Four (Professional) Tips for Photographing Your Kids

Sunday, June 29, 2014 Leave a Comment

From the moment I found out I was having a little girl, I started to dream about the photo shoots we would do. I had friends who took the most gorgeous portraits of their little models, and I just knew I would be doing that, too.

And then Ana Gray came along. From the time she was tiny, any time I would whip out the camera, she would cry. Or look down. Or just plain run the other way. And I knew I was going to have to get creative if I wanted anything resembling a nice picture of her.

So even though I shoot women in my own photography business (Maternity, Boudoir, and my personal favorite- Empower Her Portraits), I've had LOTS of practice with one very determined, on-the-go personality who HATES the camera! So I've been asked to share a few tips now and then here on Stapleton Moms to help all the other Mamarazzi out there who just want to grab a great shot of their gorgeous little ones before time slips away!

To kick things off, here are 4 of my very best tips:

1. Try to keep things simple
Avoid busy backgrounds or colors that compete with your child for the subject of the picture. (If things are distracting, sometimes black & white is a great fix!) 
Good-bye bright, overwhelming flowers, hello cutie pies!
2. Give them something to do
Little hands are busy and little bodies don't like to stay still! But hand them a flower or an instrument or a shovel and pail, and you've got the perfect chance to grab a shot before they're off to the next adventure!
A lollipop is never NOT cute!
(And HemmedIn clothes are always cute, too!) 
3. Try a different point of view
Some of my favorite shots of my own little girl are 'eyelash' shots when she's looking down, trying her hardest to make my camera disappear. You don't always have to stop them from their activities (or their attitudes) to look at your camera and force a smile. Just take a moment to think about how best to capture what's happening.
When  my daughter and nephew did this on their own, I could have never broken up the moment to ask for a smile!
4. Don't get angry
I get SO frustrated sometimes when my daughter is standing in the cutest clothes in the most beautiful sunlight- all the makings of the most gorgeous portrait- and all I can get her to do is pout at me. But there's nothing that will ruin a photo shoot faster than mom's frustration! So when you feel the annoyance bubbling up, take a moment to breathe and count to 10 if you need to. And then do something totally crazy. Make an animal noise. Or a 'fart' sound, even! Surprise yourself! And when your little one starts to giggle, you'll find yourself giggling, too.  
The product of a very well-timed pig sound ;)

Above all, though, HAVE FUN! A picture doesn't have to be technically perfect to be wonderful! The more you pull out your camera and try new things, the better your pictures will be.  And you'll treasure all the moments you captured while you practiced.  

Katie Bradford Osborne is a Stapleton Mom and local professional artist. She graduated from the Art Institute of Philadelphia with a bs in photography in 2009- the same year her daughter, Ana Gray, was born- and now pursues her passion of shooting women including maternity, boudoir, and her very favorite- Empower Her portraits (as well as logo design and mixed media jewelry art) under the umbrella of her business- The Roaring Artist.
Katie also offers Mamarazzi workshops and personal classes to local moms with DSLRs who are interested in more in-depth knowledge of their cameras and how to capture their children from behind the lens.