Monday, December 5, 2016

MY 10 TIPS FOR CAPTURING BOYS (or all kids for that matter)


Honestly, these tips are great for capturing all kids but I'm a boymom so that's what I do best.

Let the be themselves
When I was first starting out I wanted all of my images of my boys to look like some of the perfect pictures I had seen on Pinterest. You know the ones, where everyone is dressed to the nines and perfectly posed and smiling. The problem was that wasn't what I saw in our home. My boys are a little more wild, a little more messy, and a lot more real. So I gave myself permission to capture my boys just as they are. I decided to let them be messy and loud. My only rule is that they are themselves. Because to me, they are perfectly imperfect and when I look back on these moments I don't want to remember some Pinterest photo. I want to remember them exactly as they are. Nowadays I find myself favoring the messier images. Like the time my youngest covered his entire belly with paint. 
 Don't worry about the mess
 Ok, this one was a little harder to give in to. Our home is not necessarily messy but it is lived in by 2 wild boys, 1 dog, 1 cat, & 2 parents trying to keep up. If I waited to pull out the camera only when it was cleaned to my standards I would probably only have it out about 10 minutes per week. It's a little hard to document a lifetime of memories in only 10 minutes a week. So I just gave up that fight. Sometimes I will move a bit of table clutter out of the way or position the kids somewhere the pile of toys is not seen. Sometimes I use the mess as part of the shot. The key is just to remind yourself when you look back on these you are not going to notice the toys on the floor. You are going to notice your little one's adorable smile.
If I was worried about all of the laundry on the floor near them I would have missed this loving shot.
Here I used low light and deep shadows to hide any mess in his room
Focusing on the details allows me to hide the messy playroom
Or just include the mess as part of the image
Get in the photo
 Just like with the mess, if you wait until your hair and makeup are perfect to get in the photo with your kids you never will. I try to remind all the mamas that I photograph that these photos aren't for you. These are for your kids. These images are for them to cherish forever even when you are no longer this side of heaven. Do you think they care that your hair wasn't perfect or your makeup wasn't done? Nope, they just want to see you. Set that camera on a timer or use a remote and GET IN THE SHOT! I promise you won't regret it.

Have your camera close by
Don't forget the details
 I used to always forget to grab the close-up detail shot but they are so powerful and important. For me, it is all those little things that I fear I will forget when they are older. The dimples in my baby's hands, the cowlick that no amount of water and brushing will tame, My oldest's favorite boots that are two sizes too big, the favorite book or toy of the time. Detail shots are a key piece of the story you are trying to tell.

Dirt is okay
I try not to stop my boys from getting dirty while they play. They love the mess and I love the honesty . Plus, dirt = baths and bath times are some of my favorite times to shoot. Any time that my little wild things can be contained and preoccupied makes this tog mama a happy girl

Think before for you shoot
 Before you just start shooting take a step back and figure out what it is that you want to remember most from this moment. Is it the quietness when one child is playing by themselves? Is it their favorite toy they are carrying around? Is it a wide shot of the entire scene? Once you understand the story you are trying to tell you can decide the best way to capture it.

Get Out
Get outside, go on adventures, be wild and free (preferably in some killer light). Boys are always ready to go explore and what an incredible way to get let them be free while still capturing some great shots.

Let them play
 I try my best to just let them play like they normally would. When I see them doing something so adorable or playing in some interesting light I grab my camera and try to capture those moments without interrupting too much. There are sometimes I set up a play area for them in good light and guide them to that area but I try not to force them to let me take pictures. Instead, I just let them play and look for ways to capture them creatively. If they ask me to stop I agree and put the camera away. I want to capture their real childhood moments, not something that is forced.

jesse on bike with sunburst 365.jpg
Honestly, I struggle with this one but I think it needs to be included. During this photography journey, I have learned to see everyday moments in a new and beautiful way. I have truly learned to pay attention to the little things which make me appreciate them even more. This new perspective makes me want to capture each and everyone one of those beautiful little moments. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I do not have to take a picture of everything. Sometimes just being present with my boys is what I need to be doing. Sometimes the best memories are not the ones you photograph but the ones that are kept in your heart.


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