When pets are part of the family

About two years ago, we adopted Roma, our dog. For those who still don’t know, Roma used to belong to the first family that I photographed. Two years ago they went to live abroad and couldn’t take Roma with them. We fell in love with him and since then he has been part of our family too. We usually say that he is a very lucky dog because he has two families. Even though they are far away, every time they come here, Roma gets to spend a few days with them.

In the meantime, Francisco was born. He is now at an age where he crawls everywhere, loves going after Roma and is curious about his toys (he might as well be curious about something less dirty, but naahh…). It’s so cute to see this interaction between the two grow. I’ve been making an effort to register this relationship since the first day we got home with Francisco.

I have been lucky enough to photograph some families with dogs or cats and they are always more than welcome to participate in the session. I love photographing the relationship between the family and their pets, especially the kids. In a documentary session where I spend a day with the family, those moments come very naturally and the photos that result from it are as genuine as they can be.

So, if you have dogs, cats, birds… include them in the session, wether that’s a documentary family session or a more directed one.

Roma with his first family (“Day in the Life” session)
Roma and Francisco
“Evening in the life” session
“Morning in the life” session
“Day in the life” session

Organizing photos on iPhone – my favourite apps

With the birth of Francisco, I started using the iPhone a lot to photograph and film him.

As expected, my photo library got messy very quickly. To find a particular photo, I spent a lot of time scrolling and looking for it.

And when it comes to photography, I really like having things organized. I always try to use apps that are practical and that help me manage the library (the iPhone app photos don’t do a lot of work in that respect).

And there are some apps that I found to be very useful. Here they are:

  • Snapseed:

Actually, I really like the native iPhone app to edit the photos. But snapseed is a very complete tool and very easy to use. For my basic treatment (crop for 3×2 ratio and contrast and temperature adjustment) the native app is more than enough. But if I want something more complex, I use snapseed.

Snapseed is also available for Android and is free.

  • Slidebox:

This app is one of my favorites. This is the app to organize the albums on the iPhone. It lets you add photos to albums or delete them in a very easy and practical way. With it I organized my entire library and deleted hundreds of photos that were only taking up space. This way, in my library, each photo is also in at least one album. The photos in the library without an album are, to me, “unorganized” photos.

This app is free for iOS and Android, but has paid features (like video organization and cloud backup).

  • Photosync:

This app is paid for iOS and free (with advertising) for Android, and is very useful!

With this app it is very easy to transfer photos from the smartphone to the computer, from the computer to the smartphone, between smartphones and beyond. 

Just select the images (we can select all), choose the destination and send. On the computer we choose which folder we want to save the photos in and it works very well!

  • HashPhotos:

This app only exists for iPhone and is a very complete tool to organize the library (it is free, but has paid features). It’s like Slidebox and photosync together, with many other extra things. What I like about this app is that it’s possible to add keywords and description to images and videos. However, if I want to keep that information when I upload the photos to the computer, I have to use this app to upload them. If we use a method other than the app (send to iCloud, for example), that information is lost. 

Despite this limitation, this app is very useful if you like to put keywords and other information in the photo metadata. If you don’t take the organization that far, slidebox is much more practical to organize by albums.

  • IFTTT:

This is not a photo app. It is a tool that allows you to automate some actions of different apps. I mainly use it to back up some albums on the google drive. When adding photos to an album, this app has an applet that takes that photo and copies it to a google drive folder. It’s a very practical and easy way to back up your favorite photos, for example. In addition to this applet, there are others that may also be useful.

This app is free for both systems (iOS and Android).

With these apps, managing photos on your smartphone is much easier. They help me a lot! I hope this post helped you too!

But what about the photos we have from other cameras? How do we organize them on the computer? What about those photos from years and years that accumulate in different folders, external disks and CDs? It gets to a certain point where we want to locate a certain photo and we have no idea what folder it is in, right?

Subscribe to the newsletter and receive some tips that I’m preparing about organization and management of photos that will be out very soon! (Ohhh and there is also a free ebook for you to download).

Fotografar com o iPhone

How to choose your family photographer

Family photography has exploded in the last years. A few years ago, in order to have professional photos of our family, our only choice was to go to a studio for classic family portraits. Nowadays there are so many amazing photographers out there with such varied approaches, that choosing one can be an overwhelming task.

