Beat photographers child syndrome

How to beat photographer’s child syndrome

I’m sure there’s a statistic out there about how this generation of children that we’re raising are the most photographed generation so far.

We take 22.7 billion photos of our children a day.  Maybe.  I don’t know.

Sometimes it can feel like I take far too many photos of my children.  I’m not going to stop any time soon, but I know there are times when they get tired of seeing my face hidden behind the camera.  There are days when they just don’t want to smile for me and sit still long enough to have their photo taken.

In the photography world those moments when your children are utterly uncooperative in having their photo taken is known as a symptom of ‘photographer’s child syndrome’.  And I think this syndrome is spreading as all parents, as well as photographers and bloggers, are asking their children to get in front of the camera more and more.

So this post is for all of you.

The tips you need to know to beat photographer’s child syndrome and get your children to be happy to be photographed again.

 

Set limits and then stick to them

Yes I’m talking to you with your ‘just one more quick photo’.

If your children aren’t in the mood for taking loads of photos then ask them for just 5 minutes to get the shot you want.  Then actually set a timer for 5 minutes, and put the camera down when the 5 minutes are up.

If you always break your word and keep asking to take a few more photos then they’ll never trust you.  Stick to your word and they may well be more willing to give you what you want next time.

 

Get them excited about photography

Let your children get behind the camera now and then to understand what it is about taking photographs that you love so much.

If your children are old enough then show them a bit about the settings on your camera and let them take some photos of you with it.  For younger children you might want to keep it simple with a basic point and shoot camera.

Nerys has the Kidizoom duo camera and really loves it.  The images aren’t amazing quality, but she can still get creative with it and photograph her world the way she sees it.

Another idea is to use a remote trigger to take photos.  Set everything up on the camera and then let your children use the remote to actually take the photos of themselves.

You can also get them involved in the process of taking photos by letting them be the creative directors.

Let them decide where to go to take photos and give them the chance to do whatever crazy poses they want.

 

Keep them entertained with something new

I love photographing my children when they’re busy doing things.

And if your children are really, really resistant to having their photo taken then giving them something new to do or play with might distract them enough that they don’t even notice you grabbing the camera and snapping a few pictures.

What I love about this approach really though, is that you end up photographing more than just what your children look like.

When you give them a new lego set to build, or a new pack of crayons to colour with, or a new recipe to bake together you have the perfect opportunity to capture memories of them doing the things they love to do at this age.

 

Take breaks

If your children really are not in the mood to be photographed then just stop.  Put the camera down.  Try again another day.

On days when they’re happy to have their photo taken but you know their attention span won’t last all that long, then be as quick as you can.  Get the photos you want first.  Then take a break.  Spend time just being with them.

Then if you get the chance you can take some more relaxed candid photos later on.

 

Try a bit of reverse psychology

If you have more than one child you’ll know how competitive siblings can be at times.  So use this to your advantage next time one child isn’t being all that cooperative about having their photo taken.

Tell them that it’s ok, they don’t have to be in the pictures.  Then get their brother or sister in front of the camera and make a big show of how much fun you’re having taking photos.

Chances are it won’t be long before they all want to be in on the action.

This also works when you want nice big smiles in your photos.  Tell your child that no matter what they do, they are not to smile.  You want their grumpiest faces on.  No smiles at all.  No, not even a tiny smile.

Go overboard with these instructions and it’ll make almost any child start to smile.

 

Let go and have fun

Let go of your ideas for the perfect photo of your children.

I’ve said this before and it is one of the biggest things for me.  So often we have this idea in our head of the pinterest-perfect photos we’re going to take of our children and honestly they almost never work out.

And if we’re not careful we get stressed and snappy and no one has any fun at all.

So take the focus off perfection and on to just having fun.

You may not get the photo that you want, but the photos that you do get will hold so many positive, happy memories for you when you look back on them.

Print your photos

Now this tip is one we all need to take on board in general.

Print your photos.

Don’t leave them to get lonely and lost on your hard drive.  Print them out, frame them, stick them on your fridge, put them in good old fashioned photo albums.

