Ultimate Family Planner is super excited to bring to you the expertise of Charlotte Mabey from Mummy's a Photographer. Charlotte has some amazing tips to help you take Instagram worthy photos, with kids!
I have been taking photos for around 11 years now, and the first thing I learnt was, kids are kids. No matter how much prep and organisation, sometimes they just don't want to cooperate and no amount of bribery will get them to!
For me to take photos of Eli (3 years old) I have around 10 minutes a day to get any photos I need, and sometimes that 10 minutes is actually only 3!
So here are some tips that can hopefully help you get those images you need, whether you are taking them yourself or you are going to a shoot!
Pick your tool
Now I use both Phone and DSLR camera, depending on the shot I need!
So many cameras now have the portrait mode option, I would always shoot in this mode on my phone. For super fast toddlers, I would use my camera as I can adjust settings to allow for the movement, however out and about I would use my phone, as this allows me to be more mobile when the kids are running in different directions.
Go Candid & Keep It Simple
Those in the moment shots sometimes, most of the time, are much better than those over posed shots! With a background in wedding photography I know how much people cannot stand, the side by side and smile set ups!
Shoot in Burst mode, take ‘too many’ photos. You can always delete, don’t wait for what looks perfect as that moment might already be happening.
What to Wear
Pick outfits that are not going to make your children, or yourself, feel uneasy. Feeling comfortable and confident before taking photos makes a huge difference to how you act when the images are being taken. Even if you are taking the photos yourself, feeling good can work wonders. With kids too, if they are wearing clothes that the feel restricted in, they will create a fuss!
For family photos, try to colour coordinate. I don't mean all in white t-shirts and Jeans but, if Mum has a blue & white dress, the kids can be in blues, whites, browns - colours that complement each other!
Logos and heavy branding are a no no, keep it timeless. As much as we love Bluey now, in 10 years your 16 year old will be cringing at his Bluey t-shirt on the wall!
Work with what you have! If you're shooting at home or indoors, find your brightest room. Natural light is the best light! Plain walls, no backgrounds needed. We have white walls and brown carpet (which I dislike very much) So I purchased a white fluffy rug for flooring, simple and easy to move about as needed. I also have a Kallax unit from IKEA which is super sturdy for the kids to sit/stand. Just always make sure they are closely supervised.
When working Outdoors, pick somewhere that doesn't have a play park that they can see. This is a NIGHTMARE (coming from experience)! But do pick somewhere where there is space to run, and that every angle works. Our front drive has a section of bins, this restricts my shooting opportunity by 50% as no one needs those in a shot!
Try and pick a time that doesn’t coincide with nap times, dinner times etc! I know With kids this can change daily but timing can change everything.
Try and pick a time that doesn’t coincide with Nap times, dinner times etc! With kids this can change daily but timing can change everything.
Negotiating With Kids
What worked yesterday is almost 99% guaranteed to not work tomorrow!
Try not to use food as a negotiation tactic! Lollipops can be cute, however the dribble can cause some editing fun so bear that in mind. Things like chocolate, raisins, small lollies seem a great idea, but your little one will spend most of the time chewing or looking down, around trying to find more and once it runs out, well … game over!
Bubbles, this is my never fail option! .. I get Eli to sit down, ‘Sit down and the bubbles will come’. He sits down and then I prep the bubbles ready to blow and this is when I take the shot.
The bubble wand is next to the camera lens so they are looking in the right direction and normally with lots of excitement. The first ‘blow’ of bubbles I always make fail and then make a silly ‘ oh no’ noise, normally resulting in either an angry glare or a giggle (I hope for the latter every time) The second time, you have to get bubbles for them! Otherwise they catch on! Bubble photos are great action photos though so I do love to get a few in.
Remember that they're kids!
Get down to their level. Bend down and photograph at their eye height. It also helps you to interact with them.
Don’t pick the beach, if you know your kids hate sand, it might look pretty but the tantrums are not worth it! If you do pick the beach, be prepared to paddle in the water, and be prepared with spare clothes - for when they fall in ;)
Things To Say for Fun Interactive Photos
‘Let’s do funny faces, ready 3,2,1'
‘Who can jump the highest?’
‘Who can give Mummy the biggest cuddle?’
‘Who has the biggest smile today Eli or Sienna?, Let me see, no Sienna's is bigger, show my yours again Eli ’
‘We are going to have a race, sit down next to each other and when I say go you have to run to me and then back to sit down’
These are things I have said a million times, but these get the kids focused on you. Whether you are taking photos of your own children, or doing it as a job, interact with the kids so they want to please you. Kids are all about being the best they can be, and if they know they are making you happy they will have fun!
Get in the photos!
Now I am the worst at this, it is only the last month or so I have tried to get in more photos! More selfies, more videos, because one day we will want to remember those times. We will be looking at the memories not thinking about how we looked but seeing the moment that was captured, reliving that moment.
When you are next out, take that selfie with the kids. Take a tripod and set up for that family photo, accept the offer of the passer-by who says ‘ Do you want one of all of you’ Capture the moment.
Charlotte has so kindly let us know, that you have any questions, regarding photography, to feel free to reach out ! With 11 years of experience with photographing weddings, newborns and children in the UK and a boot load of social media work, since living in Australia, Charlotte is a wealth of knowledge. You can follow Charlotte over on her Instagram.