On the first day of (pre) school, or just any day.
Well hello there.
Thanks for stopping by my very first blog post.
I have been dreaming of adding a blog to my site for a long time. Finally got my act together to start with it.
As a family photographer I serve loads of families, but at the same time I’m trying to capture the growth of my own family. It is definitely an effort I need to be intentional about to make sure it happens.
Just to be clear, I still recommend hiring a family photographer once or twice a year to get some high quality pictures of your family, including yourself, but in the mean time you can make a habit of creating some candid everyday pictures of your gang.
Make sure these family picture opportunities actually happen. You might have gotten a new camera last Christmas, and it is exciting to use it at first, but soon the excitement wears off, as it happens with every new toy, and the thing starts collecting dust. So create some kind of schedule. It can be the first Sunday of each month, or every time the seasons change or during time you have a family game night or some other fun activity. You can also involve other people to help you be accountable. For example promise grandma she will get a fresh pic of her grandkids every month, and if it doesn’t happen she can send you a reminder.
Keep it active and fun.
Take pictures of your kids in the moment, playing board games, helping you cook. A family photo doesn’t have to be necessarily everyone-is-looking-into-the-camera. Make sure you put your camera/phone on a timer and hop into the scene yourself. Capturing these moments will help you cherish them for years to come, these shots are often my favorite as they show their personalities best.
Get down to their height.
You will have a better way of communicating with them, as you are at the same eye-height, and a better view to capture their image.
Lighting is key!
If you are taking the pictures inside and can’t afford expensive lighting use the most flattering and cheapest form of light there is – sun light! Turn off that flash, it is not your friend. The on camera flash is mostly unflattering light that will over expose all the shiny parts on the skin. Only use it as your last resort.
The more the merrier.
Get as many pics as you can – we are in 2019 and there is no need to be careful with how many times you hit the shutter. The more you take the greater the chance is you will like one of them. I usually take 3-4 images of the same situation, one after the other, and end up with hundreds of pictures per session, to be able to chose my favorite 50. When I take pictures with my camera’s timer I have it set for 3 images in a row.
No fake smiles!
Make sure you create a fun and relaxing environment, cause that will translate into the images. If you are trying to get a group photo of you family, try shouting out some funny words, instead of everyone saying cheese.
If you are taking pictures of your family, and things seem to be hard, no one wants to cooperate. Hit the pause button, and try it later in the day, or some other time. It might be helpful to change the scene if you are somewhere outside. Depending on the age of your participants, moods can change fast.
Jump into the shot.
I admit it is hard, and often times we feel too sleepy, too messy, too blunt to be in the photo. Trust me in 10/20/30 years you wont care about those things, and you and your kid/s will enjoy finding you in some of the images.
Add an object, like a letter board, or white/black-board to the image. You can write on it the grade, date and age, and use it for the last day of school picture as well. This way you’ll be able to compare their growth in one year. You can also use the same outfit, if your kiddo still fits in it at the end of the school year.
Taking your own family photos can be stressful at first because it might not go the way you planned. It takes some patience and practice. One thing to keep in mind is the great value of hiring a professional photographer.
By having someone else do the picture-taking, you will have the chance to be in a lot of the images. You won’t have to plan and direct so much. Instead you can focus on having fun with your family, while the pro is capturing all the posed and in-between moments.