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I’m no perfect mom, but one of things I have had plenty of practice at is photographing my kids. I love it. Not only because I selfishly want to freeze time and lock these memories away to remember them forever, but also because I love the creativity of capturing emotion and storytelling through photography.
I’ve been interested in and enhancing my photography skills for over 10 years now, but it honestly, it doesn’t take much to learn. But like any interest, it takes practice. So a few tips along the way can be quite helpful.
Assuming you’re ready to get started, here are a few tips to help you out:
- Invest in a quality, but affordable camera. You don’t need a top of the line cameras to obtain great results. A basic DSLR (or mirrorless if you prefer) will do. Whatever you choose, it should be a quality camera that you are committed to learning how to use. The camera is simply a tool to bring out your vision. If you’re looking for a recommendation for a camera. This is a great starter Canon DSLR and affordable for most. If you prefer Nikon, this would be it’s counterpart. I don’t plan to get involved in the Canon and Nikon debate because in my opinion they are both equally as great in quality, however in my opinion Canon is just easier to learn to use. Some people fall in love with the idea of owning a Nikon, without really understanding the first thing about them.
- Learn to shoot in manual mode. You can learn photography on your own, after all the camera comes with a manual. You can learn from YouTube or even in college. I’m mostly self-taught, but after years of persistence, I finally became a lifetime member to ClickinMoms. This was the best decision in enhancing my photography skills. They have a basic course on understanding the exposure triangle. This is when photography finally really ‘clicked’ for me (pun intended). I cannot recommend it enough.
- Keep the camera handy. A lot of people keep them hidden away and are afraid of damaging them so away it sits (gathering dust albeit). Here’s the thing, the camera only produces amazing quality photos if you exercise it!
- Get down to their level. Stop hovering over your kiddos and asking them to look up at you. Get down to where they are and be a goofball.
- Be ready. Keep the camera on. Saving battery is something you need to do on a long day trip or if you’re already low on batteries, but typically, just keep it on so you’re ready to go for a funny moment. Many cameras will have an auto shut off too, so don’t stress it.
- Plan to wait. Your kids will do something silly and funny. It’s just a matter of time. Wait for them. Listen to them. Heck encourage them. Talk about farting or (gasp) even poo maybe! Hey, whatever works! I have boys – so this works for me!
- Use the viewfinder. Some of the best photos come from keeping my eye up to the shutter. Most cameras have the bigger screen to look at, but I’m old school because looking up to the shutter gives me a better view of the shot. It closes me out to the shot around it. I feel, I receive better results by looking directly into the viewfinder.
- Overshoot. You can always delete photos you don’t like. Typically when I’m editing pictures, 90% of the time I wish I had more.
- Make shooting a priority. Eventually your family will get on board. My kids actually enjoy it now. Certainly, there may be a day that they don’t, but right now cheese it up and I’ll take it! Talk to your family how important it is to you to have these memories captured.
- Find the color. Bright outdoor spaces, colorful clothes and/or color can even come in the form of props or activities. (A red wagon, sidewalk chalk, finger paint, bubble sticks, books and even food. Watermelon anyone?
If you have any questions for me, please contact Kerri Kava at 1MinnesotaMom@gmail.com or on social media at:Follow us on Facebook
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