Take Great Pictures of Your Kids

Here's my 8 favourite tips & tricks...

Planning on doing a bit of self isolation? Whether by choice or not, something you can do during this time is focus on making memories with your kids. While you're busy making memories, let's focus on capturing some of them, too! It's a great time to not only learn a new skill (or improve it!), and I always find that focusing on the positive in my life helps me cope with whatever life tends to throw my way.

#1 - Make It Fun!

My kids are naturally pretty fun people to be around, and they absolutely love it when I join in or encourage them to be even sillier. When they're enjoying themselves, it's easy to capture amazing smiles - not to mention that these become some of my favourite moments to look back on! In this picture I created a little blanket fort with an empty laundry basket (those do exist!), a baby activity mat, and a lightweight swaddling blanket.

#2 - Natural Light!

This one is huge. You'll always have better quality images when sitting beside a window or outdoors than you will in a dark corner of your basement. Turning off all the lights in the house and getting as close as you can to a window is a great thing to do - here I had my girls gather up all their favourite toys and I *gasp* let them play on the dining room table.

I'm a rebel.

#3 - Get Down!

And I don't mean dancing. Well, actually that'd be pretty cool too... But I mean getting as close as you can to the floor makes for some really unique angles. Don't be afraid to move around and try something else if it isn't working - and remember that sometimes leaving empty space (like the air above her face here!) makes the picture more interesting.

#4 - Get In The Picture!

Remember that empty laundry basket? I turned it upside down and placed my camera on top. (Man, those things are SO useful. Remind me to do more laundry!)

Then, I used the self timer feature to quickly get in the picture and I LOVE that I'm in more pictures with my kids. We all know that it doesn't happen for moms often enough.

Not only do I LOVE these moments, but my kids love that I take turns being on the other side of the lens. Sometimes if they're not feeling it I give them my cell phone and let them take pictures of me first. It's only fair, right...?

#5 - Interact With Them!

Here, I was telling my oldest a really gross story about picking my nose or something. I don't even remember... but it can make for some silly laughs or even better faces.

As you can see, it doesn't always work on both kids at the same time. The other one did end up smirking in another picture when I teased her older sister though.

Ahhh kids...

#6 - Focus On The Eyes!

Once your kids are okay being in front of your camera for a little while, make sure to take the time to nail the focus on their eyes. It makes for the best pictures and I love the fact that their eyes don't change as much as the rest of them do over the years. It's so easy to look back and immediately recognize the kid just by looking at their eyes - and the connection will pull you right back to that moment.

Some tricks to get them to look into rapidly pulling the camera up and down and asking them to follow it, placing a sticker beside the lens (hey, look! Elsa!), and even on a big camera, getting them to see their own reflection or "find" something inside the lens.

#7 - Let Them Be Kids!

You know all the messes that kids naturally make? I used to get so flustered every time I turned around and found yet -another- mess for me to clean up.

Now, I see a funny story. I get my light right (open windows), get low (apple bottom jeeeaaannsss. Oh wait.), and capture the story as it unfolds. The girl went on to take out EVERY cup in the drawer and filled each of them with the smallest bit of juice. When I was done taking pictures, I got her to clean up her own mess and threw in an extra load of dishes. Totally worth it. Not every picture has to have them looking and smiling.

#8 Bring Them Outside/Add Water!

Having a grumpy day where everyone is getting on each others nerves and toes? Those happen a lot over here when we don't go anywhere for a long time. My personal limit is about 3 days, so an extended break could be... fun.

Bring them outside if you can, or throw them in a bath if you can't. Those two things always seem to help reset the whole day. It's amazing.

Them, go and take a picture of how happy they are to be there. Morning/Late Afternoon are the best for avoiding really harsh light for the best pictures, but the happy factor stays true all day long.

Final Notes

Having a professional camera allows me to take pictures in a different way, but it doesn't change the fact that you're around for so many more moments than I'll ever be. If you can learn how to take quality pictures and remember a few tricks to keep your kids smiling, interacting, and having fun while still finding good light, staying low, and capturing your every day life - I promise it'll be worth your while and you won't regret having more pictures of your kids as they grow up.

Try your hand at these, and if you want to see me in action doing everything I listed here I would love to have an in home documentary session for your family!