Monday 13 June 2016

Keep Dad in the picture this Father's Day (and win prizes) #FocusOnDad

Personalised photo gifting service Photobox recently got in touch to see if we'd like to take part in a fun father's day challenge. Their recent research has worryingly revealed that UK Dads are missing from family photos across the country because they’re so often the ones taking the pictures. With reasons ranging from their love of gadgets to their embarrassment in front of the camera, Mum features in twice the amount of photos compared to Dad.

To put Dad back in the frame this Father’s Day, PhotoBox is opening a photo studio run entirely by kids for one day only, and everyone has the chance to take part. For the chance to win a free session at the PhotoBox Kids’ Photo Studio on Saturday 25th June, enter the #FocusOnDad competition at

I was actually quite surprised by the findings, because I take a lot more photos than Madhouse Daddy. It must come with the territory when you're a blogger ! However, when it comes to family photos, as expected kids are always stealing the show from Dad and Mum. Half (47%) of photos on display in the nation's homes feature the kids and neither parent - that's definitely true here, although I'd say it's closer to 90% !

Photobox set us the challenge of giving the kids free reign with a camera to immortalise some snaps of dad. Professional photographer and father-of-three Darren Coleshill of Photalife has shared his own top tips for parents who want to help their children take their first steps into photography:

1. Pick the right camera From experience, picking the right camera is key - there’s really no point in getting them an expensive all singing all dancing camera, but equally a disposable camera isn’t right for them either. A simple basic camera with a zoom and importantly a screen is perfect. Even a phone with a camera is fine. Children need to see what they have taken a photo of and this needs to be instant, not a few days later!

2. Holding the camera Before you get them to snap away show them how to hold the camera. If they are using a phone then showing them a grip where they hold it in each corner is normally good. Show them what happens if fingers are in front of the lens. No one enjoys looking through photos where little fingers are in the way. Show them beforehand so they won’t get disappointed when you look back at the photos later.

3. Setting up the photo When getting children interested in taking photos, don’t bombard them with too much information. The best way to start is to tell them to start by getting everything in the centre then they won’t go too far wrong. This is where having a screen is ideal as they can see exactly what they’re taking a photo of.

4. Experiment The beauty of digital photos and smartphones is that you can take endless amounts of photos and it doesn’t matter. If they get a disposable camera then it’s limited to 24 or 36, which is no good. My tip would be to give them a camera on a day out and just let them snap away. You can then look back over them together and pick out their favourites, or work on different ways they can improve.

5. Get Up Close On most cameras there will be some form of zoom, but also explain to them that if something looks too far away then move up to the subject so more of the point of interest is in the photo. This may be easier said then done, but let them find out what they like and what works best for them.

6. Focus on Interesting Things Why are they taking that photo? Once they’ve got the basics of actually taking a photo get them to take photos of interest. What catches their eye? If it was an animal or person get them to focus on that and fill the photo with the thing they found interesting.

So, here's how the Madhouse kids got on - I think they did a great job ! 

I love the way they caught the little puffs of smoke straight after he blew the candles out !

Pierre also had fun practising using the selfie function on my camera. On the first shot, he had his arm in the way of the light.

The second one wasn't properly centred.

But it was definitely a case of third time lucky (even if my smile was starting to look a little forced !)

From then on, there was no stopping him ! I thought he was too young, at age 6 (almost 7), to have his own camera but watching how quickly he picked it all up, I think he'd do a great job of getting candid snaps of our daily life that we wouldn't usually capture on camera.

Which may or may not be a good thing - who wants a photo of mum doing the washing up in a messy kitchen ?!

It's great to focus on capturing happy memories without worrying about setting up the perfect shot though, and that's certainly something that kids are good at.

For a chance to win a free session at the PhotoBox Kids’ Photo Studio on Saturday 25th June, along with thoughtful PhotoBox photo gifts of Dad, enter the #FocusOnDad competition at You can also tell PhotoBox why the special Dad in your life deserves a treat by using #FocusOnDad on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Disclosure : Photobox provided us with a voucher for creating funky personalised gifts with the photos that the kids took.

1 comment:

  1. Is true though alot of males do take the photos this is a good call


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