It’s been a while and as I was photographing the cubs the other day, I had a tip I wanted to make sure and share with you. It’s about how to photograph your kids authentically. Because remember, while our instinct sometimes is to set up the perfect photo opp (and don’t get me wrong – those are great for telling your family story), we are also documenting memories and days of childhood for our kids. It’s not all about us.
There will come a time in the future when they will thumb through photographs (because remember – we want to be printing and preserving as well!) and recall their own ‘good ol’ days’. And I don’t know about you, but I want those preserved memories to pull them right back. So I want a larger portion of their documented childhood to be authentic.
You photograph and document the moments without fuss. Without interruption.
I’m sure you’re like, seriously Kara. That’s it? As serious as a heart attack. So much of the time we want to make sure we see their faces and a smile, that nothing is in the background, or that the lighting is good. Trust me, I do get that approach to documenting as well. It’s why I teach you all about how to get great portraits at home. Or how to get genuine expressions out of your kids.
But there is SO much magic in stepping back and simply observing. Allowing them to just be kids, in the moment, and document that for them. You will also love what you walk away with for the family album as well.
When photographing and strictly observing, you want to shoot repeatedly. Don’t get stuck on just snapping one photo and then being disappointed in the result because someone’s eyes were closed or perhaps they were making a weird face. Keep shooting and shooting and shooting. That way you will be able to look back through your camera roll and find the gems of the series of photos you just took. That is assuming you are using your smartphone to document.
And move around, mama! Get low, get high, shoot at different angles – you will find gems throughout, I promise.
Here is what a portion of my camera roll looked like after tagging along outside with the kids for their game of foursquare:
Later, when I had some downtime that evening, I simply scrolled through, deleted the outtakes and ones I didn’t want to keep, pulled my favorites into Lightroom, and used my KL10 preset on all of them. Just one tap without further editing. I love that they are a bit moodier because of the stormy weather that day and I love that they really were in the moment. Nothing staged, nothing adjusted – just my kids being kids.
Okay, okay – one photo I asked for, but I am a firm believer in catching these as well. All I did was ask them to group together for a quick snapshot. I love that Blake’s ball cap is backward because it’s so her. I love that Blair’s little baby hairs are showing up. And yes, I love the fact that Brooks is making because the raindrops started falling as soon as I took the photo and he was struggling to keep his eyes open.
Authentic childhood moments. Documented with intention.
I hope our rainy day and game of foursquare inspires in your documenting efforts.
And if you are looking for more, be sure to jump over here to catch some more posts all about memory keeping!