One added bonus of having prints around that your children can hold and look at often is that they’ll be more likely to let you take more photos of them in the future.  When there is a tangible outcome for them to touch and see, they’ll understand more why you want to take so many photos of them all the time.

 

How often do you take photos of your children? 

Do they ever suffer from photographer’s child syndrome?

If they do then hopefully these tips will help you all get through it!

 

This post is linked up with KCACOLS with A moment with Franca.

Get great photos of children together

The tips you need to know to get great photos of your children together

If you have more than one child you’ll probably know how much of a challenge it can be to get photos of them together.

I know that a lot of time I take photos of my children by themselves.  It’s just so much easier than trying to get them in the frame together!  I do make sure I get at least one photo of them both each month though, for the siblings project.

If you want to get more (and better) photos of your children together then here are the tips you need to know:

 

Pick your moment

This has to be one of the most important tips.

If you want great photos of your children together then you need to pick the right time to do it.  Don’t expect them to pose and smile nicely for you when they’re tired, or hungry or have been busy winding each other up!

The best thing to do is keep your camera handy so when you see a moment where everyone is happy and getting on you can snap a few photos.

 

Get creative and take photos in unexpected places

Photo opportunities with your children won’t always come when you’re at the beach or the park.

If you carry your camera with you though, or your phone, then you’ll start to see all sorts of other places can be great locations for photos of your children together.

It might be them sitting together in the back of the car, looking at a painting at the art gallery, or choosing books at the local library.  Once you get comfortable taking photos in public places then the sky’s the limit really.

What’s so great about these kinds of photos is that they build up a beautiful record of your ordinary, extraordinary daily life.

 

Play with composition

Once you’ve got the classic photo of your children, with them in the centre of the frame, then you can play around with composition.

You can have fun with the rule of thirds, positioning your children on different points of the imaginary grid.

Using layers is also a great way to add some more interest to your photos of your children.

Think about keeping your aperture closed down to around f/8 to keep everything in the shot in focus.  Then include one child in the foreground and the other in the background.  Or you could use tree branches or playground equipment as frames around the edges of the photos.

 

Move around the scene

When you spot a moment with your children that you want to photograph, then try to capture it from a few different angles.

Get the straight on shot and then move around the scene.

I personally love to photograph my children together from behind, when they’re not really aware of me and my camera.

You can also see if you can get up high and shoot from above, or get down low and photograph them from below.  Try getting in close to the action and then moving further away to capture more of the wider scene.

If you’re really feeling creative then see if you can capture your children’s shadows or reflections.

 

Give your children something to do

If you know that your children won’t just sit nicely and smile for you to take a photo, then give them something else to do instead.

You can set up an activity that you know they enjoy, like painting or playing with play dough, and then photograph them as they play sitting alongside each other.  Or you can keep it really simple and get them to tell each other jokes.

If you want them nice and close for the photos then ask one child to whisper a secret or a silly word into their sibling’s ear.  This can be a great way to get genuine smiles from them too!

For competitive siblings then a challenge like ‘who can jump the highest’ can hold their attention quite well and you can then get photos of them in action.

Just let them be

One of the biggest tips for photos of children together is to let go of your ideas of perfection.

Accept that you might not get that shot of them all looking at the camera and smiling.

Instead aim to capture their true personalities.

Step back and watch and wait for your chance to snap a photo of them genuinely interacting or just ‘being’ together.

Try a bit of reverse psychology

If you really want that photo of everyone smiling at the camera then this trick could work.

Tell them to look at the camera but whatever they do, they are NOT to smile.  Go over the top and silly with how much you really don’t want them to smile.

Most children will end up laughing and you get the photo you want.

 

 

Hopefully these tips will help you get some photos of your children together that you’ll all love to look back on.

And if all else fails there’s nothing wrong with a bit of bribery in my book.  The promise of some smarties or chocolate buttons is quite often all you need to get a few smiles for a few quick photos!

