Even with the newest apps and filters, capturing one Instagram-worthy shot of the kids can be an all-day affair. (wait, is it “cheese” or “pizza” that creates the perfect smile?)
The point-and-shoot advice from county pro, family photographer (and mom of 4!) Elise Campbell will save you hours and heartache. From opting for less posed moments to how to use (or not use) a flash, these tips will make selecting your holiday card shot a breeze.
1. Before you even pick up the camera, pay attention to the space you want to fill with your photos. Do you have a long, wide space above your couch? Do you have a favorite card template that holds four photos? Shoot with the end in mind so you don’t become overwhelmed with decisions when you see all of your beautiful photos.
2. Let go of perfection. Sometimes, capturing the essence of who your kids really are is much more appealing than fake, bribe-induced, tense looking smiles.
3. Whenever possible, turn off your flash! Take your family outside, or find some beautiful light that’s falling in from a window or sliding glass door.
4. Play with angles. Shoot from above, straight on, below, and even from the side. (Have you ever noticed how, in a side profile, your child’s eyelashes extend past his cute little nose?)
5. If you’re going to color coordinate, start with an outfit that makes Mom feel beautiful and confident, and build everyone else’s outfit around that. Keep in mind that not everyone has to match perfectly.
6. Capture interaction. In between the posed shots, when someone leans in to tell a secret, or when dad starts a tickle fight, take photos! Those are the moments you’ll want to remember!
7. Get really close. Have everyone squish together and get a close up of the group. You’ll usually get a few silly smiles and laughs, as well.
8. Back way up. Include the scenery.
9. Get action shots. Tell everyone to hold hands and jump.
10. Make the experience enjoyable. This should not just be another chore to check off your list. Prepare the kids in advance. Before the shoot, involve them by having each of them sketch their own posing ideas. Natural smiles come from naturally happy moments. In the event they’re not cooperating, put the camera down and take a break and have some fun- then there’s always a chance to go back to it.
If you’re serious about switching your fancy camera off of AUTO, and capturing more professional-looking pictures of your family, click here for more information on Elise Campbell’s Momtography Classes and learn first hand from a pro.