Every parent takes pictures of their kids. Whether it be with the phone on your camera or a fancy dslr, your kids will experience more than one paparazzi moment during their life span. It’s part of that parent DNA that kicks in when your offspring makes their grand debut.
I’m here today to share some of my favorite photography tips to get the best possible pictures of your family. Some of the tips will apply to everyday pictures; some will apply to more formal, staged shots. Either way you look at it, the quality of your pictures will improve!
1. Wear what you are comfortable in, just a little nicer. I can’t say enough how much this plays a role in getting the perfect picture. Imagine you are a jeans and t-shirt kind of family and you try to get your daughter to wear a dress with itchy tulle underneath. If she isn’t used to it, it will be written all over her poor face — and your pictures — forever. Along those same lines, think about the mood or feeling you’d like your pictures to convey and have your clothing match that. It doesn’t usually make sense to wear jeans and a t-shirt for a romantic, more formal type shoot and vice versa.
Not so comfortable.
2. Don’t feel the need to all wear the exact.same.thing. Don’t be matchy-matchy with your clothing. It is okay to have color variations, pattern variations, and lots of texture! It actually is a more visually-interesting photo that way! Some of the best pictures I’ve taken are ones that involve layers and bright colors. Have fun with your wardrobe! I have a board on Pinterest dedicated solely to what to wear for a photo shoot. Feel free to check it out if this isn’t your area of expertise and need a little extra help. I won’t tell anyone.
3. Time is of the essence. I would be hard pressed to find any person that would enjoy being woken up at 3am and then be asked to be happy-go-lucky and ready to listen and follow directions of someone you’ve probably never met. Right? Same theory applies to your little ones. Don’t schedule your portraits to be taken smack dab in the middle of nap time. In that same line of thinking, make sure your kids take a solid nap (or as best as they’ll take) before you go. Seriously, trust me on this one.
4. Food for thought: feed the animals. Another easy way to make sure that your kids will cooperate better is to make sure they have full tummies prior to the beginning of your photo shoot and I’m not one to look down on small food bribes while pictures are being taken. I’ve taken more than one adorable picture with a lollipop in a kid’s mouth. Maybe it’s just me, but I’d rather have smiles with a lollipop in hand versus a screaming toddler flailing on the ground. You choose.
5. Life isn’t 100% posed, your pictures shouldn’t be either. Unless you have an angel baby (and then I might be super jealous), most kids don’t — and won’t — sit still for all of your picture requests. Take what experiences you can and you might be surprised how much you like how they turn out. And I know it might go against much of what you think, but not everyone has to always be looking at the camera. Promise.
6. Embrace the crazy. If you are one of the lucky ones who was gifted an angelic child that smiles on cue and follows every direction that you’ve ever given them, kudos to you (and I might be a smidge jealous again). From my experience, that is typically just not the case. If you have a daughter that has a sassy streak (ahem, Reagan), then let that come out. It’s her personality; why would you try to hide who she is?
7. Have fun and feel free to try something out of the box. Random chair in a field or in front of a dirty brick wall? Yes. Sitting on top of a ladder to get a different perspective of a picture? Sure. Taking out an umbrella in the middle of a dry summer day? Why not? Climbing through a corn field, stepping on bugs? Absolutely.
8. Get a dose of fresh perspective. I often come home from photo shoots covered in dirt and very stinky. I lay on the ground, jump all over the place, climb walls to get a better vantage point. To get a variety of good pictures, you’ll never stand in the same spot asking for the same pose. Kids are lower to the ground; get down on their level. Taking a picture from a higher angle is more flattering for everyone, especially those who are worried about the extra skin under the chin. Just sayin’.
So do you think you’ll be able to upgrade your picture quality? If you have any photography questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!
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