6 Family Photography Tips for the Momographer
I've been wanting to cover this topic for a while now that I have a family. I never knew what style of clothing I would wear as a mother. I thought my outlook would be so much different. Surprisingly it isn't much different as it is more fun.
Baby romper and shirt by ZaraKids
Having a baby girl is so much fun and now I get to style her too while capturing our lives as it is so we can talk about them in the years to come.
I love creating memories as the seasons change, holidays arrive and birthdays are celebrated but as a whole new human that got here (my daughter), milestones are just behind every blink. So as a mom and photographer I find it hard not to put down the camera and enjoy the moment. (pray for me saints!) BUT, I did learn how to make living in the moment a part of my love for photography. Call it a perspective change if you will!
That being said, I want to post a few tips on how to capture those moments as a photographer/mom and not frustrate your husband, children, yourself while living in the moment.
Here are my top 6 tips:
Plan ahead your timing and materials needed!
"Then the LORD replied: "Write down the revelation and make it plain on tablets so that a herald may run with it." -Habakkuk 2:2
And in this case my herald is my BFF, my husband. <3 (Thankfully my husband is also an Artist and gets me!)
Photography by Melissa J Leslie-Quinones
If you know you love go to the pumpkin patch, christmas tree lighting, (fill in your favorite seasonal thing to do here) then make it count! Think ahead by calculating in the weather, the day of week for traffic issues, are there tickets needed to be bought? When is nap time, are you packing lunches? What will each one of you be wearing?
Now that you have all the key components written down, set all the materials aside (I like to put all my accessories in a basket that can easily be taken our shoot).
Make sure your camera batteries are charged, memory card is cleared and in the camera and clicker ready in hand. Also be sure to bring extra batteries for the camera and clicker. Do you use a flash? Make sure you packed it!
Here's a quick sample list of items to have ready:
Hope for the best but plan for the worst. If it ends up raining, go with it and make it a fun rain shoot! But again, be prepared aka, take umbrellas, towels, etc...
You've heard them say 'timing is everything.' With kids it literally is! Your want your child to have a good time and be in their best mood possible. Every child is different and you will know generally when is the best time to see them in their best mood. For me, it mostly in the morning or after a nap.
With that in mind, I try to shoot in the morning, after her nap, during playtime or while she's sleeping when she's in complete peace and looks all glowy like an angel!
Finding Your Style
My style isn't for everyone and perhaps you aren't sharing all your moments with the world on social media, I know I'm not! But, if you are, you may want to create a feed that people can follow and know that they will get the same feel from you in almost every post. Follow a few other accounts and take mental notes on what you like.
Photography by Melissa J Leslie-Quinones / Panda toy by Eden&Zoe
What colors are they using? What style of light is most common in their posts? What style of atmosphere or clothing do they shoot? Are you starting to see a trend? I find Pinterest to be helpful in organizing my visual thoughts for inspiration.
Live in the Moment
Remember the tip about time? Well planning is key to have a great time just like planning an event, setting a table or planning a vacation. After you have all your ducks lined up, set the tripod or 90 degree angle stand (depending on the perspective you want to achieve).
Make your moment in the time you've set aside to enjoy each others presence, read a new book, play with a new toy, laugh at a silly joke, really engage with each other. This isn't just a photoshoot, this is family time!
Release your Expectations
Most of us enter in the photo session with unrealistic expectations. We want our outfits to the nines, the makeup fresh, every hair in place, nails done, weather perfect, lighting on point and get frustrated when we don't get what we want. This is the perfect way to set yourself up for frustration, failure and an unnecessary tense atmosphere. On top of that, every photo time thereafter builds anxiety, and no one will want to play dress up with you stinky cheese!
So, relax, throw out all your expectations and make a space you would want to be in and partner up with grace and kindness.
Tell A Story
In my humble opinion, you want to look back at your photos and remember all the sweet nuances of how you loved that little thing she did with her mouth when she kissed you or the way she wiggled her thumb when she waved.
What you don't want to remember is that she was crying or struggling the whole time to grab that button or play in the leaves. Be honest in your photos, an onlooker can feel if its forced. Embrace movement, reality, the moment. You've already set the stage, now enjoy it and let the story play out.
If all else fails, there's always nap time!
Oh! They are simply divine when they sleep! (Im that creeper mom who slightly hovers over here breathing her in. Ahhhhhh baby oxytocins!)
Does this topic interest you? Would you like me to cover more on Fashion, photography, lighting, etc? Let me know! I love getting your feedback and writing on more helpful tips to share with you!
Hi, I'm Melissa I want you to gain back your confidence & energy in the way you think, speak and act through life-giving decisions. Health is an excellent way to exercise stewardship for the service of others.