Get gorgeous autumn photos

The tips you need to know for gorgeous autumn photos

As we headed out the front door to school yesterday morning I realised that autumn is well and truly here.

The morning light was gorgeous and lit up the trees by our house in just the right way to show off their slowly changing colours.

It’s made me quite excited to get out with my family and the camera to get some autumnal photos before the seasons change again.

If you fancy doing the same, then here are my top tips for getting beautiful autumn photos.

 

Make the most of golden hour

Golden hour is the hour after the sun comes up and the hour before it goes down.

The light during this hour is just beautiful.  With the sun being low in the sky, the angle of the light is lovely and flattering.  The colour of the light at this time is gorgeous too, really warm and, well, golden.

Taking photos during the golden hour in autumn is pretty magical, as the warm light really shows off the changing colours of the season.

And the great thing about this time of year is that the sun is starting to rise later and set earlier, so you don’t need to head out with the children at unreasonable hours to be able to make the most of it.

 

Embrace the weather

The weather in autumn can be all over the place at times, and the best thing to do is just embrace that.

Crisp, clear, sunny days are perfect for getting out at golden hour and capturing all the colours of autumn.  But don’t let autumn showers keep you from getting out and taking family photos.  You can have so much fun if you include brightly coloured umbrellas and jumping in puddles in wellies in your photos.

Grey, overcast days can also actually be great for capturing the colours of autumn, and if you dress your family in bright colours that complement the colours in nature you’ll get some gorgeous photos.

 

Focus on the seasonal details

Make the most of the autumnal goodness that nature provides.

Get your child to hold their collection of conkers in their hands and take a close up photo of them.  Let them grab handfuls of fallen leaves and throw them up in the air.  With a good fast shutter speed you’ll be able to freeze the action and capture them falling around your child.

You can also have fun looking for the most colourful leave you can find and getting your child to hold it up in front of them for a photo.

 

Take a step back too

I’m so guilty of taking lots of close up shots, and forgetting to step back now and again and photograph the whole, wide scene.

Autumn is a great time of year to do this though.

If you’re out in the woods with all the beautiful colours on the trees, then move back and let your children be small in the middle of the woodland scene.

Another fun thing to try at this time of year is to find branches that are almost bare that you can shoot through to frame photos of your children.

 

Capture this stage in your lives

Don’t focus completely on photos that include conkers and autumn leaves.  Think about what you like to do as a family at this time of year, and photograph that.

If your children play football then think about photographing the chilly weekend mornings from the sidelines.  If a steaming mug of hot chocolate is part of your autumn routine, then take photos of little hands wrapped round their favourite mugs.

Instead of always trying to get your children to pose for photos, let them just have fun and capture them when they’re engaged in something.

 

Hopefully these tips will have you eager to head outdoors with your family this autumn to get some amazing new photos.  If you are stuck indoors though, have a read of this post about how to get great photos indoors, so you can still get some pictures you’ll love!

Share photos of your children without their faces

How to share photos of your child without showing their face

If you’ve spent any time on my blog you’ll know that I do share photos of my children quite a bit.

I join in with the Living Arrows linky every week and pretty much all of the photos that I share do show my children’s faces.

A lot of people choose not to show their children’s faces online though.

I know there are a lot of concerns about it, and more people are looking for ways to share photos of their children without having to show their faces.  If this is something that’s on your mind then this post will help with a few different ideas for photos you can take of your children.

 

Here are some ideas for ways you can photograph your children without showing their faces, so you can feel happier sharing them online.

 

Get behind them

This is one of the easiest ways to get photos of your children that don’t show their faces.

Stand behind them and photograph them looking away from the camera.

This is something I do quite a lot with my children and I love how it can give a sense of seeing the world through their eyes.  It’s also a great way to get photos of them just being themselves, acting naturally rather than posing for the camera.

 

Get up high

Stand up above your child and point your camera down at them to take their photo.

This way you get a hint of their features without showing their whole face.

You can also get some fun shots that show your child’s personality this way if they have a particular hat they love to wear or if they like to experiment with hair accessories like Nerys!

