Your Family in Pictures by Me Ra Koh
“The parents’ guide to photographing holidays, family portraits, and everyday life”
I feel like this is a decent “introduction to photography” type of book for those who do not know much about photography but want to learn. There are some lighting, posing, and composition tips that any new photographer, regardless of age or parental status, would benefit from knowing and experimenting with on their own. As a photographer, this book is basically a condensed version of things I already know. I was hoping for some tips or tricks I had not already learned or picked up on, but there really weren’t any. I do not agree with every piece of advice the author gives but that’s ok – photography is an art and we all like different things, my opinion on certain things just happens to be different from the author’s. Simply a matter of different styles and preferences.
I do like that she covered a lot of the bases of basic photography, however again this is done in a very “introduction” kind of way. If you are serious about photography this book will help you out a little, but you’ll need some more true study books if you want to learn in-depth about how cameras work and how to utilize different settings. I felt like many tips would be more beneficial when taking your family for a photo shoot with a professional photographer rather than the book’s intended DIY family photo shoots.
There are a lot of lovely photographs included in the book, with captions sharing the settings used to create the photo. This can be helpful to new photographers to get an idea of the different effects different settings can create, but experience is the best teacher.
I did NOT like that the author encouraged readers to buy the more expensive equipment on the market. Yes, you often get what you pay for and if you can, going with a higher end option might be a better investment. But I felt she was implying that if you want truly great photos you NEED more expensive equipment, and this simply is not true. Not everyone has the budget for $1500 lenses and $800+ camera bodies, and some may have the budget but simply do not wish to invest that much in cameras. If you’re looking to make a career of photography you might want to work your way up to that level of equipment (or you might not) but for a book that is meant to help show parents how to best capture their family’s special moments with a camera, suggesting that less expensive equipment will not yield desirable results is ridiculous. Many families live on limited budgets that likely will not allow for such a grand investment for camera equipment. Also, many of the more expensive options include features many families will not truly need. 18+mp digital cameras are not necessary for most “momarazzi” type folks who simply want to make the most of the photos they take of their families from time to time but they are not interested in taking up photography even as a serious hobby, and will only result in unnecessarily large files taking up too much space on their computer. There is such a thing as having “too much camera” for your needs and experience level, and more expensive does not always equate better quality or guarantee more pleasing results.
Overall, this is a nice “getting started” guide to photography in general, not necessarily the in-depth parent photographer lesson book it is promoted as. If you are totally new to photography you might want to add this as a supplement to a purchase of some lesson books that really teach you about photography, but you wouldn’t really miss anything by not getting this book. If you’re already pretty well versed in photography, you won’t likely learn anything new from it. It strikes me as basically a compilation of the author’s personal favorite methods more than a teaching book.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.