Father’s Day Photos Made Easy

by Linda S Posted on June 12, 2010

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One of the most satisfying experiences you can have is completing and printing a photo book full of memorable pictures. With Father’s Day around the corner, let me share the process we went through at ScrappersGuide.com to capture a great set of pictures for our “Blessed With Boys” photo book.

When I thought about who would be a good candidate for a book showcasing fathers, I immediately thought of my friends, Simona and Jamey. They have three of the cutest little boys you ever did see, and Jamey is a devoted father. When I asked if they would work with me on a photo book project, they agreed to let me come over to their home and photograph them.

As the photographer, I needed a plan—a way to approach the photo book. Every cohesive book needs a plan. If you don’t plan, you’ll get an album full of separate pages that may or may not connect. My plan for this one was pretty loose, but it still gave me a way to approach my photography and the book itself.

I used what I like to call the Snapshot approach. This is where you ask yourself: How would I describe this family (or this school, or this vacation, or this house . . .) right now? What could I tell in pictures and words that would give people a snapshot of this family at this moment in time?

I wrote down a few ideas that I thought would be good to photograph: the boys’ room, bicycling, playing T-ball, interacting with Dad, etc.  When I got to Simona’s house, I asked her, “What is typical about your boys right now?” and she gave me some more ideas.

The boys’ ages ranged from almost 2 to 6, so my first job was to help them understand what I was doing. I asked, “Do you like to read picture books?” The answer, of course, was yes, so I asked, “Is it OK if I take your picture so we can make a picture book about you?” That was something they could relate to, and they readily agreed. It would have been even better if I had shown them a prior book I had done of a family with kids, but I didn’t think of that at the time.

I also decided to use one of my favorite tricks to get children to cooperate with a photo shoot. If a child is being shy, I take a picture of a toy of theirs, or of someone else, and then say, “Look at this picture of mommy!” I show them the LCD screen of my camera so they can see the photo.

Then I say, “Would you like to see a picture of you in my camera?” I’ve never had a child refuse. In fact, they will often pose for me or suggest possible poses. Sometimes I have a hard time getting them to stop!

Once we got going, I spent a couple hours with the boys and their dad, taking pictures. To help the mom with journaling, I divided the photos into folders according to subject matter and asked Simona to simply comment on each subject or featured child. She also wrote a letter to her boys about her hopes and dreams for them.

Through the years, as the family looks at this album, it will be a snapshot of their life at this moment in time. What a precious gift to give yourself or someone else!

If you’re interested in creating a book like this, you can find the digital scrapbook templates at ScrappersGuide.com. To use these templates you will need design software like PhotoShop (see more about digital scrapbooking here). If you would like to create a photo book using designs from Shutterfly, they have a wide variety of backgrounds and layouts that are also perfect for telling Dad’s story.

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  1. Joey Says:

    Realy great tips Linda. I like that you asked the boys if they like picture books and if you can photograph them so they can be in a book. Thats a good idea and gives them a good idea of what you are doing. Thats funny about the kids wanting to see pictures in the LCD screen – thats how i know my nieces and nephews are on board is when they see their picture and want to do more. Or they say – thats not really good – lets try again. Sometimes they are fickle and other times they are all for it.
    This inspires me to do a book for my niece and her two lake friends.
    Thanks for the tips.

  2. BarbaraJ Says:

    Love your ideas Linda, I have boys, boys, boys in our family. So this would be a wonder digi- book for me. Thank you for all the suggestions, thank you for the idea.
    bj

  3. LindaSattgast Says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed the ideas, and I hope to see one of YOUR books in the gallery soon!

  4. AnnAbbott Says:

    Kids in action with their dads are always great. My husband loves to cook and he is always letting the kids help. Those are some our families best pictures, mess kitchen, cutting boards and scraps of whatever all over. (Not fun for mom to clean up but great looking back pictures) From pizza to stir fries to cake making, I have all of these and more and they make great looking back moments for photo books.

more about Linda S

Linda Sattgast has been the historian in her family since she was quite young, starting with a daily diary in the 5th grade, so making photo books is a natural extension of that. Today Linda teaches other people how to create digital scrapbooks using Photoshop or Photoshop Elements in her online business, ScrappersGuide.com. She’s been given the title Adobe’s Scrapbooking Expert by Adobe, and she’s a member of Shutterfly’s Scrapbook Advisory Team. “Shutterfly is the perfect partner for digital scrapbookers,” says Linda. “We make our pages in the computer, but the goal for most of us is to get those pages printed and out where people can really enjoy them.” Linda was first drawn to Shutterfly because they were one of the early adopters of book sizes used by scrapbookers, but what has kept her coming back has been their obvious commitment to quality and their willingness to listen to the scrapbook community. Every month Linda’s company creates a new set of themed templates using Shutterfly’s specifications to make it easy to create a fast digital album and have it printed at Shutterfly. Linda has also created a series of short videos on how to use Shutterfly to print a digital scrapbook.

View all articles by Linda S »

  I would recommend this to other readers.