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How to be a Better Dad Cam

Being the Official Dad Cam for your ski or snowboard crew is a high-pressure role... so we put together some tips to improve on your skills and be the best Dad Cam out!

Many of us have been there. You're one of the more confident skiers or snowboarders in your group, so you end up riding ahead and taking photos of your snow squad on your phone while you wait. It's a high-pressure role - yours are the photos that will make it to everyone else's Instagrams for the day, because they totally forgot to take any photos (except maybe one on Queenstown Return and another of their breakfast in Mezz), and they definitely didn't capture any while physically skiing or snowboarding. Whether you're an actual dad capturing some family memories, or you're just the nominated Dad Cam for your crew, we've put together some handy tips to take your phone photos to the next level.

1. It's all about angles, baby

Play around with angles! You don't always want to take photos of everyone's behinds looking down the mountain - there are front or side on shots that look amazing... especially on a powder day. Don't be afraid to direct your friends/family to good snow spots, tell them exactly where to turn and then go for it. Day with perfect cord? Get that phone to the ground!

Photo: Mat Woods

2. Don't be afraid to hike a little

All dedicated Dad Cams know that sometimes to achieve the ultimate angle, you've got to work for it. Once you've hiked and gotten the shot, make sure your snow posse knows how hard you've worked for it... cos the beers are on them.

Photo: Mat Woods

3. Don't forget about the sun

The sun plays a major role in all photos, even when you're taking them on your phone. You might want a more silouetted look, or you might want the sun flare look. The earlier in the day on the mountain, the better the light. That might mean you need to get the crew up a little earlier, so now they owe you coffee too!

If you're up early enough, you can even make the sun an interesting feature of your photo...

Photo: Mat Woods

4. Tap the screen!

Key to any good phone action shot is the focus - make sure you tap the screen to set a focus point so when your friends or family ski/board into frame you're ready for them. Nobody likes a fuzzy action shot!

Photo: Mat Woods

5. Use Live Photo / Motion Photo

We've all missed the shot, more than once. The big players in the smartphone game have come up with solutions to help - turn on Live Photo (iPhone) or Motion Photo (Samsung) when taking photos of skiing or snowboarding so if you stuff it up, you can always go back and choose one of the frames either side of the one you pushed the button on.

Photo: Mat Woods

6. Own your role in the group

Now you're the Official Dad Cam, and you've gotten pretty good at it, it's time to own it. This is your role in your snow gang now, so make sure you stay consistent and become irreplacable. They say there's no friends on a powder day, but there's always a spot for the Official Dad Cam. The only negative? Most of the photos of you are going to be selfies, unless you train up the next generation of Dad Cams!

This blog is written for our very own Dad Cam at Cardrona, Mat Woods. If you scroll down our Facebook feed it won't take you long to find a photo he's grabbed on a beautiful morning up here! Mat is moving on to a big role in our wider group, and we wanted to use this opportunity to thank him for his friendship, support, endless ski froth, advice, dad jokes, and being the best Dad Cam we could've ever asked for. You're a legend, Mat, and we'll miss having you in the office all the time. We'll see you on the next powder day though!!

About the Author

Jen Houltham


Jen is Cardrona's resident word nerd. She's out & about on the mountain most days; a big fan of carving groomed runs, powder hunting & laps through Lil' Bucks!