We’re in the middle of festival season and with the sun set to shine this weekend, there’s simply no reason to stay home. Whether it’s to practice your photographic skills or just because you love taking pictures, here are some festival photography tips to capture all that magic!
1. Do your research
Before the festival, go online and read about the festival’s line-up, what the weather will be like, and while you’re at it, view some great festival photography for inspiration! It doesn’t hurt, and you just might pick up some new ideas!
2. Get there early
Being early means you’ll familiarise yourself with the surroundings and ease into the festival environment. This is a great moment to capture the build up to all the excitement. Take pictures of people laughing, getting ready, and setting up stages.
3. Check your camera’s setting
More often than not many of us overlook adjusting the camera’s settings to take different pictures, especially when things start to get exciting! But adjusting settings to fit a particular situation can make a big difference, like adjusting your camera’s shutter speed to capture movement.
During the day, set your camera on the S mode (showing as ‘S’ on Nikon camera mode dials and ‘Tv’ on Canon cameras). This adjusts the shutter speed to help you freeze motion or induce a trail in movement. In the evening, go for the M mode to take cool pictures using the light around you. The M mode is difficult, so only use it if you can handle your camera well.
Remember to go easy on the flash. Avoid using it if you’re taking a picture of something in the distance whilst in a crowd as this overexposes the people around you while decreasing your subject’s visibility.
4. Get the best shots
Your subjects – Festivals bring out the creative side in us all so take photos of spectators as well as performers. Stay alert and take pictures of things that catch your eye: expressive masks, t-shirts with bold statements printed on them, dressed up pets, surprising objects…. there’s a lot to capture. Take photos of heightened emotion and when things are calmer. Zoom out and take macro shots of crowds and zoom in to capture details. Then bring it all together in a photo book!
Your position – Bear in mind that the scene before you changes rapidly so there’s no reason to spend the whole event moving (unless you want to)! By keeping still you’ll be able to anticipate and take pictures of the action unfolding before you. If you wish to move around then don’t let all that action prevent you from varying your position. Changing your vantage point can help you take more interesting photos (e.g. getting a little higher than the crowd or shooting from low angles).
5. Don’t be afraid
Yes, approaching strangers to take a photo can be quite daunting. But remember, at the height of the festival, people usually feel uninhibited and won’t mind having their picture taken. Remember, the photos you take are a reflection of the photographer, so relax, smile, and take a picture. The results will keep you smiling long after the festival is over.
When we realised that everyone wanted to make gorgeous photo books at half the time it takes to create them we knew it was time to put our thinking caps on.
So our designers and software experts got together and after weeks of hard work, a set of beautifully created pre-designed photo books was launched!
Premium photo books for every occasion
With pre-deisgned books, anyone can now create professionally designed photo books within minutes!
Each book starts with 24 pages, includes a photo cover and is printed in the Landscape L format. Each one brings together exclusively created backgrounds, clip art and text labels in coordinated styles that suit any occasion – the only element missing are your photos.
In our previous blog we gave you a glimpse of the ‘Wood letterpress’ pre-design. Here are a few more examples of the pre-designs you’ll find in our gallery.
This is a two-page sample of the ‘Modern city trip’ pre-design found under the Travel theme. Add notes in text boxes provided about the places you visited during your city trip.
Here’s a preview of the ‘I love animals’ pre-design. It’s ideal for pictures of the kids. Find it under the Children theme
Good news for all food enthusiasts! Here’s a gorgeous two-page sample of the ‘Clean-cut cookbook’ pre-design. Available under the Modern theme
Exquisitely created with intricate fonts and designs, the ‘Elegant flowers’ pre-design is just one option for your wedding photos. Head to the Wedding theme to find more.
Ready to give it a go?
Before you start, it’s always a good idea to save the photos you intend to use in a separate folder on your desktop. Once that’s sorted, simply head to the pre-design gallery to view all available designs.
After you’ve decided on your favourite, click ‘Pick this theme’ and you’ll be directed to the online creator tool. Your selected design will be ready and waiting for your photos, memories and stories.
Year in, year out, it never changes. The intention to give meaningful gifts is there, but finding the right one is rarely a quick matter and being short of time, we settle for the quick pick.
And now with Father’s Day fast approaching (16 June), it’s time to start looking once again. Will it be any different this time? We think… YES!
If you’re reading this in good time and you’re looking for a gift idea for dad with a guaranteed wow-factor, something that’s quick to get, yet meaningful, then you’re in luck! We’ve just launched our brand new range of pre-designed photo books and it definitely ticks all the boxes!
