**While I’m busy welcoming a new baby into our home *woohoo!* I’m having some of my amazing blogging friends step in and share some rad posts with you all. Please give them some love and enjoy their creative ways!**
Well I’ve had the wonderful honor of having Colleen rave about her family images in numerous posts and we’ve had the opportunity to do a fun giveaway together but I haven’t yet taken over for a day ☺ And so today, I get to share with you what makes photography so special to me – documenting my own children. For this example I will be speaking from the stand-point of a parent and using mainly images of my own children.
I can guarantee that some of your New Years Resolution are probably to get more photos of your kids…or maybe to get ‘better’ photos of your kids.
I’m a huge advocate for ‘being present’ and so even though, as a photographer, I spend a lot of time behind a heavy DSLR camera, I don’t look down on anyone who operates a camera phone 100% of the time. As a parent, my phone camera and I have a great relationship and scrolling through my Instagram account, at our family’s adventures, is honestly one of my favorite past times. So…these won’t be extensive tips on how to operate your DSLR better. If you have one, FANTASTIC…Use it! Now is your time to practice and PS. Reading the manual really does help ;) If you don’t have one, don’t worry, catch those moments with whatever you have – you will cherish them for years to come.
1. HAVE FUN
It’s okay to have fun! Taking photos of our kids has actually ended up in an epic game of ‘Chase me around the house’ once (or maybe twice) and since we live in a digital age, I just deleted the blurry shots later on(and even kept one) and kept snapping. And guess what, we had fun. In my mind our photos are simply a way to take us back to that memory so if you had a blurry image of your child giggling from that moment, wouldn’t you enjoy that feeling a few months, or years, later? Now don’t get me wrong, I probably wouldn’t put that image on my wall but I would enjoy the memory.
You don’t always need to hear ‘CHEESE’!! In years from now, wouldn’t you love to see the images of your children building a snowman, even if you can’t see their faces, and remember their laughter?…remember how wonderful that moment[when they were getting along] made you feel.
Sometimes taking a photo from above does help to document that moment…a wider angle will help, so you can take it from standing level, and to encompass the items around your child to tell the story of what they are doing. BUT, most of the time parents forget to move! These bodies God gave us were meant to do just that and sometimes to get the best shot you simply need to WALK to a different spot in the house. Simple, I know but I don’t think some of you know it – get down to their level and catch their smile and facial expression while they are helping you bake cookies…get in front of some furniture or clutter so the you don’t get what’s unnecessary in the shot AND…. Remember you can step back too. You can even RUN – they are kids so don’t expect them to stay still. Move your bodies to frame your shot better.
This wouldn’t be complete without something a little technical. Carrying on from above: If you are trying to freeze the movement of your running child, this is best done outdoors (for more than a lighting reason). If you have a DSLR – now is the time to take it off of automatic and experiment. You will need to increase your SHUTTER SPEED to freeze their movement. If you are inside (or in low lighting) and using a point and shoot or camera phone you may have to use a flash. If you are outside, in daylight, turn your flash off. So many automatic settings will instantly pop up your flash but flash, if not truly needed, will make faces looked washed out.
If you are inside, try to face your subject towards the windows and use natural light. Window light, especially in winter when the sky is overcast, is so beautiful and soft.
Look for the best lighting in your house and then set up a craft or cooking baking time!
5. KEEP IT SIMPLE
If you are travelling, or even just out and about, keep your equipment simple. If you have gotten some new gear for Christmas, don’t feel like you need to take multiple lenses on a vacation – they could easily get ruined or stolen. Keep your load light and take your favorite combination of camera body and lens (or point and shoot) and get familiar with it. Another reason to take less is that sometimes when you are so worried about the equipment and switching lenses, you flat out miss your shot. Stay in the moment, shoot what you see and be part of the action. When we went to California & Mexico last year I took one camera with one lens – a 50mm – and packed it everywhere. Being part of what’s going on is the most fun whether it is on the beach, in the ocean, or at the market….and watching your kids discover new things is priceless.
Troi Crombie is the owner/operator of Troi Crombie Photography, focusing on family lifestyle and storytelling sessions. See more of her work at www.troicrombie.com