How to Photograph Your Own Kids
I’m constantly snapping pictures of my girls whether it’s with my phone or with my camera. I love capturing the memories but even more, I love capturing our everyday. I love looking through old photos and remembering every cute little detail at each stage. When Peighton was tiny I would set up a little photo studio in my guest bedroom and attempt to get the perfect shot each month her whole first year. With Millie, time seems to have gotten away from me and I haven’t had the chance to do our monthly shoots but I do grab my camera on ordinary days to try to capture her sweet personality as it is right now. I’m definitely no photographer but I’ve been snapping pictures of my kids now for over four years so as a mom photographing my kids. Here are a few photo tips and tricks for moms when it comes to photographing your own kids:
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Use natural light. Any photographer hobby or professional will tell you to always use natural light when you can. If I’m taking photos indoors, I will place my girls near a window or I will open up all of the blinds and even doors to get as much light in our house as possible.
Photograph right after a nap. If you are simply snapping some action shots of your kids being their regular cute selves then you’re probably fine but if you plan on setting up a mini photo shoot, I recommend waiting until after nap. Kids are always more likely to comply with your crazy ideas after their nice and rested.
Clear out the clutter. Try to find a place in your home or outside without a lot of stuff. I’ve mastered this because of blogging – often I just shove clutter behind the camera and out of sight (See the proof here). Lots of stuff is a distraction from your cute kids!
Let them be kids. You can get them nice and rested and bribe them with snacks but at the end of the day, kids will be kids! And you are capturing memories so if they want to twirl in their twirly dress or dance on the table, that’s okay! Their personalities are shining and that’s what you want! You are capturing precious memories.
Use a background or backdrop. If you want more of a studio look you can create a makeshift backdrop. I use a large matte from Michaels. It’s thick and stands up nicely. They come in all sorts of colors if your interested but I always just use a white one. Now, I just prop my kids up in front of a wall.
Grab an assistant. Having someone to help is awesome! They can keep baby in position. Get her attention, keep her interested while you snap away. Matt does a great job at grabbing the girls attention so they look near the camera so we can capture their cute faces.
Use a timer and/or remote. Don’t have an assistant? Me neither (not regularly anyway). Grab a remote and use the timer – this will change everything! Not only does it give me a few seconds to get the girls into position, it gives me the opportunity to get in the frame. I don’t always get in the frame but it’s important to me to have pictures of me with my girls not just of my girls.
Learn how to edit. I know, I know, you aren’t professional. That’s okay! Knowing how to edit your photos will help tremendously when it comes to photographing your kids. You can crop out little imperfections like if you accidentally left something in the frame that you don’t like. You can bump up the exposure so the image looks brighter. And when all else fails you can transform the image by fading it into black and white for the perfect moody shot. This is the editing software I use.
Just roll with it. Some days my girls aren’t into it. That’s okay. I’ll put my camera away after a few minutes of shooting if they aren’t feeling it and even then I sometimes get a great shot. Remember, the purpose is to capture them just as they are so if they aren’t interested in looking at the camera, that’s okay!
So if you are a mom with a camera or a phone, I encourage you to take pictures of your babies – capture these moments. You’ll never regret it!
Interested in the photography equipment I use for photographing my kids?
I use this camera with this lens primarily. I also use my iphone most days with this app to edit. Hope that helps!
Love the tips, Chelsea! I especially like the one about using a timer. That’s so smart! I’ll have to remember that in a few months! 😉
Love this, Chelsea. I am like you and take LOTS and LOTS of pictures. I have a Gazillion SD cards because I am afraid to erase any of them : ) Even though they have been put on my computer, flash drive and our Mac Time Capsule… Crazy, I know 🙂 Your sweetie is ADORABLE!!!
Love this! And love your blog! Im a military spouse as well and it’s so nice to find other blogging military spouses!! Love it!!
Love it girl!! You know I take about a million pictures a day too!!
Thank you for sharing at Keep Calm and Link Up. These are great tips that get forgotten when focusing on the baby.
Great tips! Every time I saw your leggings posted somewhere over the past couple of weeks I thought what a nice photo you took of them–even better with the whole baby :). Looking forward to when my baby’s old enough that he’ll be excited to have his 3 brothers entertaining him as my assistants!
She is such a doll! And thanks for the good advice! I am pinning to the Inspiration Gallery Feature Board! Thanks for sharing!!
Great tips! I always forget to use my timer when do mini sessions with my own girls! Thanks!
Awesome tips, thanks for sharing!
Great tips and amazing photos! These will be treasured forever. She reminds me of my (now 22 yr old) daughter when she was a baby with the big brown eyes and dark hair. Very beautiful!
LOOOVE this post! And you know how much I love your little girl! So adorable! Thanks for letting her model on my blog 😉
OK…first you have a Cutie on your hands…wow– like I want to squeeze her! 🙂 Wonderful tips up there…pinned these away for later no doubt! Thanks girl!
Oh my goodness ~ what a precious little gal you have there! Thanks so much for sharing such awesome tips.
Great tips Chelsea! And your baby is ADORABLE!!! Bless her!
What a precious model you have…CUTE!! Fabulous tips, Chelsea! 🙂
Lovely tips! I need to pick up some backdrops for photos of my kids – gotta find some way to hide the clutter 😉 I’d be thrilled if you’d link up at this week’s Off the Hook!
Great tips & such a sweet little girl! Thanks for sharing 🙂
I use a chalkboard too! I love it! My little girl is only months, and sadly she can’t sit up yet. I’m trying to figure out how to do her Easter pictures. I wanted to put her in my old red wagon but I don’t know how to prop her up in it! lol