As a mom to an extremely busy toddler who does.not.stop.moving, I know how tricky it can be to capture that perfect portrait of your little Valentine. With the holiday of love right around the corner, I have a few tricks up my sleeve that I always keep handy when it comes time for capturing those important family moments and memories of the ones you love most.
Tip #1: Have a Plan
Planning is key to a positive photo experience. Who is going to be in the photos? Do you need to set a timer and get a tripod ready in order to get you in the picture? Will you be calling on a friend to push the shutter for you? Maybe you just want to focus on your kiddos while you rock your camera skills. Make sure you have a location, time of day, and ”smile-maker” plan in place BEFORE you start shooting. More on my “smile-maker” plan below.
Tip #2: When the Kids are Happy the Camera is Happy
Think through the time of day your kids are going to be the most cooperative and the happiest. Happy kids = Smiling kids = Beautiful photos. Bribes can work wonders too. Give them a piece of that delectable Valentine’s day chocolate if they’ll let you snap a few photos or let them stay up past their bedtime that night to watch their favorite movie with you. Remind them of that special activity while you are taking the pictures.
Tip #3: Creativity is key to having a ”smile-maker” plan
Simplicity is always ok, but don’t be afraid to try something new and work some creative magic!! Set up a tea party in your backyard and capture photos of your little girl serving tea and heart-shaped cookies to her stuffed animal friends. Light a fire outside in the fire-pit and take a photo of everyone snuggled together under a blanket while toasting marshmallows. If you lack creative inspiration, check out my Valentine’s inspired ‘Be Mine’ Pinterest Board and explore a world of inspirational ideas for how to style an activity. Get those creative juices flowing and your kids will be having so much fun playing and using their imagination that getting them to turn your way and give a smile or two for the camera will be a breeze.
Tip #4: Turn off the flash and find the light
Keep in mind these are Valentine’s photos, not Halloween photos. The pop-up flash on your camera can leave your kids looking ghostly. The best times of day for outdoor photos will be early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun isn’t directly overhead. Before you click, check their faces and make sure you don’t see any hard sun or shadows. If you decide to do photos indoors, enlist your kids to help you find the room in your home where natural light is best. Find the places where you have sunlight streaming in and use those places to your advantage.
Tip #5: Know when to call it quits
When the kids start throwing a tantrum or are getting bored and running you ragged it’s time to call it a day. Remember there’s always tomorrow if something doesn’t quite go as anticipated.
Don’t forget the most important thing of all — Have fun, and happy snapping!
ABOUT BERYL: Beryl Ayn Young is a wife, mama, teacher, and photographer who offers photography lessons to nourish the mind, body, and soul over on her personal blog. Beryl believes in lifelong learning, photographic healing, and a glass half full perspective. Come join her HERE as she provides photo coaching and classes aimed at teaching moms how to improve their camera skills and cherish life’s journey. Connect with Beryl over on Facebook, Pinterest,or Twitter, she’d love to meet you!
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This piece was written by Beryl Young of Beryl Ayn Young blog exclusively for Bonbon Break Media, LLC.