Updated: Jun 20, 2020
One of the silver linings of the stay at home order that has swept through our country is more family time. Now I know I raised a few eyebrows by saying "silver lining" because I'm sure it doesn't feel that way when you're staring at 9am and you've played 5 games, gone for a walk, made pancakes and your kids are already bored. Keeping kids entertained (while keeping yourself sane) can seem like a tall enough task without adding the seemingly impossible ideal of trying to capture beautiful photos in the proces. But with a little forward planning and the right perspective you can create a FUN activity for your kids AND capture some beautiful photos without a lot of fuss. Below are some tips and tricks to get you going.
THIS IS LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHY
Your aim is not perfection, but rather authenticity. So don't force a smile or try to get everyone looking at the camera. Forcing kids to act a certain way can spoil the mood and ruin your photos.The real beauty is capturing interactions and emotions that naturally occur by letting kids be kids.
CHOOSE A SIMPLE ACTIVITY THAT YOUR KIDS WILL LOVE TO DO.
In my experience, this usually involves doing something a little naughty, that they normally wouldn't be able to do (but isn't a real rule breaker for you). Some of my best family lifestyle photography sessions involve fun activities like jumping in puddles, bathing with bubbles in the kitchen sink or pillow fights with feathers flying everywhere (cut a little hole in the pillow before you start). Simple, novel ideas are best to get your kids engaged but don't require a lot from you.
CHOOSE THE ACTIVITY LOCATION WITH THE BEST LIGHT.
Set your activity up in a location that is well lit with soft light. If you're indoors- set up near a window without harsh light and if you're outdoors - look for covered shade or shoot in the morning or during the golden hour before sunset. Try to avoid shooting in direct sunlight and turn off artificial lighting when indoors if natural light permits. Remember to tidy the area that you will be shooting to remove unnecessary clutter.
SHOOT FROM DIFFERENT ANGELS.
This is one of the best ways to up your photography game. Visual stories are best told with images from a range of angles. Stand on a chair and shoot from above, lie on the floor and shoot up, get in close and capture the details of what's going on, stand back and take in the whole scene. The collection of images tell the story of your family and bring the moment to life.
Remember to get in the pictures too! Let your spouse or one of your older kids capture you in the pictures. This isn't the time to get your hair styled and hit all the perfect angles --leave that up to the professional photographer to figure out. You're goal is to capture history in the making that will be the memories of your time together. Without you in some of the photos, it's only part of the story.
Have fun and tag me in some of your photos @nicole_jonesphotography
Can't wait to see what you come up with!
Nicole Jones Photography specializes in lifestyle family, newborn, portraits and corporate headshots in Wilmette and the surrounding Chicago North Shore area.
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