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If you’re anything like us, one of the biggest reasons we got into photography was so that we could capture beautiful candid moments of our children. Sure, it’s nice to have portrait quality images hanging on the wall. And, we’re not above hiring a professional in the fall for our annual family Christmas card shot, but it’s those everyday moments that preserve our finest memories. It’s those candid moments of our little families that will allow us to step back in times years from now and remember all of those precious memories.
With that in mind, today we’re going to discuss some easy ways to capture candid moments of your kids.
We all know how quickly time flies by when you have children. Therefore, when capturing candid moments, consider who your child is right now.
What is important to them? Do they have a favorite toy, favorite dress up outfit, favorite activity? Consider these details and try your best to capture it. When you look back at these photos, they’ll be able to tell a really great story.
What makes your family (your kids) special? What’s their “thing?” Do they enjoy walking into preschool with their best friend, or having a jam session dressed as a princess, or do they like to read books before bedtime?
Whatever it is, these are the activities that are worth capturing. Not only will your child be more comfortable in activities that they enjoy, but it’ll further tell the story of who your child is during that point in time.
If your children are anything like ours, then you’ve probably heard “no camera, Mommy.” As momtographers, we’re all a little guilty of over-photographing our children’s lives. However, used sparingly, you’ll find that your kids will start to enjoy being in front of the camera. They may even request that you take their picture.
Of course, that makes the question of “when?” very important. Consider your timing. Is your child hungry or tired? If so, address those basic needs instead of forcing a moment. Once those basic needs are met, get your child engaged in whatever “IT” is that they love and wait patiently for the right moment to start shooting. With any luck (and good timing), your child will forget that you’re taking pictures and have fun!
Once you know “what” it is that makes your child special, the “where” is relatively easy. If you enjoy baking cookies with your kids, then it only makes sense to photograph your child in the kitchen. If your kids enjoy reading books in bed, then be sure to capture them relaxing in their bed.
Context is important so while it’s tempting to just focus on the activity, be sure to step back far enough that you allow a little bit of their environment into the frame to further tell the story of your child’s life at that point in time.
The same applies for special occasions or “first” moments. For example, if your child is getting their first hair cut, don’t be afraid to bring your “big girl” camera to the salon.
Now that you’ve taken the time to think through who you are shooting, what makes your child special, when the best time to photograph them and where you should capture them, capturing candid moments of your kids will happen quite naturally.
You’ll find that you no longer need elaborate backdrops or wardrobe changes to tell the story. Instead, focus on your child and the rest will fall into place.
That said, if you want your photos to look at little more professional, here’s a tip: CLEAR THE CLUTTER!
For example, if you know that you’ll be taking pictures in the kitchen, clear your counter tops. The key is to tidy up just a bit so the focus of your images stays on your kids and not all the stuff.
Be sure to also capture these candid moments from several different perspectives (if you’re able). Once you load them into your editing software, you’ll have several options to choose from.
One of the best ways we’ve found to get into capturing candid moments of your kids is by starting a photography project such as Project 365. Commit to taking one candid moment a day or a week. Over time, you’ll find that these moments happen so naturally that you’re not sure how you ever went without it.
Photo Credits: Ashley Sisk