Taking better photos of my kids and my travels

Taking better photos of my kids and my travels

There are two great passions in my life. Traveling and my kids. Combining the two is even better. Although yes, I do love that occasional getaway with only my wife. I’d be up for another one if you want to watch the kids.

We’ve been blogging for a while now and the need to connect stories with photos of my kids on all these travels has made me realize how mediocre our photography has been over the years.

Certainly our best extended round of photos came from our 6-month trip across the United States and back. I think the knowledge that we were on a life-changing trip made us much more thoughtful about our photography along the way. We were also documenting that trip as we expereicend it and used a great online scrapbooking tool called Mixbook which we highly recommend. It gives you all the cool little features of a traditional scrapbook, only you create the whole thing online. When you’re done you can order a bound copy of the book. It was far superior to the little photo books we’d created through the Apple store in the past.

So we have a lot of great photos from 6 months of travel. 4 years of traveling as a family and 6 months of good photos to show for it.

Monica has been spending a lot of time interacting our readers who are participating in our Parents Photography Workshop. While I’ve largely left the Parents Photography Workshop to Monica that does not mean I’ve not been taking some schooling of my own when it comes to photography.

Monica has been great for tips. Hey, not only is she hosting a Parents Photography Workshop, she also took a photography course in college. Oh, wait, she just told me she dropped that class half way though.

Our primary guides to taking better pictures of our kids and and our travels (and our kids while we are traveling) has been thees two books published by the Digital Photography School.

Because we’re traveling in Santa Barbara this week I made sure I had my camera with me throughout the day to capture life as it was happening.

I started by getting out early and by myself. We are staying with Monica’s parents and just a short walk from their house is Lake Los Caneros. Here are some of my favorite photographs I took while walking around the lake.




When I got back to the house I took our daughter to the farmers market and to get a cup of coffee. (For me, not her). Here are some of my favorite photos from that outing.




Later we were at the beach as a family. It took me getting down at some funny angles–and risking a kick to the face or elsewhere as Jackson came down on the swing–but here are some of my favorite photos from our time at Goleta Beach Park.





While I’m not ready to open a gallery, I am really happy with the progress we are making. These photos were all taken with an Olympus Sytlus Tough Camera. It’s a big upgrade for us–we had previously only been using our 3GS iPhones.  As the name implies, it fits our lifestyle.  It’ll take a beating.  It’s shockproof and waterproof in up to 10 meters of water. But we are eyeing a more eleborate (expensive) camera.We’d really like to upgrade to something like the Nikon D3100 Camera where we have multiple lenses and much faster shutter speed but we’d love to hear what our more advanced photographers think. Monica and I can only hope that Santa is so kind.

What are some of your favorite quick tips you try to keep in mind while taking photos of your kids or while traveling?

  • great photos (I especially love the leaves under the legs one)! Hanging out with the Dennings from http://www.discovershareinspire.com/ left me drooling over their camera. No wonder they get such fantastic photos (oh yeah, and a seasoned photographer manning the camera…little details)!!! Hope Santa is good to you!!

  • Wow. Those photos are G O R G E O U S!!! We bought a new camera this week and I’ll be having a play with it up until we leave! Hope my pics turn out as great as yours!

  • Those look great! I’m excited to look at the resources you listed, as well.

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