family picnic in the park!

019canonfor part II of our series with Canon,  we took the new EOS Rebel SL1 camera Canon kindly let us borrow for a few weeks out to the park for a picnic. lazy summer afternoons where we can enjoy time in the park together as a family is our favorite.

something we like to do when we take the camera out as a family is step back and take a few photos of our surroundings. while photographing the family as my main subject is what i enjoy most, taking photos of where we are helps put things in perspective.  zooming in and capturing all the little details that make up our afternoon together is important too.  as time passes and i look back at photos from a particular day or event, it tells more of a story. and reminds me more of what took place on that day in addition to what is in the pictures.

a great tip i heard many years ago about composing a shot using the rule of thirds has always stuck with me. this means you basically imagine breaking down the image into evenly spaced thirds (both vertically and horizontally) so that there are nine sections.  with this grid of sections in mind, you then place your subject near where those imaginary lines intersect as you take your photo.  i have noticed the photos that really draw me in as an on-looker are the ones where the subject really pops, and that usually means the photo is well balanced by having the subject off center, where the rule of thirds comes into play.

below, a few photos from our picnic in central park!


^^^apparently we weren’t the only ones who had the idea to picnic in the park.^^^



what tips or tricks have you found helpful when taking photos?

canon-red-logo-lovetaza*this post is sponsored by Canon. as always, thank you for reading our blog, and thanks for supporting our sponsors!

  1. Sinead

    Gorgeous pics! Looks like a fun day :-)

  2. MarthaB

    You are beautifull! everybody!

    greatings from Poland!

  3. Damaris

    Lovely colors and details!

    Another tip I have also found helpful composing portraits is that when it is not a close-up, I try to leave enough air on top of the subject.


  4. Rebecca

    Stunning photography too!

  5. Flora

    Great photos! I like your rule of thirds idea – I bought an slr camera a few days ago so I’m taking it out to the park later. I have a lot to learn so it’s good to have learned a few tips already!


  6. Peg

    so beautiful…you, your family…your city…a lovely space you have created!

    a fun thing i do with my camera is sometimes i will hold it at my hip level…so i’m not looking through the lens…and then i click away…it’s a different perspective…i guess it’s almost a child’s height perspective…anyway, i always seem to find some great shots. hooray…that’s my little tip.


    • TAZA

      would never think of that! will have to try it!

  7. the colors are just great…..beautiful pictures of central park on a sunny day…love your yellow stripes tee !!!!

  8. Be

    Such a lovely Family picnic! :D
    I love your blanket from where is it? It’s so beautiful!

  9. R

    So lovely day! I adore picnics, they are so relaxing and fun. One tip when capturing little kids is kneeling. It is fun to see the world from down there at times :)

  10. Whitney

    I would love to try out the other canon cameras! Great images captured dear.

  11. I like your advice about the rule of thirds. That’s a great tip. I’ve never heard it before but after reading it on your post I went back to some of my favorite photos and realized that its very true. I think I”m going to keep it in mind in the future. Thanks for sharing!

  12. The “thirds “is such a helpful suggestion! I will be sure to keep this in mind next time I whip out my camera :) great photos in this post!

  13. JM

    Lovely pics. We are planning on having a picnic at the weekend if the weather stays nice. Hopefully it will. Interesting reading your photography tips, please post more :)

  14. Ana

    Beautiful pictures, I love the colors, do you edit them and if so what program do you use?

    • TAZA

      thanks! i lift the colors (for more vibrant coloring) in photoshop.

  15. Cinthya

    Hello Naomi! New here! I’ve been exploring your blog the last few days and can’t believe how many tips/ideas I’ve gotten here in a short while. Congrats on everything. Your little ones are beautiful. Love how you’re documenting their lives. I have a 1.5 year old and I’ve been enjoying doing the same.

    Photography is a hobby I love and I appreciate all your tips. I have one quick question — you must have a gozillion pictures, where do you store them? Any ideas/suggestions?? Any filing methods/techniques?

    Thanks and best to all :)

    • TAZA

      i have a couple of hard drives. i always upload them directly to the hard drive via aperture and file them away by date. i don’t store anything on my computer really just for the sake of space. i also back up my smaller hard drives with a big hard drive. i once lost all of my photos, videos, college papers….everything when my computer crashed in college and learned the hard way to always back up everything, twice. :)

  16. Alanna @Toronto Mama

    Love Samson’s little hand with the strawberry in the one picture. Great shots. The colours are really saturated. They look great.

  17. JessiKa

    Cute pictures (as always)! Where did you get your watermelon iPhone case? Super adorbs.

  18. Angie

    Beautiful photos! I’m searching for a cute tee, yours is darling. Will you share where you found it?

  19. Ashley

    Gorgeous shots (as usual!) Thanks for the tips!

  20. Sarah

    One of my tricks I learned (which I’m sure every good photographer already knows lol) is always shoot for the eyes, especially when you have a really shallow depth of field. I used to get blurry eyes and really clear noses and lips in my photos but if the eyes are clear, everything else in the photo falls into place.

    i love Samason offering up strawberries ;)

    • TAZA

      that’s a great tip!

  21. Adorable as always!!

    are you still using the 50mm with this series like the last or were you using the rebel kit lens?

    • TAZA

      yes this was all with the 50mm lens!

  22. You make living in the city look so completely fun and doable and perfect!

    I would LOVE to be able to live IN DC instead of NoVa, but it’s so dang expensive…especially for a family of 5!

  23. naomi, do you mind sharing where you got the iphone case?

    • TAZA

      from society 6!

  24. These are such lovely photos! The rule of thirds has really stuck with me as well. One of the most helpful photo tips there is!

    Juliette Laura

  25. I’m a huge fan of the rule of thirds! I love what you said about taking a more general shot of the surroundings as well – it’s great to have a context to look back on!

