When I started this blog, I knew our family photos were going to be the center of it all. Here’s the thing, I’m not a photographer, not even a little. I take all of my photos with my phone, and I used to point, shoot and pray. I do a little more than that now, but I’m still not a photographer. These aren’t tips for professionals. I hope these ideas will help moms and dads capture a few more precious moments.
Tip #1: Stop Trying to Get Them to Pose
I get it. We all love those perfectly, everyone smiling posed family photos, but that can be tough with little ones. Try capturing more of the real moments. Those sweet hugs, silly giggles and dirty faces are some of the best snaps.
Get a little closer than you think you should. It is easy to crop a photo from farther away, but it can distort the picture too. Try taking your next few shots a little closer and see what you think.
Tip #2: Don’t say cheese or smile
We’re all used to shouting “say cheese” before we take a photo, but with little kids, that tends to end in some very funny looking faces. Telling them to smile won’t always work either. Try this. I promise it will work. Next time you take a picture, say “poopy butt.” You will look ridiculous, but your kiddos will have the best smiles.
Tip #3: Take a lot of Photos
It is tough to get that perfect snap on the first try. For me, it usually takes at least ten frames before I get one I like. If my kids have zero interest in taking pictures, it may take 50 tries before I get one I like. That’s OK, remember to go back and delete the bad ones. You’ll have a whole bunch of crappy pictures saved in the cloud or cluttering up your phone’s storage.
Tip #4: Try for One Kid at a Time
With three little ones in tow, I am always trying to get photos of them together. That rarely happens. My oldest daughter usually loves to pose for photos, but my son isn’t into it. I take what I can get. If I want one with our Christmas tree, and only one little one wants to sit still, I’ll take that. It isn’t perfect, but I’d rather have a memory of that year’s tree with a cute face than just the tree.
Tip #5: Let Go of Perfect
Life with little kids isn’t perfect, and photos of that same life are rarely perfect. That’s just how it goes. You will spend more time annoyed, frustrated and bummed about less than perfect photos than you will living the moment you’re trying to capture. But remember, some images are tough to save. Keep your eye on bad light or shadows across someone’s face. Those elements are difficult to fix.
Tip #6: Give the Camera or Phone to Someone Else
Get in the photos, mom. It doesn’t matter if your hair is perfect or you’re wearing makeup. Even if you don’t, your kids will want to see your face in their memories. And, your little ones have the best smiles in photos with their mama.
Get a tripod you can throw in your bag. I use this one. It is easy to set up and it has a remote. It takes a little longer to get ready for a photo, but you’ll be glad you’re in those pictures.
Download the Adobe Lightroom app. I make simple edits using the app, and I’ve saved a lot of photos that way.