What are pre-designed books? They are professionally designed photo albums with beautifully created design elements tailored to suit a broad range of styles and occasions. All you need to do is add his favourite pics to any pre-designed photo book and you’re set.
What’s more, it’s nice and quick! You won’t have to spend time over all the creative bits and bobs as that’s all been done for you. Just add photos of everything your dad loves and let the design do the rest.
For instance, pick the ‘Wood Letterpress’ pre-design photo book and add photos of the first day he became a dad.
Also include photos that show why he’s the best dad in the world.
And get the little ones to help create dad’s gift too! Pick their favourite photo of dad, get them to add a little note then add it all to the pages.
Of course, this is just a tiny peek of what’s possible and if you like this idea, go to the pre-design gallery, pick the design you think he’d like, add your pics and place your order before midnight on 9 June to receive your gift in time for Father’s Day.
All pre-designed books include a photo cover and are printed in the Landscape L format – a popular choice of our customers! See how it works or head straight to the pre-design gallery
No matter which one you pick, you’re sure to give dad a Father’s Day gift he’ll never forget!
We’ve just updated our offline creator tool for both Windows and Mac programs. What’s more, we used your suggestions and ideas to do it! You’ll find all the new features, improvements and changes listed below. Click on each update to learn more.
Windows people, here are your updates (version 7.5)
Photo book creator tool version 7.5 for Windows – what’s new ?
1. Create your photo book from a storyboard using the ‘Autofill’ option
If you create your book using the ‘Autofill’ option, you’ll now be directed to a storyboard. This is a one-page overview of all your photo book pages. From there, you can add your photos in chronological order. You’ll also be able to switch easily between creating your photo book storyline and editing individual pages wherever needed.
2. The shadow feature has improved!
Now you can apply the shadow effect without reducing the size of your photo. In the previous version, applying a shadow effect would fall within the green frame, which made your photo shrink in size. Now that the shadow appears outside the green frame, the size of your photo will remain unaltered.
Left: old version. Right: new version.
3. The rotate feature has improved too!
In the previous update (version 7.4) we had improved the rotation process to allow photo rotation without altering its size. With this update, we’ve made it even better. You can now zoom in and shift the photo from left to right to the photo you’ve just rotated! This tool can give your photos a completely different look.
Left: old version. Right: new version.
4. New feature! You now have a place to save your photo cover
With creator tool version 7.5 you can save your photo cover layout, along with the layout of your photo book pages. Once you’ve created your photo book cover, save the design by right clicking on the cover, click through ‘Layout’ > ‘Save layout’. To find a cover layout you’ve saved, click on the ‘Page’ tab, then click on ‘Layout’ and use the drop down menu to find your photo cover layout you’d saved.
5. Yes, we’ve had to kill the ‘Google’ images tab
You’ll now see that the Google tab (which used to be above your folder navigation area on the left side of your screen) is no longer there. But worry not! It’s still very easy to add images you find online. First save the image to a folder on your computer. Then, start your creator tool, look for the folder containing the image you’d saved in the folder navigation area, then drag and drop it as you would your own photos.
Photo book creator tool version 2.0 for Macs – what’s new?
1. Now you can fill your photo book with clip art
Along with frames, backgrounds and photo masks, you now have a wide variety of clip art to add to your photo book. To find this option, just click the ‘Assets’ button in your tool bar. Remember, as this is a new feature, you’ll need to add your clip art to your Layout & Design library by clicking ‘download’. Want to see what’s in store? View our clip art collection
2. Add shadow without altering photo size
In the previous version, applying shadow would fall within the green frame, which made your photo shrink in size. Now that the shadow appears outside the green frame, the size of your photo will remain unaltered.
Left: old version. Right: new version.
When you start your creator tool, you’ll be requested to update to version 7.5. Once you’ve done this, you’ll get to benefit from these improvements!
The moment we saw this wonderfully created photo book of designs, we knew we had to share it. The book was created by a talented young lady by the name of Candy Joyce and we’re delighted she chose Albelli Photo books to showcase her talent!
Candy first discovered her creativity when using the family’s first PC to create “weird and wonderful drawings” at the tender age of 8. Over time, her drawings turned into designs that developed into a style she now describes as “contemporary and quirky [with] a kind of bold elegance”.
…and we love it so we asked Candy where she draws her inspiration from. “I am drawn to geometric shapes, patterns in nature and the beauty inherent in mathematical formulas, if the names Sierpinski, Fibonacci or Pythagoras mean anything to you then you will understand where I am coming from (although I might struggle to explain much of the actual mathematics to you.”
In June 2010, Candy discovered Surface design and was hooked! She sold her first designs in February 2011 and won a Tigerprint competition in January 2013 for her Spots and Stripes design.