 

Get down low

Another option is to get down lower and photograph your child from below.

I love this photo of Nerys on a swing because the angle gives a sense of how high she’s swinging.

 

Photograph over their shoulder

If your child is happily engaged in an activity then photograph them over their shoulder to capture them and what they’re up to.

This is a great way to photograph them reading a favourite book, drawing a picture or baking cakes.

 

Use shallow depth of field

If you can play with the settings on your camera then try using a really shallow depth of field when photographing your child.

Then you can get them to hold their hands out towards the camera and focus on them.  This way their hands will be the main feature in the photo, while their faces will be nice and blurry.

I love using this method to take photos like this one of me and Nerys holding hands while she navigates the climbing frame at the park.

 

Turn their heads

If you don’t want all your photos of your child to be from behind, then try capturing them side-on.  All you need to do is get them to turn their heads away from the camera.

Something as simple as ‘look at that tree’ is often enough to get them to turn their head away from you without moving their whole body.

 

Focus on the details

Get in close and focus on your child’s hands or feet or the pattern on their top.

I love taking photos of my children’s feet.  I can’t quite explain why, but I love how I can tell roughly how old they were when the photo was taken by the shoes and socks they’re wearing.

 

Literally hide their faces

If all else fails, try literally hiding your children’s faces in photos.

Get them to hold something up in front of their faces to hide their features.

You can get some gorgeous photos like this if you get them to hold up things like a small bunch of flowers.  Or you can capture their interests by getting them to show your their favourite toy, like Rhys did here with his red bird toy.

 

Hopefully these ideas will give you some inspiration to keep photographing your children and feel more happy sharing them online knowing that their faces can’t be seen.

Do you share photos of your children’s faces online?

If you don’t, then what approach do you normally take to keeping their faces hidden?

#ShowYouWereThere round up

Show you were there round up

It’s almost the end of the month, and it’s Sunday so that means it’s time for another round up from my little Instagram community #ShowYouWereThere.

In case you’ve not come across it before, #ShowYouWereThere is all about getting more parents in more photos, both with and for our children.

 

My first pick for this round up is from the lovely Alex at bump to baby.

The tones in this photo are just gorgeous and the country park looks like an amazing place to go for a walk and spend some time out in nature.

 

 

Next up is this sunny photo from Laura at dear bear and beany.

It’s such a lovely photo of Laura and her girls, and almost hard to believe it was taken so recently when it’s been so chilly and wet here this week!

 

My third pick this time is from Lauren at scrapbook blog.

I just love this throwback to the summer, with its camping vibes, sandals and water pistols!

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The summer seems so long ago already 🤷‍♀️⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ We didn't go 'away' away on a proper holiday abroad… but we still managed to pack a lot in to the school break… I am SO ready for routine, cooler weather and darker evenings though… Anyone else? ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ .⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ . ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #ParentsinthePicture #Showyouwerethere #hellododo #ourcandiddays #motherhood_magic #watchthemgrow #worldoflittles #Chilledinafield #glamping #our_everyday_moments #adventuresofchildren #motherhoodsimplified #theirwonderfulworld #thehappynow #childhoodunplugged⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #outdoorsandfree #exploreoutdoors #campinglife

A post shared by Lauren▪︎UK lifestyle blogger (@scrapbook.lives) on

 

My last choice for this round up is from Laura at dinky pix.

It’s another gorgeously summery photo, but with a caption that got me quite emotional with Laura writing about her son heading off to big school for the first time.

