I don’t know whether the feeling is majestic or nostalgic, but the colorful sights & outdoor activities of the autumn change of seasons make me want to capture every fleeting moment and suspend it in time.
I took a high school photography class once (many years ago before digital when we had to develop our own pictures in a dark room), but I’m no photographer-professional OR amateur! I do marvel, though, at all of the crisp and creative images dotting friends’ photo albums and strewn all over the web on blog posts and pinterest boards. You might say I have a serious case of photo envy!
I don’t have a fancy DSL camera. And with 3 boys our family is always on the go-I’m lucky if the camera battery is even charged! I really am just a point and shoot kind of gal. I have, however, picked up a tip or two over the years and tried to incorporate them into my photography in the hopes of capturing a few frame worthy prints.
Even with a point and shoot lifestyle, it seems there are a few things I could learn that would capture the memories with a little more flair.
Dress for Success
It’s not easy scrambling to find the same shorts and shirts in 3 different sizes for all 3 boys (especially at the last minute). Lucky for me it turns out, matching outfits don’t make for the best pictures after all. In fact, according to photographer, Kendra Pryor, I’ve broken several cardinal rules time & time again. She says wearing white tends to wash out skin tones and you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to decide what to wear. She offers a number of very useful suggestions you might want to borrow, including wearing coordinating (but not matchy) jewel tones, which are great with all skin types especially in the fall. She even created a wardrobe inpiration board!
Timing is Everything
Once everyone is dressed and ready to go, Tsh at Simple Mom suggests 9 pointers for getting the best shots. For starters, she suggests the obvious (but for me, often overlooked), “Schedule the photo shoot when the kids are the happiest.” Of course, that had better not be mid-afternoon because the lighting is often best “in the morning or just before dusk”. Following just a few of her suggestions is bound to improve my outcome.
Tips and Tricks
For more detailed information for budding photographers from complete beginners to those more advanced, Ingrid Owens of CameraShy shares a wealth of information. She has some really clever thoughts about shooting right after the rain and not cluttering up your shots. I definitely have her site bookmarked so I can delve deeper if I get a little extra time. From tips & tricks to tutorials and buying guides-she will be my go to resource.
Full of Firsts
In my search for the picture perfect idea, I also came across some really clever strategies for very specific photos. My boys are a little older now, but Molly Cerretta Smith sheds a little light on capturing baby’s first fall pictures on The Hatch Blog. One tidbit she shares is relevant to all ages, which is essentially that you can pose a few shots, but nothing works like natural and spontaneous. Remember, you only get one shot at first pictures, so keep that camera handy-and charged!
Of course, capturing the spirit of the season includes recording the little goblins in full costume for Halloween. Naturally, creative types have vision that goes beyond lining them all up in front of the fireplace and saying cheese! Grandma Ideas has some of the most clever strategies EVER-including ways to take pics that look like real ghosts. Taking photos while the munchkins are in the process of getting dressed and applying makeup would also make for a fun series that captures the playful spirit of the holiday. She has a whole host of information to evoke the mystery and mood of the evening. She’s definitely worth a peek!
Some of the best advice I found on how to be a better family photographer came not from specific tips, but from the inspiration Alison Bickel shares on This Homemade Life. For her, “photography is all about seeing”. She shares her personal philosophy and a whole lot more. You can learn to see how she sees just by studying her magical images.
I know my family’s fun will be better captured because these women took the time to share what works for them and I hope yours will be, too! Any snippets you have you’d care to share about taking photos of your family? I’m open to suggestions!