tips for taking effortless pics of your kids.

save the date for SATURDAY, APRIL 25th friends because i’ll be with my girl and photography genius stacy jacobsen, hosting The Everyday Workshop and we would love, love, love to see you there.

as excited as i am to speak and teach, i’m even more excited about taking the workshop myself. as much as stacy and i have worked together, i know nothing about camera settings, equipment, lighting, etc. but would love to be able to capture more of the everyday fleeting moments with my kids. you too?

last week we made a pop-up garage studio (one of the things we’ll cover at the workshop) to take pictures of a mini-mock 5th bday party for stacy’s son jack (more pics on the land of nod blog soon) so i thought i would share a few outtakes and talk about photographing children.

as my iPhone (and i’m sure your’s too) proves, snapping pics and keeping them for keepsakes is one of my favorite things to do. her’s a few tricks i’ve learned!

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backgrounds + decluttering – basically you want to eliminate distractions and pick a background that compliments or adds to the person in the photo. for instance this pic of tilly jump roping would have been very different had the garage door been open. in the same way (and similar to graphic design) think about positive vs. negative space and how they can contrast, support or compliment each other to make it interesting! the photo above is a great example, but we’ll get into it more during the workshop!

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be playful. be funny. be smart. – getting real, authentic pics of kids means letting them be themselves and what are kids best at? playing! even if your not trying to capture something specific, it helps if kids have something to play with in their hand – a book, a leaf, their favorite hot wheel – to help keep them engaged, happy and not thinking about the camera. if your shooting more than one child find opportunities for them to play off each other – whisper a secret, make funny faces, tell a joke, throw popcorn and be silly! remember to ask leading questions instead of giving demands. what does that tambourine sound like? do you know how to blow a bubble?

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make it quick and/or make something else the focus. – kids have short attention spans (duh, rae) so find the good light, set the “stage” and then let the fun begin. if your kids tend to be shy the second you pull the camera out try making something else the focus… like the beautiful cake (by 4kids cakes) in the photo above. chances are they’ll be ready to jump right in and ham-it-up!

of course there is a time and a place to “keep-it-real” and not care at all about the tips and tricks for the sake of spontaneity but there is something to be said for being efficient, effortless and confident and i hope these tips helped.

if (like me) you want to learn more about taking beautiful, everyday kind of pics i hope you’ll join us at the workshop. for all the details and to sign up (space is limited and filling up!) HEAD HERE.

if you have tips to share or things you want to learn, spill it in the comments below!

xo. rae

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