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September 9, 2014

How to take great family photos with Lumia

It’s easy to snap memorable shots of your children and family — as well as teach kids how to take good photos — with these tips and Windows Phone apps.

We all love to take photos of our family members to record everything from summer vacations, big events such as graduations, to everyday life.

How can you maximize the power of your Lumia smartphone’s camera to take even better photos of your kids and family? What advice should you give your children as they start snapping away with their Lumias?

Here are some tried-and-true photo tips and apps to help you — some of them gleaned from social-savvy folks who recently went on an Alaskan cruise with their families.

Capture candid moments. Posing your kids in a row and asking them to smile at the count of three is fine. But what can be even more captivating are candid photos — taken while they are at play, hanging out with friends or siblings, or just sitting quietly (if that ever happens!).

Here’s a photo taken with a Lumia by blogger Hugh Weber of his daughter, Emerson.


Here’s another terrific photo Hugh took from the trip.


“Wait for the special moments,” said professional photographer Jeremy Cowart, who was on the trip with his wife, Shannon, and their kids, eight-year old Adler and six-year old Eisley.

He also advised to learn at least a little about the Lumia’s many camera settings, such as ISO. A little camera savviness about shutter speed can help you, for example, get better photos of kids while they are in motion.

Snap, snap, snap away. Don’t just take one or two shots of your kids and family — take many. That’s also good advice for your children. That way, you’ll have more choices to find the best shots for your digital photo album.

“Be camera-ready and don’t worry so much about the technical stuff,” said Kim Orlando, a social-media and marketing consultant and the founder of She uses a Lumia 1020 and loves that she can just point and shoot to get terrific photos.

Don’t be afraid to experiment. This also holds true whether you’re a parent or child. Unleash your creativity — don’t worry about ensuring that a photo’s composition is perfect. Try out various camera angles, play around with depth of field, focus, etc.

“The kids took all kinds of photos and used all of the special features at one point or another, including playing with white balance and ISO,” said Kim. “The pictures didn’t always turn out great but it was fun trying new things.”

Here’s a picture Kim took of her daughter, Sophia, at Butchart Gardens in Victoria, British Columbia.


Make photography a game. Once your kids have gotten comfortable taking photos with a Lumia, make photo-taking even more fun and imaginative by creating games and challenges. Have them take photos on various themes, such as “Lines” or “Water.” Or, challenge them to tell a story through pictures.

Take advantage of Windows Phone photo apps to make your pictures pop! Kim’s kids love apps such as Lumia Cinemagraph and Refocus. Jeremy is fond of Lumia Panorama and BLACK, a powerful app that simulates black-and-white analog film.

Here’s a photo taken by Kim’s son, 14-year-old Romano Orlando, with a Lumia 635.


“What’s really fun for me as a parent was just looking at my kids’ photos,” Kim said. “I thought I’d see a lot of selfies. But they focused more on landscapes than I ever thought. They couldn’t get enough of the glaciers!”

Here’s a photo taken by 16-year-old Sophia, also with a Lumia 635:

Using these tips, share some of your photos with us.