For Bridget Hunt, (and many of you lovely ladies) part of being a Brass babe includes the 24/7 job of being a Mother. Whether you’re a working Mom or a stay-at-home one, life gets super busy when kids enter the picture. One of the easiest ways to keep in touch with friends and family so they can watch your little one grow is to share Instagram photos of your fam as well as the eternal favorite, the classic annual holiday card.
However, not all of us are skilled photographers like Bridget. So, whether you’re bringing in professional help or you’re an iPhone camera user who can barely be bothered with filters, here’s a few tips for getting the best possible shot of your kids:
Prepping for the Professional Family Photo Session:
- Don’t Match Your Outfits. Coordinate!
While the 90’s were full of family portraits consisting of the uniform of matching white t-shirts and blue jeans, wearing identical outfits is another outdated fashion choice you’re likely going to regret. Instead, pick a color palette and pair it with a neutral base. Stay away from graphics, big logos and super trendy prints. Choose what best complement your skin and hair colors and feel free to go wild with contrasting textures, patterns and accessories that are within your color combo. This will keep things visually interesting.
- Look like yourselves.
Everyone wants their family to look their absolute best, but if your husband is a flip-flops and sweat shirt kind of guy… it’s going to show how miserable he is if you request that he wears a bow-tie and button-up. Same goes for your kids. Feel free take the formality up a notch and put them in their holiday best but make sure it’s THEIR holiday best, and not some suspiciously cute family on Pinterest that you’re trying to emulate. That goes for you too! Stay away from 5 inch heels if flats are truly your fave. When everyone is comfortable and looks like themselves, their smiles will show it.
- Plan for it.
Whether it’s a shoot with you, your partner and your (hopefully!) sleeping baby or a shoot with you and your crazy energetic 6 kids, be prepared! Explain to your little ones beforehand what they’ll be doing. Sweet and simple toys (think teddy bear, not giant Nerf gun) won’t ruin a photo and will keep them happy if turns out they don’t have what it takes to be a toddler model. Pack extra snacks. And remember: even if your family isn’t super photogenic, after the fact you’ll probably get a laugh out of your 10 year old glaring the camera with every ounce of his tween angst or your 3 year old running out of frame with one shoe on. They’re real and your family and you’ll appreciate that you captured this moment.
Taking Your Own Everyday Photos:
- Get on their level.
Kids are very short humans so most of your photos of them end up being from a bird’s eye view. Switch it up occasionally and get down low to capture them from their height level. Eye to eye, these shots are far more intimate and totally change the perspective and feeling of a photo.
- Get them in action.
Children are rarely standing still and often times asking them to stop for a photo results in awkward poses and unconvincing smiles… so shoot them on the move! Whether they’re on the soccer field or flying down a slide, this is their natural element and where their true happy vibe will shine through.
- Fill the frame and leave the limbs.
For super cute portraits, make sure your child fills out the entire frame. Get up close! You’ll appreciate the little details whether it’s their long eyelashes or that scar they got when they jumped off the deck and nearly gave you a heart attack. To get this effect after you’ve taken the photo, simply use the crop tool but make sure to follow the best and basic rule of photo editing: don’t crop off at the joints! If you’re not cropping above the elbow, you should show the elbow, wrists and hands. Here’s a handy graphic that shows the good places to crop (green) and the ones to avoid (red): http://lifehacker.com/5991733/avoid-amputating-people-in-your-photos-with-this-cropping-cheat-sheet
In addition to these quick tips, Bridget recommends:
“Don’t be afraid to shoot your subject off center. Whether they’re all the way to the right, or all the way at the bottom third of the frame with lots of space above, it’s fun to get creative and not feel as though everyone must be perfectly centered!”
*all photos were taken from Bridget Hunt Photography