I have never paid anyone to take professional pictures of our family! I know it probably isn’t that expensive, but I actually enjoy doing it myself. And I enjoy all of the money I save by doing so! Here are some tips to help you get a great photo (mainly of your kids) and become your own photographer!
I got to learn how hard it is to take photos of newborns when my daughter was born. I give props to all of the professional photographers out there that get those beautiful shots of tiny babies!
~ Do it at nap time, but dress them beforehand!
~ Try not to move them around too much to avoid a grumpy baby.
~ Don’t plan on doing a wardrobe change. Just stick with one outfit pre “shoot”.
~ Use a nice fluffy blanket.
Take advantage of nap time! To get cute pictures of your kids, use nap time to sneak in some quick shots.
~ If the room is dark, try opening a curtain to let in natural light (without waking them up).
~ Try not to use the flash because your pictures will not turn out as good.
~ Scoot them together if you have to. Sometimes I scoot my kids closer together when they’re napping so it looks like they actually like each other lol. Make sure they’re nice and asleep first.
Make an “Emotion Collage”
~ Tell your kid to make mad, sad, happy, or silly faces.
~ Just use a wall for a simple, clean background.
~ Edit them into a collage for printing.
My son really liked modeling his new shirt for this shot. And he thought making silly faces was fun, plus it helped me keep his attention while I got the pictures I needed!
Take your own Themed Photos
~ Use holiday toys or decorations that you have on hand to take some great holiday photos.
~ Use a sheet or blanket that matches as a backdrop.
~ Drape it over something like the end of the couch or bed for a full backdrop.
~ Use natural light! Open the blinds and sit your models in front of a window. Or go outside on a sunny day.
~ Let the kids play with the props. Keep them in one spot by letting them hold onto an item that’s going in the photo, like a stuffed bunny for spring time photos.
Tips for Outside Photo Shoots
~ Do it on a sunny day, but stay in the shade. Try not to take pictures in direct sun light, they turn out better when you are in the shade. Plus, it could get hot!
~ Use a blanket to make a picnic style photo shoot.
~ Use props. If it’s summer, use some shells or flowers. If it’s fall, throw some leaves on the blanket.
~ Find a pretty location. Nature provides us with beautiful backgrounds!
~ Bring inside stuff outside . Don’t be afraid to drag out some kitchen chairs or other items to use as props!
Some Overall Tips!
~ Make sure no one is sleepy! Trying to make tired kids (or even adults) pose while they are sleepy is almost impossible. Try to plan your photo shoots while everyone is wide awake!
~ No flash. Using the flash will make your photos look…well, home done. Natural light is the key to getting professional style pictures!
~ You don’t need a fancy camera. I use my smart phone to take about 90% of my pictures (including all of the ones shown here). I had an iPhone 4 when I took these. You don’t have to pay hundreds of dollars on a good camera, but buying a nice digital one can come in handy.
~ Try to find matching outfits. When taking pictures of your kids or family, try to dress everyone in somewhat matching clothes. This makes group photos look better.
~ Set your camera/phone’s settings. Make sure all of the settings are on correctly for what you are doing.
~ Be very still. It is hard to get photos that are not blurry (especially with a phone), so do your best to keep very still while taking them. Use something to set your arm or hand on if you have to. If there is a table, counter, or floor nearby, try resting your elbow on it while taking the picture.
~ Be aware of your background! You might get a cute picture of your baby, but your 4 year olds huge mess of ripped up paper is in the background. That’s not the kind of thing you want on Facebook. Make sure the background that is going to show up in your photo is as nice to look at as the cute kid!
~ Edit, edit, edit. There are so many great photo editing tools available that you should have no excuse to having bad pictures. The benefit of taking pictures with your smart phones is all of the great apps that you can edit them on! Try out some free apps first before you pay for any (I always use the free ones)! You can also search around for free photo editing software online.