidays leave you with a new camera in your possession? Or perhaps a new piece of equipment, maybe a macro lens or remote shutter release? Even if you didn’t get a new camera for Christmas there’s a very good chance you have one and an even better chance you don’t use it as often as you should or as well as you would like to. Want to know my biggest offense this year? I went from using my DSLR almost daily to not picking it up for almost two months. Taking pictures of my toddler became much trickier once she became mobile and when Instagram was released on Android in April? That was the beginning of the end for me. Now that we’re in the thick of winter with gloomy days and a lot less time spent outside I’m going to have to force myself to be more creative and actually pick up my camera. Just because the sun doesn’t shine as much doesn’t mean my kids stop growing.
The good news? This isn’t a preachy post where I tell you what to do, it’s a post where I tell you about the changes I’ve made that have made a big difference in the way I capture my family and the changes I still need to make or work on (getting in front of the camera being numero uno.) So grab you camera, raise your right hand and say “I [say your name] solemnly swear on my shutter release to do better in 2013 than I did in 2012 when it comes to taking pictures.”
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Suck it up, hire someone else 1 of 5I finally, FINALLY, arranged to have family pictures taken by someone I have admired for years. I know my way around a camera, and I have always had the hardest time trusting that other people do too. I have preached for years that a good photographer is worth every penny you pay them and yet I was guilty of not trusting one. I finally did it, it was scary, it was kind of expensive and the waiting is killing me slowly but knowing that there will be a photographic story of my family on record forever? All that anxiety is gone.
Resist the urge to delete 2 of 5With digital photography the temptation is always there to check the photo as soon as it's taken and delete it if you don't like the way you look. STOP IT. Let the picture stay there, avoid the temptation to look at it, judge it and delete it. If you delete every photo you make it into because you don't like the way you look your kids won't have a single photo of their mom or dad in 20 years, and guess what? In 20 years you're going to think that so called terrible photo looks awfully good with all that fresh youth on your face that you'll never get back.
Hand over the camera 3 of 5How many times have you handed the camera over to someone else so you can be in a picture? Know what I have an even harder time with? Handing the camera off to someone else so all four of us can be in one photo. I'm a terrible control freak when it comes to how pictures should look, I've finally had to suck it up and trust others to click (and I'm so glad I have.) Up until two weeks ago I only had three photos in my possession with all four of us in the same frame. SAD. Learn to ask others, "Would you please take our picture?" especially if you see me around, I'll make sure you all look really good.
Print them out 4 of 5How many external hard drives do you have full of photos? What about your Flickr, Instagram or Facebook accounts? Are those full of a bunch of marvelous memories too? I'll bet they are. What if the power went out? How would you look at them? Could you? You need to have some of your photos printed. Hang them on your wall, use them as bookmarks, stash them in your wallet, hide one behind your Kindle to show the person next to you on the airplane. There is nothing quite like a printed photo, or even better, a book full of printed photos. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of wonderful things you can do with your photos, do them now while you're thinking about it, before you have so many photos you are overwhelmed.
Practice 5 of 5The very best thing you can do is practice until your finger is sore. If you practice when nothing is really going on you'll capture moments you didn't even know were worth capturing and when a big moment does come up? You'll be prepared to capture it as best you can. Don't keep your camera packed away only for use on family trips or birthdays, make it a part of your everyday life. It doesn't have to be obnoxious or intrusive, just hang back, practice and appreciate all your hard work and dedication at the end of this year.
Would you like to win your own Samsung Galaxy Camera? Repin one of the photos from our “Holiday Memories + Moments” Pinterest board with the hashtag #samsungmemories for a chance to win, or upload your own photo onto your personal board with the hashtag #samsungmemories. And from there, we will pick the top twenty photos. Contest ends December 31st, 2012.