How to take better photos of your children:
During such a difficult time, I am sure some are missing out on some important celebrations. I have not had any sessions since the announcement of our shelter in place for Texas. I also do not encourage anyone to book sessions at the moment. Because of this, I wanted to share some tips if you're wanting to take photos of your own child(ren) or family. Before we get into this, I ask that you take all precautions and choose an empty location or even better have this session in/at your own home! Remember, your health and others is priority. With that being said, let's get started.
1. Look for the light!
As a natural light photographer, I search for the best light during my sessions. This absolutely determines where I place and pose my subjects. It is important to remember that certain times of the day offer soft light and harsh light. I recommend shooting early in the morning or my favorite time, golden hour. Golden hour is usually an hour before sunset and is best when there are no clouds in the sky blocking the gorgeous golden rays. I would place my subject in the shade with the sun peeking through the trees behind them or facing away from the sun. You dont want any patchy or harsh shadows on your child!
2. Get down to their level
This helps include background in your images as well as putting your child at ease for the photo. It also helps include any flowers or growing grass that will create a bit of a frame in the image. I think my favorite time taking photos of my own children is when I sit, relax, and watch them play. During this time, I give them a small task or make up some sort of game that will excite them where I remain ready with my camera for the perfect photo.
3. Consider the Background
The easiest way to remember this tip is to simply just pick the right spot at your location. People and cars can be distracting in your images so narrow the focus on your child. With the shots below I played with the sun rays by moving my camera up and down until it was just right. The image below on the right I wanted to include because I loved the sunlight on the trees in the background and I also made sure to include a bit of the sky. Right behind us was a road I made sure not to point my camera towards.
4. Don't say smile, make them smile!
Ok, so the photo below may involve a bit of cheating since there is ice cream, but I also had her Dad standing right behind me to help me catch a smile. I made sure he was at the same level as my lens and again...right behind me! Alina's favorite show is Sesame Street, so we had Elmo playing on YouTube while we were shooting. Again...try your hardest not to say smile. Play with your kids and bring someone to help if possible.
5. Try all points of views
Play with different angles, walk up close, and then walk farther. It's usually at the end of my session when I try my best to get creative shots. This is after I have that "perfect smile" shot and I have no worries and can just have fun! One of my favorite tips is to walk around your subject while they remain in the same pose. You'll be surprised how different your images can look by doing just this! I love to capture close up shots of eyes and hands, those are definitely my favorite.
6. Less is More
When it comes to props and outfits I personally like to keep it at a minimal. Now, I am sure that not everyone is going to agree with this statement and some people love their props and that is their preference. But, when planning an outfit for photos I make sure to avoid bright colors, busy prints, and too much accessories. When I include props, I like to take a step back and make sure my set up isn't too busy. If I need to bring a blanket to have my clients or children sit on, I make sure it is a neutral color(s) so that it doesn't stand out more than the subject(s). I purchased this outfit on Amazon a few months ago. I really wish I had some brown boots to pair it with since there were a few ant piles around that I had to make sure to avoid!
7. Take in the moment & Capture their personality!
Okay, you may think this is not as important but sitting back and taking in the moment helps me choose when to click that button on my camera. I wait for the perfect smile and the silly facial expressions. The images below were not my favorite from this quick session, but they were her Dad's favorite. I personally just stay camera-ready with my focus set and my eyes on the subject patiently waiting for the right moment.
8. Try to pay attention to the details
Sometimes when shooting, I shift focus on my settings and forget to take a step back and look at my subjects. Before shooting, I make sure there are no distracting bracelets, watches, or ponytails on wrists. I also make sure that their hair is fixed or there clothing is placed in just the right spot. With this session I made sure to face the "Blue Bell" ice cream label forward so that it properly makes an impact in the image. I recommend doing this each time you switch poses or move spots in your location.
9. Finally, edit your photos...
I always sort through ALL of my images, narrow down the best, and then choose which ones to edit. At first when I edit, I always crop and straighten my image first. I always either center my subject or try my best to follow the "rule-of-thirds." After, I lowered my exposure, added "warmth" to the image. lifted the contrast, brought down the shadows, and adjusted my greens. I think the best advice I have received when editing is edit with skin-tone in mind first. Also, I tried to keep the bluebonnets true to color as much as possible. There are plenty of apps that offer editing, just remember if you add filters, try to keep the edits at a minimal.
I hope these tips were helpful! I used to stress so much when taking my own children's photos. It wasn't until I just sat back and enjoyed them is when I started to love the photos I took of my kids.
I pray for those who are going through a difficult time during this pandemic and I am thankful to those who are still working hard for us all. Let's all stay safe and inside as much as possible.
Thank you for reading,
I find it so important for Moms to step away from behind the camera and have a photo session with their babies (even the grown ones). I encourage all moms to make time for themselves and allow someone to capture the beautiful bond they share with their children. During my mini session, I may ask you to play, tickle, run with, or just hold your child so that I can do my best to capture the sweetest moments.
What is a mini session?
Exactly what it sounds like, just a shortened session usually around 20-30 minutes long.
Who can attend?
Feel free to invite friends, family members, and Dad's to help with your children and even play around in the background.
How many images will I receive?
You may choose up to 5 images from your online gallery. There will be around 15-20 images to choose from. You will also have the option to purchase additional images for $10 each or an option to purchase the entire gallery for 50% off.
