Photo Basics For Moms

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So, you have a super cute kid and you want gorgeous photos to share with friends

and family, right?! Here are some photography basics to help you capture better

images of your child.

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Let’s start with equipment

“The best camera is the one you have with you, “ is a phrase I heard often from

my middle school journalism teacher as we pieced together the school newspaper

and the yearbook. At the age of 12, I pondered this advice frequently. “Shouldn’t I

borrow my moms fancy Pentax SLR?” I soon realized you can get creative and make

great photographs with just about any camera.

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If you are chasing kids around, chances are you need something rugged that can

withstand puddles, mud and slimy toddler hands. My kids are often photographed

with the camera in my pocket (my iPhone) or my small point-and-shoot

camera...even though I own 3 high-end DSLR cameras.

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Our family lifestyle is not always conducive to lugging around 20 pounds of camera

gear. I also worry about ruining a camera with snow, sand or water. I bet you agree.

 

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These photos were taken with my iPhone. Hint: get a waterproof case...because it’s

basically childproof too ;)

 

 

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Point and Shoot cameras

My favorite point and shoot camera is the Panasonic Lumix because it’s waterproof!

It’s also a smart camera, so you don’t have to think about technical settings...just

shoot.

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This is my go to camera for the pool; my kids love taking selfies underwater. It’s also

safe for running around the beach, sitting a sweaty pocket while you’re on your bike

or following the kids around the splash park.

Find a camera that suits your lifestyle!

 

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Outdoor photography

I love to shoot during the last hour or so before sunset, aka golden hour. The other

option is shortly after sunrise (but who can get their kids groomed at that hour?!) If

you are going for that beautiful photo to commemorate a birthday or holiday...do it

in the evening to capture the warm glow of the setting sun.

 

photobasics8As a parent, you’re more likely out chasing kids at 11am in the bright sun...no

worries, just use your flash. It seems counterintuitive to use a flash on a sunny day,

but it will give your child a nice even light on the face instead of dark shadows under

the eyes.

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You may have to consult your camera manual to determine how to force your flash.

Typically a camera set on auto will not fire the flash on a sunny day. You can also

find a shady spot to get a softer light on your subjects.

 

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Clouds are your friend

I LOVE when it just happens to be cloudy during a mid-day soccer game...this is an

occasion that calls for the fancy camera! Clouds are like a giant softbox...like the

world just became your portrait studio. Grab your kids and get outside.

 

photobasics11Indoor photo tips:

Find the light! Photography is all about light. If you are indoors, place your subject

near a window. Cameras on phones are capable of producing great images with

enough light. If my child is painting in the kitchen nook, I like to set him up facing

the window so I’m prepared to get an action shot.

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As you practice taking thoughtful pictures...these things will come naturally. You

may find yourself encouraging your children to play in the best light ;)

Simple tips to take better photos of your kids:

1. Fill the frame. Get close to your subject and fill the frame with details!

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2. Don’t just stand there. Get down low. Get on a stool...be creative with your

angle. I love photographing kids at their level or even lying on my belly to get

a unique perspective.

 

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3. Tell jokes. You know what makes your child laugh. Natural laughter makes

the best picture. Say no to saying “cheese”.

 

 

 

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4. Capture details. Your kids will change fast. Their favorite pair of shoes, their

favorite toys, favorite foods...they will someday be a distant memory. Take

pictures of just their sweet eyelashes, their little toes and anything else you

adore about them.

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5. Let them be themselves. Let them make faces. Let them run, jump and

play...it will be a better picture. You will record the joy of childhood rather

than the rigid “my mom told me to stand here for a photo” shot.

Now, it’s time to practice! Start with just one of these concepts if you feel

overwhelmed.

Happy snapping,

Cheryl Spriggs

Cherylspriggs.com