Tuesday, February 20, 2018

How and Why You Should be Getting in the Frame

Have you noticed that as mamas, we’re often too busy being behind the camera to ever make it into photos with our kids?
It is so important for us to get in pictures with our kids. I don’t know about you, but I love looking at old pictures of my parents. It’s important that our kids have pictures of us to look back on. It’s also important for us to have pictures of ourselves with our kids. There is nothing more precious than time spent with my son. Pictures documenting those moments are priceless to me.

Overcoming Insecurities

Motherhood is not always super glamorous.
I know that.
You know that.

Don’t let the insecurities get in the way of taking pictures with your kids. If like me, you struggle with feeling self-conscious in photos, you might find THIS helpful. It’s a list of my favorite tips to taking a more flattering photo.

The more confident you feel, the more likely you’ll be willing to jump in front of the camera instead of hide behind it.
It may surprise you that the more often you get in pictures, the more confident you’ll become. You’ll start to see yourself differently – and you should. Mama, you are so beautiful. You are strong and you are loved. Your kids adore you. You deserve to have pictures that capture that. Don’t hide behind the camera. Get in there!

Don’t take the easy way out

The easiest way to get in pictures with your kids is to hand off the camera to someone else. My husband doesn’t necessarily love photography the way I do, but he is always willing to take the camera and snap pictures of my son and I. Don’t be afraid to ask someone else to take the camera for a few minutes. It may feel as if you are being an inconvenience, but I think most people enjoy getting a turn to take pictures.
Don’t just rely on someone else though. Be intentional and learn how to take self-portraits with your kids – and I don’t just mean selfies! It doesn’t matter if you have a big fancy camera or a smart-phone – you have the ability to take beautiful self-portraits with your kids.

How to set up for a self-portrait

Ok. Stick with me. I know this is the most intimidating part, but I promise it’s not as bad as it seems. It takes a little bit of practice to perfect, but once you get the hang of it, it will become second nature.
If you’re using your smartphone there are a few ways to set up for a self-portrait.
  1. Set the self-timer and prop your phone up
  2. Use a remote
There are super affordable (I’m talking $8.00) shutter remotes made for smartphones that make getting in the picture really easy! This is what I use.

Tip: Even if you are using a remote, you should still set the self-timer. This gives you a few seconds between when the button is clicked and when the camera takes the picture. This allows you to hide the remote out of sight. If you don’t get the remote hidden in time, don’t sweat it. Some of my favorite pictures have the remote in view. Moments ALWAYS win.  

Next, pick a location, set up your phone, and take a few practice shots to make sure everything is working and in the right place. Then, and only then, grab your kiddo ;)
Use a remote or the self-timer and snap away.
Don’t worry about fancy poses or getting your kid to do something specific. Just interact with them normally! The last thing you want to do is make picture taking a frustrating experience for them – just keep it simple.

10 Ideas for Self-portraits with your kids

1. Read a book together
2. Play with a favorite toy on their bedroom floor.
3. Look out a window and play “I Spy.”
4. Cuddle in your favorite chair.
5. Ask your kiddo to touch foreheads with you or give kisses!
6. Turn on music and dance in your kitchen together.
7. Jump on the bed together.
8. Think of special things you do together every day – an example of this might be helping them brush their teeth or get their shoes on. Documenting the mundane is my favorite.
9. Blow Bubbles!
10. Plain ol’ smile at the camera.

If you use your smartphone to take your pictures, I’ve made a PDF download for you of 12 tips for taking better phone photos! You can download it HERE.

If you ever get stuck editing your photos, come say hi over on Instagram! I have a few phone editing tutorials saved in my story highlights and I add to them often.

A Note on Using DSLR Cameras

If you’re using a DSLR camera, the same techniques apply. A tripod is helpful but not necessary. Same with a shutter remote (I use this tripod and this shutter remote). If you don’t have either, just use the self-timer).

The most challenging aspect of using a DSLR is nailing focus – it just takes practice. With a shutter remote you can click the button and wait for the camera to autofocus. You can also manually set your focus by placing an object in the frame in lieu of yourself, focus on the object, and then remove the object when you get back in the picture.  

Don’t let the technical aspect get in the way!

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  1. This is a great guide! I am new to a smart phone (I know it sounds weird) - I had a digi-detox for 5 years; so this is fab for me as I STILL feel really uncomfortable in photos, with or without anyone else. I have just bought a camera phone precisely because I had missed out on photos with my son, whereas my husband had a ton on his phone. You post has given me a little bit of a boost plus more confidence in my decision that getting the phone with the camera was the right thing to do - Europafox x

  2. This is so great! Thank you so much for your comment and letting me know that it was helpful. I definitely think getting the phone with the camera was a great decision!