Tips For Photographing Your Kids

Some of our most cherished family memories happen right in our own home, oftentimes when we least expect them. Now, thanks to modern technology and social media, it’s easier than ever to document and share those special moments. Photographer and guest contributor Allie Carr offers simple tips for capturing the magic of childhood in your home with your own camera.

Lighting, Lighting, Lighting
I am a natural light photographer, so I depend heavily on sunlight. In the Pacific Northwest, this is not always an easy feat. But you don’t need a 90 degree sunshine-y day to get beautiful light. A simple window in your home can produce beautifully lighted photographs. The first thing I do is turn off any overhead or artificial lights. These lights can create weird shadows and can turn skin yellow in the photographs. Lighting can make or break a photograph, so before setting up a shot I take a minute to observe my surroundings. There are three different types of lighting.

1. The easiest lighting to shoot in would be “all over lighting,” which a nice big window in an open space can help achieve. A bedroom or living room can provide you with nice even lighting. 

LightingAllOverImages

2. Another option is “backlighting.” This is where you place your light source, or window, at your subject’s back. This type of lighting produces a softer looking image and adds focus to your subject. 

LightingBacklight

3. My last suggestion is “side light.” This light provides a much more dramatic, moodier feel. It creates shadows and a lot of depth in the photos. 

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Choosing the direction of your lighting can determine the mood of the image. Experiment with the light. Watch your windows; the light coming through them will change throughout the day. Some of my most cherished photographs are ones I took while simply practicing with the light. 

Let kids be kids
If your kids are anything like mine, then getting a beautiful posed photo of them is next to impossible. I have found that it’s not those perfectly posed photos that make my momma heart burst, it’s those in between moments. Those candid moments where they’re laughing hysterically at their own inside jokes, big sister reading to her little brother, or working on a puzzle together. I want them to be able to look back on these photos in 20 years and be flooded with fond memories. So, for the most part, I let them be kids. I let them have pillow fights, I encourage bubble blowing, and jumping on the bed is a must. 

I also make mental notes of the moments I don’t want to forget. Every day has the potential to be the last time for everything. The last time your baby takes a bottle. The last time your son sleeps in his crib. Taking a photograph is a way to preserve these special moments. Take those photos now while you’re living in them, instead of waiting until they have passed. 

LetThemBeImages

Don’t forget yourself 
So many times we forget to put ourselves in the photos. I don’t want to be absent from our photos, so I have been making a conscious effort to put myself in the frame. The easiest way to accomplish this is to hand over your camera to someone else. But if you find yourself in a situation where there isn’t another set of hands to snap the photo, your camera can do the work for you! Almost all cameras, whether it’s a DSLR or even your iPhone, have self-timers. Tripods are also inexpensive and can be very helpful. Whether you’re taking a cute posed picture, or a memorable candid moment, I promise that your kids will thank you in 30 years for getting in the frame. 

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Parenthood flies by in the blink of an eye. Take a few moments and capture those special family moments. There’s beauty in our ordinary every day. 

 ~ Allie Carr, Alaina Lynn Photography, www.alainalynnphotography.com

Looking for a new home to create lasting memories in? Check out available homes from Quadrant Homes, throughout the Puget Sound area at www.quadranthomes.com