Sunday, March 3, 2024

How to take family photos like a pro – Walmart Live Better

As seen in Spring 2013 edition of Walmart Live Better magazine, available FREE from your local Walmart Supercentre.

Camera Tips - Walmart Live BetterFor taking snapshots of your kids at the park, or sneaking a sweet pic of your tot at her first day of preschool, the camera built into your mobile phone will get the job done.

But if you’re looking to boost the quality of your family photos, a “real” camera is the way to go. With dozens of different kinds of cameras on the market today, though, it’s easy to get lost in the photography aisles. So here are tips for finding the perfect camera to fit your lifestyle, budget and picture-taking needs.

Choosing the right camera for you

Do you want to keep a small camera in your handbag so it’s at the ready for your kids’ next adorable moment? Look at point-and-shoot models like the Nikon COOLPIX L610 ($208). These foolproof cameras allow you to capture higher-quality images while letting you explore your photographic creativity.

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If you’re a budding photographer looking for something more high-end, try out a DSLR camera like the Canon Rebel T2i ($536). This style of camera is the kind professionals use, and they are typically larger, heavier and pricier.

Or does your photographic style fall somewhere in the middle? Mirrorless cameras (also called micro 4/3 cameras) offer many of the features seen in DSLRs, but they’re less expensive and more compact.

Making your snaps look professional

Sure, taking a picture is as easy as pushing a button, but if you want quality photos you’ll be proud to display, take a quick minute to set up each shot before you snap. Where is the light coming from? You never want to take a photo with a sunny window in the background – your kids and their puppy will appear as faceless silhouettes. Instead, find natural light and use it to your advantage – place your subjects so they’re facing the light, and turn off your flash. For best results, take pictures at eye level with your subjects, rather than looking down or up at them. If you’re trying to capture snaps of your busy toddler, get down to her level, and use a tripod if you need help to keep the camera steady.

Using special settings

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With digital photography, you can take as many pictures as you want without wasting film – all you need is a good-sized memory card. Many cameras allow you to set a continuous shooting mode where you can hold down the shutter button to capture multiple images – perfect when you’re shooting hockey games or dance recitals (you can always delete any bad shots). Flip through your camera’s manual and you’ll find many modes to suit your needs. Experiment with them!

Sharing and saving

You’ve taken thousands of priceless photos on your digital camera…. Now what? You’ll probably want to upload them for safe storage, print some hard copies as keepsakes, as well as share them with friends and family on your favourite social media networks. Secure Ditigal, or SD, cards let you upload securely to the web. The 32GB Lexar High Speed SD card ($36.98) slides right into your camera’s SD memory card slots and can be programmed to connect to your Wi-Fi network. Once connected, the card will automatically set your privacy settings and send photos to your predetermined social media sites.

A high-quality memory card is an easy way to minimize the chance of losing your precious photos and corrupting files. Depending on how much you plan on spending, you can purchase a variety of “class cards.” As a rule of thumb, the higher the class, the higher the quality of the memory card. If you are simply capturing photos, a low- to mid-class memory card will do. If you are also capturing hours of HD video alongside photos on a digital camera, invest in a higher-quality memory card that will allow you to record video at a much higher speed.

Creating backup copies is the best way to preserve your photo memories. Walmart PhotoCentre offers secure, free storage of your digital images. So if you lose your computer, or your hard drive gets fried, your photos will still be safe. Plus, you can access your photos anytime through your mobile phone using the free app.

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Get in the picture, mom!

Flip through your photo albums or digital files and you’ll probably notice there aren’t too many shots of you with the family – the photographer misses out on being in the picture. To put yourself in more pics, we recommend a GorillaPod by Joby ($51). It’s a tripod with flexible legs that bend around any object and adjust to any height you need, while keeping your camera steady. Set a self- timer, then jump into the picture.

Photo gifts

With Mother’s Day just around the corner, skip the box of chocolates and consider a personalized gift from the Walmart PhotoCentre that will let the moms in your life know you’re thinking about them on their special day. The best part? Many gifts (including mugs and photo canvases) can be printed in an hour.

There’s an app for that!

Using the Walmart Photo Prints app (available for iOS devices), you can order your favourite photos for print and pickup from the comfort of your smartphone via your Walmart PhotoCentre account – perfect if you’re looking for last-minute gift ideas.

Repost from Walmart Live Better magazine

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Winston Sih
Winston Sih
Winston is currently a freelance technology and travel broadcast journalist, consultant, and is the creator and founder of Master Travellr—Canada’s destination for travel news, guides, and budget recommendations.


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