The weather this summer is going to be beautiful! However, knowing how to take great pictures of your family can be difficult when you have the harsh summer sunshine and awkward shadows to deal with. So, these 10 tips are ideal for taking excellent photos that all your Facebook friends will be jealous of!!

Tip 1: Be the same height as the kids

Get down eye level with your kids. This is really helpful as it creates a huge difference immediately. It also means that your child ends up looking directly into your camera and gives your portraits a professional look and feel to them.You could also try asking them if they can see anything in the camera lens, for example; their eyes, or something shiny they may be wearing. In doing this you are ensuring eye contact.

Tip 2: Use the shade

Remember the shade is your friend! It’s always best to take family portraits in the shade. This is really makes a difference to your photos by preventing any inevitable squinting. It also allows you to escape any unavoidable shadows such as the ones that appear around your eyes, from your eyebrows giving the impression of dark ‘panda’ eyes. Finally, shooting in the shade means you can help prevent over exposure of skin/face. However, if shade is not available, a fantastic tip is to just ask your subject to look off to one side into the distance making your photo less posed – this way, you can get away with dark ‘panda’ eyes. This photo shows exactly what you need to try to avoid!

Tip 3: Candid camera

Don’t always arrange a family portrait and ask everyone to look at the camera and say ‘cheese’! Candid shots are a great way of capturing the family just being themselves. Candid photos of the locals can also make for amazing holiday photographs. This is also a great way of photographing natural expressions and the kids having fun and enjoying new experiences.

Tip 4: Shoot a story

When shooting your photographs, think about what you might do with the final images. Why not take the pictures with an album or photobook in mind and think about what might make a good storyline, taking appropriate photos for each page. But don’t think about it too much –  you’re on holiday to have fun, remember!

When you get back home, don’t hide your holiday pictures away on a hard drive on a computer! Why not have a coffee-table photobook made by a photo lab such as Blurb or Photobox. Shop around for the best option for your budget. All the images can be beautifully printed and kept clean and safe on a bookshelf, ready for your holiday destination to be revisited at any time.

Tip 5: It’s all in the details

Think about photographing a variety of images, so everytime you take a scenic picture to record where you are, zoom in and pick out a little detail – ideal for telling a story, or for using as background images for your album pages. And the best time to take an vertical image is right after taking a horizontal one, and vice versa.

Tip 6: No flash photography here

Switch off your automatic flash! If you are indoors, switch off the flash because your images will be underexposed and dark – you’ll just end up with bright faces without any sense of place. iPhone cameras are pretty clever, so switch off your flash and let it automatically expose your image, but help it out by holding the phone as steady as you can!

Tip 7: Border patrol

When you compose your image, scan your eye around your subject and around the edges and corners of the screen. This prevents the easily-made mistakes of lamp posts appearing from the tops of peoples heads and rubbish bins in a street scene popping into the corner of a great image. Very often, it only needs a step or two or a small adjustment in the direction of your phone to make these annoying things disappear from the photo completely.

Tip 8: How low can you go?

Get creative and shoot from a low level. Think that a photo has a foreground, subject and background. Make the foreground pop out of the image by getting down low and making it part of the intended final image. For example, make cobbled streets part of the image by making them a focal point, giving detail and texture and a sense of location.

Tip 9: Edit some photos

Use Aviary or Google’s amazing free app called Snapseed. Download for your iPhone from the App Store and play around with the settings as much or as little as you like. You’ll be amazed at what you can do to the image that your iPhone captures!

Tip 10: Saving **THE BEST** for last

An often-overlooked function of the iPhone is exposure control. As clever as the iPhone is, the exposure can easily be fooled in dark or bright conditions. So, take a look at the picture you are trying to take on the iPhone’s screen and decide whether it looks too dark or too bright, or just about right. If you need to adjust it, tap on the screen (on the point you want to be in focus) until a yellow square appears. You’ll see that you can slide your finger up and down on the screen which moves a yellow bar to adjust the brightness of the image. Adjust it to suit and you’ll find you can take much better photos in a variety of situations where the iPhone can’t quite get it right for you automatically.