Blogging, digital photos, facebook, family, photo editing, photography, Social Media

4 tips from the self-dubbed family photographer

I recently uploadeda photo album to my Facebook page highlighting the many smiles and laughter shared during our annual summer family gathering. The album includes photos snapped by me and my father-in-law throughout the holiday weekend. As the kids whip out their iPhones to capture moments, we reach for our 35 mm digital cameras (mine a Canon Rebel, dad’s a Canon Sureshot). The younger generation could view us as outdated, but instead they greet us with happy grins when asking them to smile and pose.

FB album

Granted smartphones offer an easy option to photography these days. And the many editing apps available allow for a whole new level of creativity in online photography.  I also whip out my iPhone 5 often to shoot, upload, edit and post to social media. But there’s still no replacement for a photo taken with a real camera.

My love for cameras and photography is something I inherited from my dad, who in turn got it from his dad. Grandpa spent his career surrounded by the latest photography equipment of the day as a camera buyer for the former J.L. Hudson Company. We grew up lining up and squeezing together for group photos at every event and blinded by the bright lights of the old movie cameras while blowing out birthday candles.We moaned and groaned in counting to three and saying cheese for what seemed like a million times at every family gathering. However, to this day the photo albums filled with these pictures are the favorite things when visiting my parent’s house.

Following our family get-togethers my dad was known for dashing off to Walmart to get his photos developed and quickly placed in an album to show off the latest activity. He even had a numbering system where the back of each photo was marked so the matching negative could be identified, in case someone wanted copies.

Nowadays those photo albums lined up on my parent’s fireplace hearth have been replaced with digital photo albums posted online. I feel as though I’ve stepped into my dad’s role as our family’s chief photographer. I’m armed with my camera and snapping pictures at our many life events and activities and then hurrying to upload, edit, post and share them.

Luckily the task no longer requires a trip to Walmart for processing. As the family photographer there are a few tricks I’ve learned about capturing moments, editing photos and posting and sharing. Perhaps these four tips will be helpful to other family photographers. If you play the role of photographer in your family, I’d love to hear any tricks you’ve learned.

4 family photographer tips

  • Capture smiles in action: perhaps it’s a result of all those years lining up, squeezing together and saying cheese, but I tend to avoid forced group photos. I opt for a bit more spontaneity and go for a stop in the midst of action shots.


  • Less is usually more:  I find photos with two to three people turn out better and are preferred over photos with larger groups. You can just plain see a couple people’s faces, expressions and emotions better when there’s just a few in the photo.

GPA camera 017


  • People are preferred: I use the term “peoplize” in working clients to create content. My point … include people always (or as often as possible). People prefer seeing people in photos. Test this theory yourself, look at a collection of photos and see which ones your eye is drawn to. I’m betting on the people pics.


  • A little editing goes a long way: I recently discovered and I run every photo through the easy-to-use online editing suit before posting. Regardless of how perfect the shot, I’ve found a dash of color and a pinch sharpening can enhance any photo. If you haven’t tried a photo editor, is free and very user-friendly. If you’re a Mac user, it compares to iPhoto. Can’t say enough about photo editing.

Facebook changes – see more from who you care about, less from those you don’t

Heads ups Facebook fans — a flurry of changes are rolling out at a rapid pace. Updates started about a week ago with improvements to Facebook’s Friends List, which now closely resembles options offered by Google+, making it easier to see more from people you really want to hear from and simpler to target specific messages to exactly those you want to reach.

The recent changes introduced include three features (1 update and 2 completely new ones) and FB is not done yet. These releases were sent to whet our appetite, it seems. Rumor has it Facebook is announcing a major redesign of the site is to be unveiled at its F8 Developers Conference next week. Stay tuned for details on that overhaul.

For now, here’s a rundown of the latest changes to Facebook:

When logging into your account, Facebook wants you to see things you’re most interested in, such as what your friends and family are up to. Improvements to  Friend Lists and the addition of a new Subscribe button will help you see more of what you care about.

Friend Lists: Lists are not new to Facebook, but users have complained about how time-consuming it is to create and organize friends into lists and keep them updated. The improved Friend Lists function allows you to share a personal story with your closest friends & family—without co-workers, or worse your boss also reading the post.

According to Facebook, lists are now easier and more useful with the addition of the these three improvements: (from Blake Ross – The Facebook Blog)

  • Smart lists – These lists can create themselves and stay up-to-date based on profile info your friends have in common with you–such as your work, school, family and city.
  • Close Friends & Acquaintances lists – See your best friends’ photos and posts in one place, and see less from people you’re not as close to.
  • Better suggestions – You can add the right friends to your lists without a lot of effort.

Friend Lists are optional. If you don’t like lists, you don’t have to use them Improved Friend lists will be available to everyone this week and rolling out on mobile over the next few weeks.  Facebook would love to hear your feedback at

Subscribe button: Now you can hear from people you’re interested in, not just friends. Click the Subscribe button on the Facebook page of your favorite journalists, celebrities, politicians, etc. and you’ll get their public updates in your News Feed. Not everyone will have a Subscribe button on their Facebook page, only those who allow subscribers will have a Subscribe button on their profile. If you don’t see the button, you can’t subscribe.

The new Subscribe button will enable you to do three things:

1. Select exactly what you want to see from people in your News Feed.

2. Allow others to subscribe to your posts.

3. Subscribe to people who are NOT your friends.

Find answers to more questions about the new Subscribe button here.

The Ticker:  No more lag time in posts! The new Ticker feed, located in the top right corner of Facebook above the chat pane, shows the same stuff seen on Facebook, but brings your conversations to life by displaying updates instantaneously, as Facebook describes. Now you can click on anything in the Ticker, see the full story and jump into the conversation immediately, all while remaining on your Facebook page.

From a Marketing standpoint …

These upgrades and additions are good news to users, particularly businesses and organizations using Facebook to connect with customers and grow their bottom line. The latest Facebook features offer three main advantages for marketers.

1. Greater focus on personalization, offering greater ability to communicate more directly with customers.

2. Extended opportunity in social search, allowing the chance for your business to show up in web searches now that Facebook posts are becoming more public via Subscribe button.

3. Big step into real-time, providing immediate opportunity to reach out to customers, prompting them to act on promotions now.

As I mentioned earlier, these new features are just the beginning. It’ll be exciting to see what else Facebook has up its sleeve with the anticipated major site redesign to be announced next week. Check back & I’ll fill you in on what’s next.

In the meantime, I’d be interested in hearing what you think about these updates.

Further resources on what’s new to Facebook – check out HubSpot Blog