As a professional photographer who specializes in babies and children and a mom who wants great images of my own kid, I have learned how to avoid some of the pitfalls that ruin capturing images of the sweetest moments with our kids. Just these 3 tips can take your images from “What the heck are they doing?!” to “Aawwwwee, I remember that”
1. Never say “cheese” again! Ever. Just remove it from your vocabulary all together or at the very least sequester it to be used only in reference to what kind of pizza your kids want or topping requests for their burger. We all know that “smiling” photos are adorable but the contortions of your kids’ faces when you bark the command, “cheese” are not smiles…they are something alright…but they’re not smiles. So, how do you get genuine smiles from a 2-year old? Let them play! Kids are smart so don’t come at them with a camera in their face and say, “ok, let’s play”….they’ll have that game figured out quick. Stage the area where you want to photograph your child (declutter the background and check for good light), bring your child to that area to play, engage them in playing with you, then break out the camera and quietly click, click, click, then play some more, then click, click, click, then play…you get the picture.
2. Don’t expect perfection. Last I checked, my kids weren’t perfect. I’m going to guess yours aren’t either. In the midst of this Pinterest world, resist the urge to force every hair in place, every ruffle perfectly fluffed and every color precisely coordinated. That’s NOT real life. When you’re 80 and remininscing, wouldn’t you rather have more real memories then Stepford Wife concoctions of memories?? If you’re not fussing over every detail, you will be more relaxed, your child(ren) will be less stressed and you’ll get MORE images!
3. Invest in a better camera. Yes, iPhones take amazing images. That’s my primary tool for documenting my own family and I create Mosaic Photo Books (click the link for the free app for iPhones) of those images. Also, every January, I use MySocialBook to create a book of all of my Facebook posts and photos (it’s also compatible with Instagram). Facebook will not always exist….trust me. But there are limits to what even iPhones can capture and the biggest limitation is the size that they can be printed and still have amazing print quality. When you’re 80, chances are we’ll have some Jetsonesque contraption for taking and viewing photos which will allow us to instantly upload the image for printing on a 16×20 canvas….but that’s not today. So invest in a good DSLR to capture the special moments (birthdays, vacations, first day of school, milestones, etc.) and then print the images. I’ve had way too many friends hold on to thousands of images in their phones and then drop them in a pool and lose them all. Don’t let that happen to you! For recommendations on camera equipment, feel free to hop over to my blog where I have listed suggestions for cameras, lenses, memory cards, etc. Once you’ve bought your camera, take a class. Learn how to use your camera in Manual mode, or you’re wasting your investment on images that your iPhone can take.
4. For the really special events and milestones (weddings, birth, newborns, etc.), always trust a professional. We just so happen to know a super awesome birth, maternity and baby photographer who would love to be invited to share those precious memories with you and capture them with amazing quality! You’ll never regret trusting your most precious moments to a professional, we promise!