By EILEEN OGINTZ
That is the inevitable reply when I ask the kids to pose for a family picture during vacation.
We never get that perfect shot, of course, though we have come close a few times – on a glacier in Alaska, crampons on our feet and ice axes in hand, for example. Anyone who has ever traveled with kids knows that no trip is one Kodak moment after another, anyway. But I’m convinced at least a few digital snapshots – in our case with lots of goofy faces – are the best souvenirs to bring home.
That’s easier than ever these days with pocket-size digital cameras so simple to use that technology-savvy kids will declare they’re the official family photographers.
TakeGreatPictures.com can help with tips on getting better vacation shots. The site also highlights interesting photo projects that you can do with the kids, including ways to personalize U.S. postage stamps or turn your favorite vacation shot into a giant puzzle. The Web site, a nonprofit joint venture between photographers and manufacturers, also lists the best cameras to get even young kids snapping away, starting with the Fisher-Price Kid-Tough Digital Camera (roughly $70; www.fisherprice.com), the Disney Pix Max ($80; www.disneyshopping.com) and the HP Photosmart E337 ($79.99; www.hp.com). The HP Home and Home Office store even offers student and teacher discounts on some products. Just register at www.hpshopping.com/student.
Jon Sienkiewicz, a photographer with TakeGreatPictures.com, suggests handing an old digital camera that you no longer use to your youngest photographers. “Set the camera to the lowest resolution so that the files are small,” he suggests. “That way they’re easy to put on the computer and to e-mail.”
If each member of the family has a camera, he continues, each may make his or her own picture story of the trip. “Everything should have a beginning, middle and an end,” says Mr. Sienkiewicz. For example, that might mean a picture of stacked suitcases for the beginning, a favorite site for the middle, and dad asleep for the end. Award prizes for the “shot of the day,” he adds.
Snapfish.com offers more than 100 customizable photographic products, everything from memory books to coasters. You can always purchase a photo printer for all of those holiday cards. They start at well under $100.
Colorado photographer Russ Burden, also a contributor to TakeGreatPictures.com, makes it a point while on vacation to get up early at least once with his teenage son to photograph the sunrise. Ask the kids what they can include with the sunrise, or the sunset, – a building, a bridge, the ocean, each other. “Turn it into a fun event,” he says.
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