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My side kick…… Nearly 5 years ago I brought this boy in to the world during a planned home birth. It was the best thing ever and I would encourage anyone who has the ability to, to give birth in the comfort of your own home. I’ve always been more of a girlie girl, so I was at first a little panicked as to what to do with a boy!!!! I’ve enjoyed watching & encouraging him to grow & learn. Together we have taught one another so many things and had so many giggles along the way. He was the one that showed me what fun we could have with a camera! I have thoroughly enjoyed his company and I can honestly say he’s become my side kick. Gonna miss our week days together as he starts school today. Gonna miss you big guy. Can’t wait to hear all about your day at school! 💙 • • • • • #dinky1711 #backtoschool #mysidekick #myboy #myson #mumandson #norwich #norfolk #discoverunder10k #illuminatedchildhood #norwichbloggers #norfolkblogger #norfolkbloggers #mumblogger #eagrammers #familylife #daysoutwithkids #momentsofmine #everydaymoments #lovelylittlesquares #lifewellcaptured #parentsinthepicture #mummyandme #showyouwerethere #wishes_and_wanderlust #thephotographerwithin #nikon_photography #tribenorfolk #snaphappybritmums #cameramama

A post shared by Laura (@dinky_in_norfolk) on

 

Thank you so much to everyone who is using #ShowYouWereThere, I love seeing your photos popping up over on Instagram, they always make me smile so much.

 

Now my turn.

At the end of the summer holidays we went for a walk round Penllergare valley woods and I got Steve to take a few photos of me with the children when we stopped for a little sit down.

I love this one of the three of us giggling at who knows what, most likely Steve saying something silly from behind the camera to get us laughing!

 

If you’d like to join in with my little community and possibly be featured in my next round up (with a nice link back to your blog!) then just share a photo of yourself over on instagram using #ShowYouWereThere.  It’s all about getting more parents in more photos.

Take great photos of your family indoors

How to get great photos of your family indoors

This probably won’t come as a surprise to you, but I love taking photos of my family.

What I don’t always love though, is taking photos of them indoors.  Our house can be really gloomy at times, and it makes it challenging to get the kinds of photos that I have in my head.  I’ve learnt a few things though, over the years, that have really helped me get some great photos of my children inside our house.

So if you want to improve your indoor photography and get some gorgeous photos of your children without having to drag them outdoors, keep reading!

 

Look for the light

Photography is all about light.  And when you’re taking photos indoors it can be harder to find good light than when you’re outside, surrounded by natural sunlight.

If you’re serious about taking pictures in your home, then it’s really worth taking some time to look for the light.

Grab a notebook and walk round your home at different times of the day.  Make a note of what time of the day the light is best in each room.  You might find that your bedroom is full of beautiful morning light, while your kitchen is flooded with warm, evening light.

Once you know where the light is in your home, you can set up photo opportunities with your children in the spots with the best light, depending on what time of day it is.

 

Play with the light

Once you’ve found the light, you can start to play around with it.

For beautifully lit portraits you can position your children in front of a big window, looking out.

 

Or you can get some gorgeously hazy images by backlighting them.

 

Go for black and white

Sometimes, no matter where you look in your home, there’s just not quite enough light.

When this happens your best bet is to push the ISO up on your camera, and accept that your images will be a bit noisy.  What I find works well for these kinds of photos is to convert them to black and white.

Monochrome images just tend to look better with the grain than colour images!

 

Use flash if you need to

I really love natural light, and will try to use it in my photos as much as I possibly can.

Sometimes though, I have to make my peace with using my flash.

If you know you’ll need a flash for your photos quite a bit, then it’s worth investing in a speedlight that you can swivel round.  This way you can bounce the light off the ceiling, or the walls, which produces much nicer results than when the flash is pointed straight at your subject.

 

Get in close to cut out the clutter

Another issue I sometimes have with taking photos of my family in our home is all the ‘stuff’ everywhere.

We are definitely not a minimalist family, and I don’t always want my photos to be cluttered with that stuff.

One way round this is to get in close and fill the frame with what I DO want to be in the photo – my children.  This might be their faces, or it might be focusing in on their hands playing with toys, or their grubby knees at the end of a long day.

On the other hand, embrace the clutter

Sometimes though, I like to include the clutter and the stuff in my photos.

I think we’re in danger of editing our lives so much in our pictures that we lose something in the end result.  There is something about the bits and pieces in the background of photos that takes you right back to when they were taken.

The books that are on the shelves, the mug you always drank from on the coffee table, all the baby paraphernalia that you’ve long passed on to friends.

