Photography Tips

Capturing Your Summer Memories Like a Boss

Whilst the summer of 2016 may well go down as one of the coolest and wettest we’ve had for a while, there’s no reason not to be out with your camera capturing your summer memories. Whether you’re taking a well-earned break, looking after the kids or making the most of the different dynamic working in the summer brings, there are plenty of opportunities to take gorgeous photos.

Grab your phone

Great pictures are about capturing the moment. Check that your phone is taking pictures at the highest quality and you’ve got room on your memory card – there’s nothing worse than trying to get that perfect shot for the camera not to store it!

Try not to rely on the zoom function of your phone camera – it means using it generally means the image quality will be reduced – which isn’t great if you realise you’d like to have the picture converted to a canvas or blown up as a print. Phones are great for wide landscape shots.

This is the view on the cliff walk from Sennan Cove in Cornwall looking over to Land’s End. We weren’t planning on doing this walk, I had no proper camera kit with me (or indeed proper walking shoes) – it was a phone, car keys and go afternoon. Using my phone meant I could capture a much wider panorama than I would have been able to with my DSLR and although I could edit the image afterwards if I wanted, I’ve left it as it was because it’s what we saw – light and shadows over the sea.

Close-Up Shots

At the other end of the scale, phone cameras are also great for close up shots – remember you can move the focus point around usually a square or [ ] that will change from red to green when you’re in focus. Tapping on the focus point helps the phone know what’s important to you in the photo – have a try before you go out and see what you can achieve!

This was taking on a trip out at National Trust property Mottisfont. I focused on the top bee as it was feeding, so that’s in focus with the flower whilst the background is more blurry.

Grab your camera

If you’ve got the capacity to take your camera on a day out – make sure you’ve checked the basics before you go (charged battery, memory card and spares if necessary, lens cloth etc) and think about what settings you might want to use while you’re out. Remember to make the most of what your camera can do and to move around your subject to get the best image – if you can!

Image Zoom and sports setting at the sea lion show at Whipsnade zoo.

If you’re not confident with your camera settings and are off out with the kids, try setting the camera to your ‘sports’ setting – this will make it much easier to take pictures of them (or anything else that’s moving!) whilst they’re on the go. Some cameras have a ‘beach’ setting too – don’t be surprised if the flash goes using this setting – it helps reduce shadows!

Sports setting meant I could capture the movement of the water and the ball at the Euro Hockey championships at the Queen Elizabeth Park.

Snap Your Summer Memories

Whatever you’re up to, I hope you enjoy capturing your summer memories.

Don’t forget to share this on Twitter, Facebook, and anywhere else you want to – its the perfect time for capturing those special moments.

This post was a guest from Jenny Smith. Jenny has been taking photographs for as long as she can remember and now specialises in taking pictures of the natural world, especially animals. Her photo of a hippo was awarded ‘Highly Commended’ in the ZSL Photography Competition in 2014 and was displayed in installations at both London and Whipsnade Zoos. She was shortlisted again in 2015 and has been shortlisted in two categories in 2016. When not out with her camera, she runs her own business DigitalJen ( providing commercial, creative and digital business services for small businesses – which can include the odd product shoot now and again.