When will I see my images?
Your gallery will be delivered through an online gallery called "Pixieset" on May 1, 2020.
Can I order prints through you?
Yes! I recommend ordering prints, books, or other gift options through me. Prints will be available for pick-up or you may choose to have them delivered to you for a small fee.
How do I book a session?
Just email email@example.com or fill out the contact form (button below) so that I can reach out to you for available time slots. Spots are limited and require a 50% deposit at time of booking. An email confirmation will be delivered after payment along with a code for a free styling service.
**Please understand your date is not officially booked until the deposit is paid.
Have a beautiful day!
My "Photography Bucket List"
Dallas has so many beautiful locations to offer for sessions. I have already visited many but there is still much more I want to explore. Therefore, I wanted to share a list of locations that I am eager to have sessions at for a discounted rate. I call this my "photography bucket list." The locations listed are kind of nearby places that I would love to have in my portfolio. You will notice that some places listed will have a preference for the type of session I would like to have there. This is simply because some locations are more suitable for a couple or portrait session than a family session with children. So if there is a body of water nearby, children would most likely be attracted to it, and I would definitely want to consider their safety. However, I did include some spots for families as well. OK, lets get started...!
Alina's Fun Fruit Bath Session...
Summer is coming to an end and I am so happy I made time for my daughters fruit bath session. My daughter absolutely loved this! I recommend this session for ages 7 months to 1 year. I know this is a small gap but as long as you have a stable and unsupported sitter you may be able to have this session at 6 months of age. If you decide to have this type of session for your child, definitely make sure your child does not have any allergies to the fruit. I am sure allergies for the fruit I used is very rare, but it is better to be safe than sorry!
Here are some tips if you are planning your own fruit bath session. I ordered the tub off Amazon, this size is a 15 gallon tub. My 5 year old fit in it perfectly if it helps to reference that for size. This tub was around $35 and I loved the dull color and texture. I collected 2.5 gallon water jugs over time and used about 7.5 gallons for this session. When you do refill, just remember to pack warm water for your child so they can actually enjoy their bath.
This blog topic is more of a mommy post than a photography post. I just wanted to share this fun idea with other parents if you happen to be home on a cloudy day. I call this a Dr. Suess/Rainy Day activity to do with your child. So here we go...
My middle child Mila has been obsessed with painting lately, specifically rainbows, so I decided to bring her art to life today. After I explained the idea of having her paint the sky, she was so excited to dip her brush in some watercolor. We had all the materials ready to go at our house, so I propped her near a well-lit window and let her creative process begin.
Since she insisted her rainbow colors be in the right order, I did give her some instructions while taking her photos. I probably shot around 20 different images playing with different angles.
My oldest daughter has a collection of art supplies so they made the perfect props for the photo. I will let you know that everything that was displayed on the desk was stacked quite ugly behind me. I did that simply to avoid any distractions in the images. It was also an overcast day which made it a perfect day to create some sunshine and color with her.
I won't be speaking for other photographers, but I simply want to explain the process when booking a session with me. Other photographers may have a different approach but I hope this helps give a general idea. I booked my first professional shoot for my family really not too long ago. Even I didn't see the importance of it until I received my gallery, and got all choked up. I am always the one behind the camera, and because I love photography I don't mind it at all until I realize that I have no photos of myself for my kids to have.
Before I get to your why and what booking a session with me is like, let me just tell you a quick story. Just recently I made time for a trip to sunflower fields. I wanted to a good group photo of my daughters. I got them all dressed up, coordinated and all, I rushed to make sure I had everything packed, diaper bag, snacks, camera, etc. I made it an hour before they closed since the location was more than an hour away from me. I didn't get the photo I wanted, and honestly my camera felt like my cell phone. I couldn't put it down and really enjoy my children because I was so focused in getting a shot. I am sharing this because not even I can do it all. I believe it is so important to set time aside and allow someone else to look at your family and show you what is beautiful and special about it...even though I am sure you already know. So anyway lets begin...
Along with the seasons and time of day, locations can have a big impact on your photos. When considering your location, choose one that best suits you personally. What you have to wear to your session can also help narrow down your decision. Don't be shy to dress up at a more natural location, but do consider the type of shoes you'd bring to a park. ;)
Anyways, here are some of my favorite photography locations around Dalas that I have found to love!
1. Arbor Hills Nature Preserve / Address: 6701 W Parker Rd. Plano, TX 75093
This location has so much to offer because it is just so large. I usually only shoot just around the entrance of the park and I am able to deliver many options to my clients. The open field they have is perfect to capture a gorgeous sunset as well. You must visit right when the leaves begin to change their colors...it's beautiful. This park is usually filled with many other photographers, but with so much space, there is plenty of room for all of us!
These are the girls that inspired me to start my business in photography. As a mom I see how quickly children grow up, so every moment spent with them means I am usually taking so many pictures of them. Since I am always taking pictures, they hate to pose for me at times. So if you're a mom that wonders why you can't get your children to look and smile at the camera at the same time. I understand & it happens to me too! While doing family sessions, I always hear from moms "look at the camera and smile!" But I think it's important to also capture the moments in between the poses. Personally, I would much rather remember my children behaving as children. So even though I do offer the posed family photos with every session, I really recommend framing the natural moments around your house. I feel it brings more joy and shows their true character.