Don’t be in too much of a hurry to delete it all.

Embrace the clutter and the stuff that will tell so much of the story of your family life right now when you look at it in the future.

Play with your angles

If you feel like all the photos you take of your family at home end up looking the same, then mix things up with different angles and perspectives.

Get down low, get up high, move around.

Step to the edge of the room for a wide shot, and then zoom in close to get the details.

Get in the frame

To really get great photos of your family, you need to be in them too.

Set everyone else up in the lovely light that you’ve found, put your camera on a timer or use a remote trigger, and then get in the photo with them.

 

Hopefully these tips will help you get some gorgeous photos of your family in your home.

What tip are you going to try first?

Preserve your summer memories with a photobook

Preserve those precious summer family vacation memories with a photobook – Everything you need to know to create one

As summer starts to wind down and the kids prepare to head back to school, it’s only natural to look back at all the great family memories that were made this year. Summer is typically that time of year where families escape on a holiday, if only for a couple of days, giving everyone a chance to enjoy the great weather, fresh air, and share some special times together. 

With that said there’s also no doubt that you snapped quite a few photos over the course of the summer holidays. So what happens with all of those photos? Sure you can keep them on your phone or send them to the Cloud, but you’re taking your chances there as there are no guarantees your digital files will remain safe. Not only that but it’s hard to enjoy them when they’re stuck on your phone. This is exactly why photobooks are such a fabulous and popular idea.

 

Photobooks allow you to pick and choose all your best memories, moments, and photos from the summer holidays and make them into a lovely and permanent picture book that everyone can enjoy. If this sounds like a project you’d be interested in but don’t know where to get started, then this guide to photobooks is a must-read.

 

Choose a theme

Typically the best place to start is to choose a theme for your book. Sure you can go ahead and fill it with random photos, but it just won’t feel as cohesive and complete. Instead, choose one theme, idea, trip, memory, and build the book around it. If you packed a lot into this summer, then it may be necessary to make a number of photobooks and start your own library of memories.

 

Decide what type of book you’d like

The next step is to think about the actual book, meaning the physicality of the book. What kind would like you? Do you want a softcover or hardcover, how large should the book be, what kind of binding do you want, what about the material used, how about the colour and finish? Then again, maybe you aren’t really particular about the details, which means you’ve got a lot more options available to you.

 

Use a comparison tool

Another great tip is to use a comparison tool to help you choose the best photo book provider out there. Take for example this website, which provides people with photo book reviews, detailed descriptions of the various photo books, the features and tools offered, a listing of all the big brands out there, and even access to a photo book voucher code, which can save you money. 

Photo Book Deals does more than just look at the surface, it goes into detail on everything you need to know about creating your own photo book.

 

Start to go through your photos

This step is the one that will end up taking you the longest time, but you want to be sure you have a chance to go through all your photos first before you start to create your book. If you’re finding it hard to narrow down the photos, try using three categories – yes, no, and maybe – you can then dwindle your list down from there.

Try to keep your main photo book theme in mind as you go through the photos, as this will also help you in the selection process. If it doesn’t fit the theme, then it is an automatic no. Keep in mind there’s nothing to stop you from creating additional photobooks, so there’s no need to feel restricted in the number of pictures you choose.

 

Be picky about the photo quality

As you browse through your photos, it’s also important to think about the photo quality and how that particular image would look blown up and in a photo book. The image should be sharp and clear, but also visually intriguing. 

 

Give thought to the layout

Next comes the actual layout, where again you want to take your time and really think things through. Just like with any book, a photobook should tell a story so there should be an order in which the images are presented. In terms of your summer family vacation, it makes sense to go in the order of the events that took place rather than skipping around from day-to-day. This will help the book to have flow and feel cohesive.

It’s also a good idea to be a little bit creative where the actual layout is concerned, not using images that are the same size each time, and using features like a bleed or border.

 

A lovely memento from summer holidays

So before you start to feel too nostalgic about the many memories that have occurred over summer holidays, go ahead and create a lovely photo book for all to enjoy all year-round.

Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post