Every year I make a pledge to hire a photographer and have awesome pictures taken of my kids for our Christmas Card – and every year I wait too long to schedule and I end up grabbing a quick snap shot when I can.
Now most of you know that I am a do-it-yourself kind of gal…I’m sure you couldn’t tell with all of my DIY posts! ha! So when it comes to photographing my children, I figured I can do that too. (After all, I did just get that shiny new camera.) I know, I know you’re probably thinking there’s no way, you’d rather pay someone, but let me show you how easy it is! I have a few tips to share that will make photographing your own children easy, and you’ll get a great shot for that Holiday Card.
Tips for Photographing Your Own Children
Choose a color pallet and not a color. Don’t make the mistake of putting them in a monochromatic wardrobe. Instead, choose a color pallet. You can see from our pictures that I went with denim and worked from there. I knew I wanted my oldest daughter in a denim dress and my son in a flannel shirt. Once I had found a flannel shirt that I liked, I worked with that to find my accent colors. We then picked outfits that reflected each of their personalities – my middle daughter has a flair for the dramatic and chose the furry vest, but my oldest daughter is quite simple and classic and chose a necklace to accent her dress. The baby’s shirt and my middle daughters hair bow tied it all in to the flannel shirt.
You want natural light, at the right time of day. You do not need any fancy photography equipment to get the right light – all you need to do is watch the sun. The best times of day for photographing? Early morning or Evening, when the sun has just come up or is preparing to set. At these times you will get a nice soft glow instead of harsh sunlight.
Props are just fun! Especially if you have a theme, like shooting for a Christmas Card. Some prop ideas are chalkboard signs, picture frames, blankets, or as in our pictures a basket. I picked up this rustic basket at Michaels and used it for the baby. Babies are not easy to photograph, especially when they’re young, so props are a great way to add some personality.
Pick Your Location
Choose a location with multiple backdrops such as a park or a beach. There are so many fun places that you can find, do a search in your local area. When you have multiple backdrops in one location you can take pictures with different settings. We chose a local train park where we used the tracks, a barn door, and a white fence in our backdrops. Get creative and try out different ideas, you never know which ones you will like best!
Make it Fun
If you make it fun you will let their personalities shine through and sometimes the best photos aren’t the ones that are staged. The kids had a blast searching for locations, posing, and taking photos! I may also have rewarded them at the end with dinner and ice cream 😉