Say cheese 🧀

Okay So It’s no secret we are obsessed with our children 😉 But another thing I am slightly obsessed with is photography. Every year, around Daniel’s birthday, I like to take him out for a fun little photo shoot. I do this for multiple reasons: the first one being I know we will both love looking back and watching how he has grown up over the years. Another one being it helps promote my photography business when I share them with the world on social media 🙂 But, the thing I’ve found the most enjoyable about this tradition is how much Daniel and I love to have a day of adventure together! It’s kind of become our thing.

At Daniel’s 2nd Birthday Photo Shoot we did a baseball theme! ( because I love sandlot )

So, today I wanted to share with you guys some of my tricks to getting kids to take great pictures. Also, how as a mom you don’t always have to hire an expensive photographer to take your families photos! ( self plug: I’m not expensive 😜 & I’m always willing to work with your budget, because I think all families should have good photos)

The first tip I want to share when taking photos with you little ones is make sure you incorporate things they like. PROPS ARE CLUTCH! For example, as you can see in the photo above when my son was turning 2, we did a baseball themed photoshoot. Much like all boys, he loved anything to do with playing ball. So having the baseball and baseball bat for him to play with really made it interactive and kept him having fun. This way it wasn’t just me telling him to say cheese for mommy over and over again. IMG_9135Another good idea is to incorporate their favorite toys. Not only does it give them something to play with, but when you look back on these photos in years to come, you will be able to relive their favorite childhood memories all in one picture.

Second key tip is to take someone with you! It will be the most helpful thing if you have someone to hold things for you and help out with your children while your getting ready for the next shot.

The next great tip is about camera settings. When I’m doing a photo shoot with children, I always make sure I turn on continuous shooting mode to ensure I capture the perfect moments. Another good tip when it comes to camera setting for kids is to turn up your shutter speed. Kid move around a lot: that’s just who they are. There isn’t much we can do about that. BUT we can turn up our shutter speed to freeze the movement and make sure we get a good photo of them having fun! I normally make sure I keep it around 1/200th of a second or faster if you camera will let you.

When Daniel was turning 3 he loved trains! So I found an old train and took his picture on it. HE LOVED IT. I mean look at that smile.

Don’t have a fancy camera? No problem. That doesn’t have to stop you from taking great pictures. Pretty much any smart phone nowadays will take great pictures. I recommend downloading a good editing app to take your pictures to the next level. Lightroom is one I would recommend, but there are tons out there. Just play around with them until you find one that works for you.

My favorite thing to do when taking pictures of my son is to recreate moments year after year. Another thing I love is 1950-1970’s photography so I put the two together and made this moment that we do in every Birthday photo shoot with my son. THE COKE BOTTLE! IMG_9302

I mean if those don’t scream old Americana! ( and yes I’ve sent them into Coke, but haven’t heard back for all three years. 😂) But these are just so much fun.

A new thing I did this year for Daniel’s photoshoot was order a Shirt with his age on it. I ordered from this cute little Etsy shop called HighStreetLittles! It fit perfect and It will also double as his birthday outfit 😊 For our other props this year we did FIREWORKS! This was the first year Daniel really got into the fourth of July, so since then he has been all about smoke bombs. Lucky for me his birthday is in July, so I was able to score a great deal on some marked down smoke bombs.

This is great because taking pictures with these things are a challenge. I would recomend buying the ones that last 30 seconds or longer so you have more time to get your shot. But these were on sale so these are the ones I got. If you can’t see in the picture, they were buy one for $2 and get 3 boxes free. So, we had plenty to play around with.

My last tip is LOCATION & TIMING! I live in the south so pretty much all day is too hot to take picture of kids. But I like to shoot at twilight for the best lighting. Which in the summer is like 7:00pm – 9:00pm. It’s when the sun is setting and it’s kind of cooling off. Another great thing to do is make sure your location not only fits your photos, but is safe for your child. You don’t want to be somewhere there are a ton of people coming and going, because that creates distractions for your kids. This year, to match the fire works, I wanted a real urban background. I drove around a few days before I planned to shoot looking for some graffiti that wasn’t in a horribly dangerous part of town, if you know what I mean. I was able to find this great little shipping container in a parking lot downtown. It was behind a business, so the time we went down there was perfect because all the workers were gone for the day and we had the whole parking lot to play with.

That night we also visited one more stop and it was an underpass where some train tracks are. And I must tell you it is technically illegal to trespass on rail road tracks. So, consider yourself warned. But, it also created a fun place for Daniel to explore while I took his pictures. A must have fun out door adventures is BUG SPRAY! Nothing will shut down a photoshoot like a child getting attacked by bugs. YUCK!   IMG_6519

My best advice over all would be just keep shooting. We had coke explode on his new shirt (which, trust me, it was hard for me to withhold my mommy melt down) But you can’t let the little things stop you from getting your shot. It didn’t even end up showing up in most of the photos anyways.

Let your child be themselves and get shots of that. Try to avoid anything too horribly posed. Just let your kids be themselves. I promise it makes for the best photos! Hope these tips can help you out in your photos to come. I’ll leave y’all with a few of my favorites from over the years.

And Always if you would like for me to take pictures of your kids just let me know 🙂

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