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Happy snapping

Family days out and holidays are the perfect time to capture memories with your camera. But if you’ve dug your camera out of the cupboard and discovered that your mobile phone camera has more pixels, it might be time to upgrade.

The good news is that we’re currently in an age where good cameras are cheap. Your average standard camera will set you back about £100-£150. For this cost, you’ll get 10-12 million pixels, and features such as optical zoom and one touch upload. All this means that taking your pictures will be simple, and they should come out looking sharp.

Do i need an SLR?

If you’re looking for something more professional, prices can increase up to several hundred pounds, which will buy you a D-SLR camera. A digital single-lens reflex camera uses a mirror system to direct light through the lens in a matter of milliseconds. Professional photographers often prefer this option as it allows for an accurate preview of framing close to the moment of exposure, meaning they can capture exactly what they want. DSLR cameras have many more features and settings – and even interchangeable lenses.

A standard camera is great for encouraging any budding photographers in the family, and you can even buy shock-proof and water-proof cameras to ensure there are no expensive accidents. To get the kids used to taking pictures, why not buy them a disposable camera each first and see what the results are. You could display their best shots on the walls at home and encourage them to continue to the next digital step.

Of course, today’s cameras with automatic focus and lighting settings make it harder to make photography mistakes. Some also have settings such as red-eye reduction and blink and smile detection to help you get a perfect shot of the family.

Timers also mean you can all get in the picture, rather than always having a family member missing, or having to hassle a random passer-by to take a picture of you all. To avoid shaky or wonky pictures, it’s worth investing in a mini tripod. They don’t cost the earth and take just a few seconds to set up. It also stops you from precariously balancing your camera on a bit of rock while taking pictures on the beach.

Practice makes perfect

To learn how to take great photos, practice is the secret, but posing for a photograph is also always a tough one. Take it from an expert… Supermodel and yummy mummy Elle Macpherson advises: “Have confidence, smile and look smack-bang down the camera.” And for the self-conscious ladies out there, Elle says: “Different body types need to move their bodies in different ways to make them more flattering. So, if you have big hips, turn them away from the camera, stand with your feet profile to the lens, twist your shoulders to the camera and it usually makes your hips look narrower and your shoulders bigger.”

Ok, now that’s sorted, we’ll all look perfect in our snaps… or maybe not. But at least the trying will be fun!

Finally, once you’ve taken your pictures, get a photo printer and display them around your house and in frames. Even better is a digital photo frame, which you can upload your photos onto and it will randomly flick through them so you can have your very own photography exhibition.

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