Recently I managed to get both girls in for their two and five year check-ups at the doctor and I was feeling on a roll with getting at least a few things on my to-do list done in a timely manner. So, with the nice weather, I thought I should try to get some official two and five-year photos!
We went to the park this morning and I brought my camera along in hopes of getting some updated pictures for our home. We got a few keepers!
Oh, and here are the outtakes ; )
"UGH! WHY DOES SHE KEEP TELLING US TO ACT NATURAL? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?"
I just wanna throw these flowers in the air!!! (And sorry you don't have hands in this pic, Cece...)
^^^This is what happened when I told her to smile. ^^^
I actually really love her face and smile, but there's a bar going through the back of her head. Bummer!
I've had a few people ask for pointers recently regarding taking your own kids photos. Be it with a camera or with a phone, here are some things that will help even without adjusting a single setting:
- Be aware of what's in the background. (aka, other people, garbage cans, poles, etc. )Though these things can be edited out, it's always nice to get it right on the first try.
- If possible, shoot outside and shoot when it's cloudy. Not having to figure out how to deal with harsh sun and patchy shadows is a nice time saver.
- If it is sunny, make sure the kids are not looking directly into the sun to avoid washed out faces and squinty eyes.
- Don't have them say "cheese." Everyone is over saying cheese. We say other things like "Spaghetti!" or "Minnie Mouse!" Really, anything random usually helps produce a genuinely happy expression.
- Let them hold a "prop" if it elicits a smile (we were holding pine cones, dandelions, and rocks.... and I cropped them all out. I try to avoid excessive cropping, but I got a few nice smiles that way!)
- Or bribery works well too, at least with older kids. This particular morning I told them they could have banana bread when we got back home if they smiled nicely. Win!
- Get down to their level and fill up the frame with their body and face. That'll also help with omitting distracting elements in the background.
- Embrace the chaos and the candid moments, because that's sure to happen pretty much every time. And some of those moments are pretty golden!
- Oh, and do cardio. Kids are fast. Some won't let you take their picture unless you can catch them.
I know my style of taking photos is not quite as polished as some might prefer. Sometimes there's grain, blur, darkness, etc. but regardless of your taste in photography, those few tricks mentioned above will make a big difference!