How to take family photos in your hotel room

By Nadia Sheng,

Ginette Chittick may be a household name for you if you’re fans of Singaporen shoegaze band Astreal. If it ain’t, then a quick behind-the-scenes into Ginette’s household ought to do the trick. Ginette’s love of motherhood is written all over her family photos, particularly her holiday snaps. A proponent of IVF, Ginette, her daughter Luella, and husband Shawn are enjoying holidaying as family given Luella is now the ripe old travel-friendly age of 2.

In this article Ginette runs us through:

  1. Choosing the hotel
  2. Taking the photos
  3. Equipment list
  4. Using the photos
  5. Recommended hotels

1. Choosing the hotel

  • Practicalities outweigh aesthetics every time for parents when it comes to picking a hotel. Hotels that offer baby-food are a must for Ginette who’s in love with Bali’s Alila Seminyak as they custom-make baby-food for guests!
  • When you have the practicalities sorted, look for a room with clean modern lines that isn’t cluttered with decor. If you’ve been magically gifted a rocking fashion sense like Ginette, and have a child that is better dressed that adults, then a minimally decorated room is the best canvas in which to capture your family’s dynamic.
  • The nature surrounding resorts is great for taking photos in compared to standard, building block hotels.

2. Taking the photos

  • Speaking of style, dress your child in clothes that allow for movement –Ginette dresses her daughter in what’s age appropriate (till she’s 21 if Ginette can get away with it) and that entails comfortable clothes that allow her skin to breathe.

  • Make room on your phone – kids move so much, it’s almost impossible to tell them to be still and smile! Just snap a million frames a second!
  • Use “real props” such as beach floats – packing for a baby/toddler for a holiday is already enough of a headache, so don’t add props to the list. Baby sunglasses and cute beach outfits are fun, colourful and do the job!

  • Establish a habit of capturing the spirit of the moment – whether or not they’re Instagram-worthy, Ginette wants to be sure to capture beautiful moments with her family to be able to remember them.
  • On the other hand, make sure you’re not always on your phone – while you may miss capturing some touching scenes on camera, you’ll gain the higher pleasure of being right there and then in the moment.

  • Instagram stories are fun and crowd pleasers – Ginette’s friends anticipate stories of her daughter and tell her to hurry up back to Singapore whenever she’s abroad because they only want to watch Instagram stories of Luella – “they’re not interested in anything else, not even Amsterdam’s beautiful canals”, Ginette adds.

  • Unlike Priscilla’s collaborations for her couples photos, Ginette takes all her family photos herself – when it comes to intimate family moments, it’s unreal for Ginette to fathom anyone else taking the photos.
  • Like Priscilla, Ginette plays music in the background – This Must Be The Place from Talking Heads, to be exact!
  • Get to love the flip side of a beautifully captured photo a.k.a. an “unplanned” Kodak moment – keep viewers on their toes with your family’s funnier moments. Don’t delete the goofy photos where no one is looking at the camera – they’re gold! Parents obsessed with capturing perfect moments should try this – there’s no such thing as a perfect family anyway!

After the shoot

  • VSCO and Hipstamatic are apps Ginette uses for to edit her photos. She uses 8mm for videos. 

3. Equipment list

  •  iPhone 7S Plus – the only piece of equipment our shoegaze rocker mum uses. She loves the Bokeh Portrait Mode.
  • Moment Original Wide Lens for iPhone – equivalent to an 18mm DSLR lens, the 18mm wide angle lens is on Ginette’s wishlist.

4. Using the photos

  • Post to your linked social accounts – connect your Twitter and Facebook accounts or use a social media management tool so that you can update more people at once and save valuable time for parenting.
  • Collect memories for your child so they can look back on happy sun-drenched days with the family – Ginette wants her daughter to find images in the pictures familiar and remember fragments of memories in each that can perhaps paint a complete picture of the whole trip.

5. Recommended hotels

Stay tuned for the next article in our how to photograph in your hotel room series where Hong Kong photographer Martin Cheung shares his tips!