Gaining a BA in Menswear Fashion and working briefly as a freelance Fashion photographer/dress maker has not appeased the talented Candy. She is now keen to exchange her day job for a full time career as a Surface designer and we definitely hope she succeeds!
Candy’s designs are simply a pleasure to look at. The word ‘eye candy’ comes to mind. Flick through her book below to view her best creations.
Candy kept it simple when creating this book. Rather than add design elements, she focused on being creative with the layout alone, using a combination of layout design features under the ’Product’, ‘Design’ and ‘Page’ tabs of Albelli’s creator tool.
Creating the book gave Candy a chance to see how her style developed over the years, inspiring her to create even better designs. She also plans to create one photo book a year, the next of which, she hinted, will be an Alphabet book.
“It is the start of a collection that will take pride of place on my bookshelf,” – as well as in our blog Candy!
For more of Candy’s designs, you can visit her shop
Say hello to what is arguably one of the most versatile design options in your photo book creator: the Mask! Ever used it before? You should. It’s the easiest way to create designs for your photo book that are bold, creative and fun.
To show you what we mean, let’s take a look at what the Mosaic mask design can do for you.
First create a folder with a collection of photos you wish to use across two pages in your photo book. The collection should contain one photo, which you’ll use as a background. It’s usually a good idea to pick one that’s thematic. In our example spread above, we picked a photo of Easter eggs for a photo book about Easter holiday.
Once you’re done, start your creator tool and use the photo navigation on the left to select your chosen background photo. To add it as a background, click on the photo, then head to the menu bar above and click the ‘Insert’ tab then the ‘As background’ button (as seen in the image below). This will add your photo as a background on one page.
The next step is to apply the Mosaic mask over the background. Head to the menu bar, click the ‘Mask’ option and use the drop down menu to select the Mosaic design element you wish to use, and click ‘Apply’. In our example, we opted for the one circled in green below. If you can’t find the Mosaic mask options, click ‘Download’ to add them.
Now just let your imagination take over! Use the ‘White’ colour clip art (circled in green below) to decide where you’d like to add photos and notes over your newly created layout. By the way, clip art is now available for Mac users as well!
Complete the pages by simply inserting photos and notes wherever you like. To align your photos correctly, use the red grid lines that appear when clicking on a photo and holding down the mouse button.
Are you a Mac user? Then these steps are slightly different for you. The photo book creator tool for Macs will look more like this and you’ll find the Mosaic mask option under ‘Assets’ button (top-right corner) > ‘Masks’ > ‘Mosaic’.
As if trying to take a great shot of one person isn’t difficult enough, imagine a group of restless, chatty friends! Yep, photographing groups is no easy task, which is why we thought it a good idea to share these 7 tips for taking better group photos.
1. Be creative when composing
Allow variation in height and avoid perfect alignment (yawn). Let everyone settle down in different ways. Make use of chairs, walls or the stairway for creative composition.
2. Zoom in sometimes
You don’t have to capture the group from head to toe all the time. As they chat away, zoom in to capture faces, feet, or hands. This will help you capture something unique about your group.
3. Make sure every face is visible
Get everyone to gather together closely as this increases the chance that each face will be captured.
4. Take photos from different angles
Stand on a chair (useful with large groups) or take a photograph from ground level. You can also take a photo at a wide angle, which can bring interesting results.
5. Take the group outside
There are three good reasons to go outside. Firstly, the exposure to light is better. Second, there’s a wide variety of backdrop options to chose from. Lastly, having more space to create distance between your group and the backdrop allows you to use depth to fade out the background.
6. Take multiple shots
The more you shoot, the more relaxed your group will be and the higher the chance of capturing great pics.
7. Timing is everything
Observe your group to know exactly when to press the shutter release button. Each group is different but there’s always one moment that’s perfect to start taking pictures – pay attention and take the time to find it.
8. Smile and make sure it’s FUN!
This is the most important tip! Group photos can easily become stressful, which delivers unfavourable results. So smile, crack a joke, and get your group to be at ease before you start snapping away.
It’s a familiar scenario: everyone’s everywhere and suddenly someone calls your name and SNAP!…Your picture has been taken.
Then there’s that moment of helplessness. Yet another unbecoming photo of you is in the hands of someone else.
If you’re nodding your head at this scenario then you’re in luck! You can become photogenic and kiss your camera blues goodbye with any one of these tips.
1. Determine your best angles
Yes, no one’s perfect. But everyone has a posture that produces attractive shots. Experiment with your mobile phone camera to find yours.