  26. Heather

    I enjoy your posts and pictures as always. Just curious, how do you like the new canon camera? Is it easier to carry around since it is lighter and smaller? Or do still prefer your old one?


    • TAZA

      it’s definitely a lot easier to haul around since it’s so light and tiny. and holding it is more fun, if that makes sense? i sent it back yesterday and it made me a little bit sad. ;) but my own canon rebel and i have been through so much together, i have a soft spot for it just because i love it so.

  27. Marie

    I’ll definitely try the rule of thirds the next time I snap a photo! Cute family photos btw :)

    Our family adventures:

  28. hanna

    All the photos you’ve taken are fantastic. Hanna

  29. Oooh…the colors in these photos!! They’re so crisp & gorgeous – what an awesome camera (and awesome day, too!). :)

  30. Talia

    where is your cute iPhone case from? love it!

    • TAZA

      thank you. it’s from society 6!

  31. Heidi

    I LOVE your nail polish color! Can you share the name/brand please? Thanks!!!

    • TAZA

      oh gosh i don’t remember! sorry!

  32. awesome photos Taza! that park and all those people make me want to picnic right now!

  33. Karen

    I love your photography tips, and your family is adorable as always!Something I like to do, and that you do perfectly, is wait for interaction between the people you’re photographing, rather than have them smile at the camera. It makes for so much better portraits with tons of emotion!

    • TAZA

      i so agree! this is coming in my final canon post for the series!

  34. taza! if you like fage yogurt…next time you see NOOSA yoghurt, GRAB IT!! (and no…i do not work for noosa…i just love spreading the word, cuz that’s how i found out about it.) YUM!! you’ll be licking the container clean – honest!

  35. Sarina

    Gorgeous photos of a gorgeous family!

    I’m wondering where your picnic blanket is from, it’s awesome!

    • TAZA

      thanks! i bought it from kate spade saturday online!

  36. Lindsay

    Love your blog. Your pictures. Your stories. Beautiful and well written. Inspiring.

    Please check out my blog, The Urquharts

  37. Ah! I love the photo tips! It is always interesting to see what people have in mind while they are snapping their pictures. Even just pictures of an every day picnic pictures can be artistically taken!
    You are so talented!
    Leah Faye
    e plus l

  38. Kelly

    I love how cute Josh is with the littles and I learned the rule of thirds for photography when I was in high school but thank you for the reminder that I should still keep it in mind!

    Sparkles and Shoes

  39. Shannon

    Loving these photography post of yours! Your last one was really helpful for me so I can’t wait to put these to good use!


  40. Meagan

    Lovely pictures! Love your phone case! :)

  41. Lovely pictures and lovely family you have there.

    I have a canon DSLR but have only used her in Auto mode!

    Going to start exploring and learn from the tips available! Thanks naomi!

    Hola from sunny KL

  42. I can’t believe how packed the park is! Would’ve never thought just by looking at the family pictures!
    Also can’t wait for it to warm up here in Germany so we can break out the new picnic blanket and have our little 7-month-old play in the grass!Jealous of your weather! ;)

  43. Mónica

    I’m learning to use a reflex Cannon thanks for the advice of dividing the image into 9 parts’ll try … The photos with their parents are very, very tender. Kisses and happy weekend.

  44. Emily

    Thanks for the helpful hints! i will be sure to try that next time. Looks like you guys had a good time!

  45. Marisa

    I would to start shooting in manual mode but am so afraid! Can you recommend any internet sources for tutorials on using manual mode? Thanks!

  46. emily

    love your nails..most ppl rocked the rounded. happy to see someone else with the squared!

  47. I am looking into buying a new camers soon, which do you prefer? The SL1 or your older one??

  48. DRAMA

    Lovely photos!!!

  49. Heirat

    How do you manage to stay sooo clean with two littles and strawberries around? I would be covered with pink handprints allover… :-)

  50. Natasha

    Hi there, I’ve been reading your blog for a while now as a youg photographer starting out, and I adore all you posts with all the pictures! It’s exactly what I imagine doing as I grow up, taking pictures of everything and documenting these moments so they’ll neve the forgotten. But how do you do it? Does your family not get annoyed at all the photos, or don’t you feel like sometimes you miss out on actually being there and enjoying the moment because your hidden behind the camera? Just a couple of questions I had, because I wish I could do the same as you (:

  51. Lydia

    *Melting* .. Would love to see how you’re editing the pictures – the colors are always so bright and nice (:

    – L

  52. Lexie

    Adorable as always!
    Would you please share where your yellow striped tee is from?

  53. Keisha

    I have been noticing the cute red watch you have been sporting lately, never a clear picture of it in your posts though! I love how bold it is–being all read. Where is it from? Thanks! :)

  54. Sevilay

    Hello Naomi!im one of your followers from Turkey.Could U tell me that Which model Canon camera and lens You use? İ need a good one lime yours pls help me.
    Also i wonder Which program you use on vimeo while making short films?
    İ love you and your nice family.really great pictures you have.
    Kisses from Turkey. B’ye for now :)

  55. Sevilay

    Hello Naomi!im one of your followers from Turkey.Could U tell me that Which model Canon camera and lens You use? İ need a good one like yours pls help me.
    İ love you and your nice family.really great pictures you have.
    Kisses from Turkey. B’ye for now :)

  56. KC

    aaah, I miss Central Park. I got engaged there, while living there and studying design school. Oh NY…

    Cheers! from,

  57. Rachel Hagen

    Beautiful pictures and beautiful family. You’ve inspired me to take my camera out more. The iphone is so nice and handy, and takes pretty god pictures; but these just made we want to capture them even better. Lovely.

  58. Pingback: What’s in a Blanket? | Alfresco Persuasion