My mom was our family’s photographer. She was always taking photos, and the moments she captured were priceless, not always the best but priceless lol. My Dad was quite the photographer too! Prior to having me, He took photos of hot air balloons (that’s where my logo came from!) and landscapes as well as anything else that piqued his interest. I guess I come by my love of photography naturally and over the years I’ve enjoyed sharpening my skills with the thousands upon thousands of photos I’ve taken of “my babies and Mommas”.
I’ve loved capturing priceless, everyday moments just like my dad once did. I’ve reveled in seeing the world behind the lens of my camera. Going back and looking at my mom’s candid captures it made me think there are probably a lot of moms out there that don’t know how to get good snapshots of their family well being their family and with the summer months upon us I thought what a better time to help y’all get some better shots through these upcoming months. So from this photographer to a lot of candid photo moms out there here are a few tricks of the trade I’ve picked up along the way that I thought I would share with y’all that so moms all over may get better everyday shots…
Use Natural Light
One of the easiest ways to improve your photos is to turn off your camera’s built-in flash. The artificial light cast by the flash causes an unattractive glare and unnatural shadows. Little faces look better without the harsh light of a flash. Natural light is the key to great photographs. If you’re outside during the daytime, rely on the sunlight. I have a UV filter for my camera lens which also helps protect the lens from scratches and little fingers. Taking photos inside can be a little trickier. If it’s during the daylight hours when sunlight is coming through the windows, turn off the lights and just use the natural light coming in from outside. If the room isn’t well-lit, opt for a better time or place to take a few snapshots. If you have a DSLR camera, you can put the aperture to wide setting or slow down the shutter speed to let in as much light as possible.
I love candid shots of kids just being kids. But birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions call for a few posed shots. Plan to capture these photos during times when the kids are fed, rested, and in the mood for a session. Also opt for a time when there is a lot of natural light to work with. Go outside or find the place in your home that has the best light. You could also prepare a few props ahead of time like your child’s favorite toy, a beloved stuffed animal, sentimental pieces of jewelry, or even your wedding dress.
Take photos that show growth! Pictures taken on the first and last day of each school year are a fun way to see how much your child has changed during that time. I’m sure you’ve see the pictures all over Pinterest of the kids holding the signs that read, “First Day of Kindergarten.” There’s a reason why those shots are so popular. They are an adorable and fun way to capture those milestones. Take a bazillion pictures of your newborn! They grow so fast, so don’t be afraid to preserve every detail through photos. Taking monthly pictures of your baby or yearly photos of your school-age child are great ways to preserve those memories. Pose them with the same prop or in the same location time after time to get the full effect of how much they are growing and changing.
Steady Does It
Are your little ones as wiggly as mine? Kids are always on the go. A faster shutter speed will help you capture those active moments. A steady hand is important too. Whether you are using the camera on your phone or a DSLR, holding that camera steady during the shot is crucial. If your DSLR camera has an image stabilization or vibration reduction setting, be sure to turn it on. Using a tripod is another great way to keep things steady, even though I know it’s hard to just whip out that tripod sometimes, maybe use it more at birthday parties and places you’ll be sitting awhile.
Point of View
Try taking photos from different angles. Find a new “point of view” by moving around, trying an overhead shot, or positioning yourself low to the ground. Zoom in close to fill the frame with your child. A new angle or zoom can add a lot of impact to a photograph. Don’t be afraid to get down on the ground or floor to get an awesome angle, just never photo “up the nose” it gives off bad shadows, think scary story time with the flashlight?
Location, Location, Location
Location is crucial in the real estate world, but not as much in the world of picture-taking. For photography, there are no boundaries. From the mini photo shoot in the backyard to the exotic family vacation, great photos can happen anywhere!
I know as a parent all eyes are on your child. When taking photos of them, pay attention to the rest of the shot too. Wait just a moment for the runner in park to pass, limit distractions in the background, and crop unwanted items out. If you are going for a full body pose, look around the shot to make sure you haven’t cropped out those little hands and feet. You’ll want those tiny toes in the photo to always look back on.
Capture Those Personalities
Don’t always go for the “Look at me and smile!” photos. Get some candid shots of those goofy faces and giggles. Click the camera at moments when your child is doing something they love, fully engaged in what they are doing, and just acting natural.
Edit your photos! Many cameras will come with their own software. One go-to photo editor I’ve heard is very good is PicMonkey, (And it’s FREE!) Using a photo editing program to make collages, insert text, add filters, and such can make your already fabulous photos even better!
I personally believe in getting images printed.The other day when my mom and I were going through old images of my grandmothers, I was in such awe at the paper the images were printed on and the quality of the print! I tell mom's if they want a high quality print, from their snapshots do not go to Walgreens take a little more time and go to mpix.com they are the next best thing to getting them printed from a professional lab such as mine and you don't have to have a photo business(i.e. a photo license) to print from there, they are the print lab for moms snapshots.
To get your family photos done, call Jessie Anne Photography today to book!