Family Gatherings: Living in a Moment Worth Capturing
It happens. You're at a family gathering. You’re in the moment, you’re loving every second, and suddenly – a lightbulb goes off – what if I could capture this moment forever? After all, it could be a while until the next family gathering, and everyone’s having such fun! The décor, setting, and food, right down to the serving dishes, look impeccable – it’s more than just a photographable moment – it’s a memory.
Suddenly, you’re battling with your phone or camera, clicking plenty but not seeing the results you’d like. Before you know it, you’re feeling like you’re missing out, and your kids are getting impatient.
First things first: Taking pictures shouldn’t take you out of the moment. On the contrary, it should immerse you further into the festivities, showing everyone you cherish the moment and would like to hold it dear for longer. Let's talk about how to accomplish exactly that.
How to Take High-Quality Photos Using Only Your Phone at Family Gatherings
Taking pictures is savoring life down to every thousandth of a second. So, we understand you’d like them to look fantastic and truly reflect the essence of the gathering. Here are some tips:
1. Consider Lighting
At a gathering, it can be hard to even think of lighting! So, always remember this one simple thing: take photos from the angle with the least shadows. Shadows can cause distortions. So, be sure the sun (or artificial light source) is either directly above, in front of, or behind the scene, you’re trying to capture.
Don’t be afraid to direct a little, asking people to “move a little to the left” or even “there’s better light over by this window, why not there?” They’ll thank you when they see how the photos turned out.
2. A Little Framing Goes a Long Way
Framing creates harmony in photos and is the secret behind that “picture-perfect” look. That’s why some phones even have in-built technology to help you frame a photo.
Here's how you can activate your phone's grid feature.
On Apple Devices:
- Go to Settings
- Select Camera
- Enable “Grid” to deploy a rule-of-thirds overlay in the Camera app.
On Android devices:
- Visit Settings
- Select Apps
- Go into Camera
- Select “Grid Lines” to choose between a rule-of-thirds overlay or a square overlay for perfectly framed Instagram images.
However, if you’d rather not ask your device for help, that’s fine too! Framing is easy to do on your own. The rule of thirds keeps things simple. It asks that you pick one specific thing (or person) as your center point and then work your way out. Then, all you have to do is ensure that no one is cut out of frame, and voila – your photo is ready to be captured!
3. Avoid Zooming
The closer you zoom, the lower the quality of the image. So, don’t hesitate to walk over to a happy family moment (don’t worry, you won’t ruin it!).
4. Take A Deep Breath
It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and try to rush your photos. However, if you take a breath, steady yourself, frame your photo, and then shoot, the result will always be a less blurry, sharp-focused, well-taken photo. Likewise, it's easy to get stressed about getting the perfect picture. Use this moment of breathing and steadying to allow your family to be candid. Grumpy babies may be frustrating in the moment, but you'll look back and smile at the big personality of the little ones in your family.
Bonus: Tips for Taking Food Photos
They say you eat with your eyes before you even taste your food. So take a picture, and you can enjoy your meal again and again! But...if the food looks so good on the plate, why does it sometimes look a bit “off” in photos, if not unappetizing? Here are some strategies to prevent this issue:
1. Try Not to Use a Flash
You truly want to shine a light on the delectable meal in front of you – that’s normal. But the flash function on smartphones and cameras has a habit of adding an overexposed sheen to food.
Instead, do your food justice by placing it in …
2. The Natural Spotlight
Find your primary light source and make sure it is a window where the light streams in gently. If possible, avoid strong sunlight.
3. Get the Angle Right
Everyone has a “best side,” including your delicious dish. Capturing the right angle always takes a little trial and error, but the extra effort is worth it. That said, some go-to’s seem to work almost every time. For sprawling, varied spreads, the best angle can often be from directly above. This can help minimize the surrounding “noise” while highlighting the spread’s vivid colors and rich textures. However, sometimes you’ll want to show off the design of your sublime serving dishes. In that case, a slanted angle from either side of the table (but not from a table corner) is your best option.
How to be Present at a Gathering
Being present means making the most of every passing second rather than worrying about the past or future. It’s an art that you can master with a little practice. Here’s how:
1. Check-in on Your Thoughts
Sometimes, without us even noticing, our minds can slip away, off to somewhere else. So to ensure you’re getting the most out of the family gathering, consider the direction of your train of thought and whether it needs rerailing!
2. Keep a Mantra in Mind
Repeating a mantra to yourself can help to recenter your thoughts, keeping you firmly present in the moment.
Some mantras to consider:
- “By being present, I am creating, shaping, and influencing this moment and what happens next.”
- “Here and now is everything.”
3. Take Your Time
With all the hustle and bustle, you might be feeling a little rushed! However, if there’s one thing you shouldn’t do fast, it’s eating. Instead, be sure to savor your meal as much as the moment. This can help you to eat just the right amount so that you don’t feel overly full or bloated, allowing you to stay in good spirits and enjoy the energy the food gives you!
4. Sit Down
After you’ve taken your pick of delicious goodness from the serving dishes, it’s time to find a seat. Don’t be tempted to eat standing up, as you’re more likely to rush your meal if you do. So, rest your feet and enjoy your meal while seated - you won’t miss a thing.
When you capture photos right the first time around, you can put your phone away to confidently focus on savoring the family fun. The same can be said for setting a reminder on your phone to remember key Black Friday sales you're looking forward to (speaking of which, keep your eyes peeled for Euro Ceramica's upcoming sales!). Just set it and forget it – the sales will be there for you later when the time is right, now is family time – enjoy!