2. Try not to look directly at the camera
The camera can make you feel self conscious. Avoid it and you’ll look and feel calm and natural and that brings great results!
3. Lean slightly toward the camera
Achieve a slimmer you by leaning into the camera, at a slight angle. A bit difficult to do but it works!
4. Reduce the risk of double chins
Relax your shoulders by tilting your head up slightly. Hunched shoulders will ruin a photo quicker than bad lighting.
5. Accentuate your curves
The problem is the absence of curves. Create a little space between your arms and your body to accentuate your waist and hip.
6. Always position yourself at an angel
Stand at an angle. Avoid facing the camera dead on. Rule of thirds applies here.
7. Group photo tip
Ah, group photos. As unappealing as this sounds, it’s never a good idea to lean or slouch in a group shot. But if affection matters more to you, skip this tip.
8. Think of someone you love
If smiling at the camera is difficult for you, just think of the ones you love the most – you’ll be smiling beautifully before you hear CHEESE!
9. Curb your enthusiasm
This tip is for the bubbly and animated among you. When a camera comes out, focus on holding one expression still until the camera is put away.
10. When in doubt, opt for the half smile
Smile… calmly. This leaves fewer angles for the camera to mess around with. Like this tip? Then it’s time to look for that mirror and practice.
11. Be Confident
Huh? Confident? Yes, as contradicting as this is, it is one of the most effective tips for an attractive shot. So abandon all your cares and just think ‘I am a goddess’ when facing the camera. The result will speak for itself.
12. Look for the right light
If you feel that you don’t look good on a photo, it’s usually because of the lighting. Early morning or late afternoon light produces the best results so aim for those times when your photo is to be taken.
13. If you have a big nose…
…that’s ever evident on your photos then worry not! Here’s a tip to the rescue. Position yourself at an angle that creates minimal shadows and minimal angles. Looking at the camera straight on often does the trick!
14. Never allow the camera to be lower than you
This is a no brainier. Beware of those creeping cameras below your nose.
15. If all else fails – ignore the camera
Relax! It’s key when being photographed as you won’t make those sudden jerky movements, which deliver less-than-ideal results.
16. Avoid the clueless photographer
Nothing worse than a photographer who doesn’t know how to take great photographs no matter the subject.
17. Practice makes perfect
Allow everyone to take your photograph often. The more you get used to it the more comfortable you’ll be and the better results you’ll get. Plus, there’s the added bonus of knowing what angles work best for you!
All tips are taken from Natalie’s blog post which debunks the myth that being photogenic is just for the lucky few.
In 2 weeks and 3 days it’ll be Mother’s Day. Yes, (nodding head) Mothering Sunday has come early this year (10 March) and we hope this doesn’t come as a surprise.
Admittedly, not many remember to get Mum something special for Mother’s Day. In fact, as many as one in five Brits confess to missing it, blaming it on distance, work commitments, etc.
And what gifts do UK Mums tend to receive? Chocolates, flowers and greeting cards tend to be the usual suspects.
Well, we definitely think you can do a whole lot better by giving her a unique photo gift instead. No travel involved, no stress either. In fact, creating photo gifts is quite fun.
What’s more, photo gifts last longer, are more meaningful and offer many ways to express how much you appreciate and love your mother.
With the same time it takes to order her flowers (yawn) you can create and order a beautiful canvas or acrylic print for her instead.
Or spend just a bit more time and effort and celebrate her life in a photo book. Pack all the things she loves in it: her kids, achievements, hobbies, and talents! Get a closer look at your photo book creative options to make it the best gift ever. Surely, for someone so important, just a little more effort is called for.
Check out our ideas of different Mother’s Day photo gifts and get started. The sooner the better as taking your time creating your gift not only brings the best results, but ensures that your gift arrives in time for Mother’s Day.
PS: Bare in mind that the last day to order for Mother’s Day is 28 February
Valentine’s Day – it’s simply unavoidable when February comes around. And one can almost feel the collective holding of breath and beating hearts… well, almost.
Whether we do so secretly or openly, February is a time for everyone to celebrate the relationships we treasure. Gone are the days when Valentine’s Day was to be enjoyed by couples alone. These days, just about anyone who’s dear to your heart, for whatever reason, can be your Valentine.
So this year, why not forget the usual flowers and candy and give a gift that’s more meaningful? Like a photo gift you created! Taking the effort to create a gift definitely speaks for itself: creating one with your photos and memories makes it even better.
View our list of beautiful photo gift ideas and get some ideas of what you can create for V Day. All of these ideas hold all the emotion and love you can muster, some won’t break the bank and just take minutes to create online or on your desktop