Some photographers rule in the studio and specialize in portraiture, while others prefer to photograph outdoors or at the family home, and some may do both very well.

The important thing is to to know well the photographer’s work, check their portfolio and contact them to clarify any question.


Newborn photography

If you love those beautiful clean portraits of small babies asleep, you should look for newborn photographers. For this kind of sessions, the babies should only be a few days old, because that’s when they sleep more and it becomes easier to pose them. These sessions are laborious and can last 5 or 6 hours. For a photograph, the photographer needs to make the baby asleep, in order to pose him, and that can take a long time. The result are beautiful portraits of your babies.

This approach to baby photography has grown immensely in the last years. There’s a lot of photographers to choose from. Some like to use softer colors while others prefer brighter tones; some use lots of accessories and others prefer cleaner and simpler images.
It is important to check the safety and hygiene conditions offered, visit the studio and ask any questions you might have.


Lifestyle family photography

Lifestyle is a term that’s been used to describe those photo sessions that are known for the lifelikeness the pictures present.
In lifestyle sessions, the best conditions are created in order to get beautiful photos that, at the same time, reflect that lifelike feeling. The photographs have an editorial look, but with real families and instead of models.
The time and place are chosen, as well as the clothes that can be purposely selected for the session. And, during the session, the family is directed and posed to get a better composition and lighting. There is also a lot of interaction between the photographer and families to get authentic expressions and reactions.

familia com criança pequena à frente de uma casa azul

Lots of photographers love to photograph with this approach (me included), and each one has different style in their photographs. Some like their images to be full of light and color, others like them simple and clean and others have a darker and more contrasted look in their work. Some may have a portfolio filled with joyful and loud moments, which certainly makes their sessions very fun. Other photographers may like to photograph more those calm and intimate moments, and are able to get these images because they’re able to make the family very comfortable to do that during the session.

In the short sessions, this is how I approach the session. I love to photograph like this, whether at the family home or outside somewhere special for the family. There is a bit of direction and posing, but my priority is always true moments and expressions. You can check out some examples on the blog. For instance a session with a newborn at home and another of a family outdoors.


Documentary family photography

Documentary family photography is still taking its first steps here in Portugal. There are not many photographers specializing in this type of work.
The purpose of these documentary sessions is to make photographs that truly reflect your family life – your day-to-day, who you are, what you’re feeling, how you relate with one another. So, interference will be minimal, there are absolutely no poses.

It’s the photojournalism approach applied to family photography.

familia na cama no início da manhã

These are usually longer sessions, like, like the “day in the life” sessions that last for a whole day, because it takes time for kids (and grown-ups) to get used to the presence of someone that is there to photograph their day.
The result is very very special. Your kids, when they grow up, are going to love to look at these pictures and relive these moments as kids. Just imagine, you having photographs of your childhood that show the chaos of your family meals, the bath time or even the tantrums because you didn’t want to get to bed.
In the last years I’ve been specializing and gaining experience in this kind of photography. You can check out my portfolio and follow me on instagram for more photographs. If you’d like to book a session or know more, get in touch.

Besides these approaches to family photography, there are many more. From the most beautiful and classic portraits done in the studio with photographers that know exactly how to pose you so that your family looks the best, to more produced sessions where photographers can make the kids dreams and imagination a reality. There’s a lot to choose from and never has been such variety as there is today.

I hope this post has helped you understand what you like more and what best fits your family right now.

How I photographed our baby’s first days

About a month ago we welcomed our baby boy into our lives. These have been very tiring and intense days, but we couldn’t be happier. He’s such a sweet baby and he has been, of course, very photographed since day one.

Since I wanted to document the first days of his life, the camera was one of the things that couldn’t be missing in the maternity bag, along with extra batteries and cards. But the truth is that the camera didn’t leave the bag during the first week. Not even during the first few days at home.
The smartphone was so practical and the image quality it offers was more than enough for these day-to-day photographs. With it I made some of my favorite photos ever (proud mom speaking).

Besides how easy it is to photograph with our phone nowadays, it is awesome to easily edit the photos and share them immediately with family and friends.

But, for those who are wondering, yes, we will also schedule a professional photo session as this is a very special stage of our lives. Having someone we trust to photograph us as we just relax and live the moment is very important and results in different and invaluable photographs.