As mothers, one of the first things we do is start taking pictures of our children. We love to share them on social media and with our family and friends. We always want to capture the best moments and have the photos we take allow them to live forever. Here are a few photography tips for moms out there to help you create lasting memories of your kids.
1. Don’t be afraid to mess up
Digital cameras these days are capable of taking hundreds, if not thousands, of images. You really don’t need to shoot in RAW or on manual. Leave that to the pros. Yes, I just told you not to worry about shooting on manual or in RAW. If you don’t know what that means, don’t worry about it.
Shooting in jpegs will allow you to store more images on your memory card. It will also “pre-process” your images so you will not need to worry about setting everything up afterward. Don’t be afraid to mess up. You have plenty of wiggle room! In this image, it took several shots to capture the motion of the subject dancing around. Out of about 50 snaps, only a couple were good enough to use. That’s all that mattered.
2. Catch your child’s attention
This may seem like a difficult task given most children’s attention spans. However, there is always a trick to it. Some of the most delightful faces are captured when you grab your child’s attention. One of my favorite things to do is to allow my children to just be themselves. Meaning, letting them get into a comfortable flow before trying to take a photo. Then without notice, I’ll say their name. That is when I snap the image.
Another thing I’ll do is give my children something to play with. I can photograph them playing with it or hand them something new to explore and watch them figure it out. In the image below, I let her explore her surroundings, then suddenly, I shouted out her name and captured her right as she looked at me. You can even see the “annoyance” in her face from me distracting her as she was getting into her exploration.
3. Do away with “say cheese”
While this may be the norm for most images, doing away with the “cheese” will also do away with fake smiles. Sometimes I will tell a joke; however, given that I’m their mom, my kids have already heard them all. One little trick I use with the younger ones is a “fart” app on my phone. All kids love farts!
Another trick is to say something that makes no sense. Ask your child if they knew the moon was made out of cheese or if they knew cats and dogs wear roller skates at night. With older kids, it may help to pick up a joke book and have it on hand. These will give you real laughs, which are always better than the fake ones. Here, I asked her to jump as high as she could. It was her birthday and she wanted to jump into the balloons. After several jumps she just began to laugh from pure joy.
4. Ask your child to tell you a story
Sometimes, I’ll give my daughter a prompt and ask her to finish the story. You can also have your child grab their favorite toys and use them to tell a story. One important aspect of this technique is capturing those special moments. One day your child will no longer play with those toys and tell those stories, so to have it immortalized can be a wonderful treat years down the road when looking back at photos with your family.
In this image, my daughter wanted to play with my fox mask. She saw the cat outside and leapt into her own imaginative world.
5. Be a ninja!
If you have ever tried to lay a baby down and sneak out of the room, you’ve got the skills of a ninja. When one of my children is sitting quietly (or getting very excited during a video game), I will pull out my ninja stealth skills and sneak up to photograph them. Capturing these candid moments are just as important as capturing the planned ones. Below are some of my favorite “ninja” images. They are far from perfect but they capture everyday moments as they happened.
At the end of the day, you really can’t go wrong photographing your kids. The more you practice, the better you will get. Some of the best images are the ones we didn’t plan to take. Keep working towards your goals and capture as much as you can, while you can.
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