Did you catch those tips yesterday on how to photograph your kids? I loved it and I think Heather is becoming quite the MOMographer. I love Mom’s that want to take better images of their kids. These are the best days of our lives and slowing down your photography and thinking about the moment will not only help you cherish it but also document all of your families’ details.
Heather’s post got me thinking about my own family images that I documented this past Easter weekend so I thought I would share and give you some of my thoughts as I was shooting this past weekend.
My family always has an Easter weekend rich in traditions. I now start with taking Sophia’s Easter portraits…hahaha. We start in church on Good Friday, my Mom has always sung in the church choir so we always enjoy her leading the mass. This year was no exception, she was fantastic! Unfortunately you can’t take images in church….church is for praying 😉
However on Easter Saturday you are allow to take images at the basket blessing. Each year my Mom fills our basket with all of the goodies for our Easter dinner and we have it blessed. We have done this at St. Michael the Archangel for as long as I can remember. I love it. After we go back to my Mom for kielbasa and kraut….I only eat this once a year and cherish it. This year the Easter bunny stopped by and I photographed my nieces and nephews looking running for the eggs. It was adorable!
Heather’s Tips Yesterday included lighting, capturing the details, framing the shot and shooting from different angles.
Today I want to talk about telling the story, not saying cheese, and focusing on one thing at a time.
Telling the story
Easter weekend is a story in my family. There is planning, food preparation, church services, decorations, desserts and work that goes into it. I want to document that so next year or in 10 years we can look back and say “oh I remember that” or “remember when Mom did this” or remember when Dad put on Sophia’s sunglasses” or “yeah that was the year Holly was expecting”. Try to think about where people or kids are in their life and focus on capturing this moment in their life instead of just Easter. Each occasion has a story with details don’t forget to include the scene (the church, Mom’s home, the backyard), the main characters (my family), the plot (Easter), the story (Easter Saturday Lunch with hidden Easter eggs). Think of your events as stories and you’ll see a big difference in what you capture. It takes practice but the results are totally worth it.
Scene One – The Church
Scene Two – Grandma’s House
The Main Characters
Don’t say cheese!
Please don’t ask your kids to say cheese? Why? It causes fake tense smiles. There jaw is tense and you can see them saying cheese. And I am just going to speak for them and tell you they don’t enjoy it. You have to have patience and wait for them to look at the camera. You can also engage your children with questions or silly jokes so that you get the natural expression you are looking for. Forcing a smile will always give you undesired results. There are little moments that happen and if you don’t make everyone stop what they are doing so you can take a picture you can get some great natural images.
In these images I am asking questions like “Sophia, what is that?”
“Mike – show me what you found”
“Who got the most eggs?” Clearly…Mikey 😉
They don’t always look at me when they answer but they always have the look of excitement and imagination on their faces which I love.
Focus on one thing at a time
This is hard for a lot of people to master. You always want to capture everything and we get caught up in the moment and forget to tell our cameras how we want to remember the moment. You create the emotion in your images, not the camera. It would have been easy for me to stand in the corner of the yard and pop off a few shots of all three kids looking for their eggs but then I would have missed the excitement in the moment for them. When kids are racing for anything there is usually zero interaction between them and they all will have different reactions. Trying to include too much in the frame often leaves the viewer unsure where to look, each image should have focus and you can only focus on one thing at a time. Each image should have its own main character. No pun intended!
see what I mean about main character?? 🙂
Hope you enjoy these tips on how to take better images of your children. Got questions? Leave them below I would love to answer!