Stay Sane and Take Great Photos of Your Kids


take great picturesI must start by saying that I am not a professional photographer, and I never took a photography class. I am a mom of three children trying to capture great memories of my kids as they grow up. My interest in photography started a while ago. I figured that if I invested in a good camera instead of using my cell phone, pictures would come out better and professional-looking. Haha, what do I know anyway?

To make a long story short, I learned the expensive way. It is not the camera you use that makes a great picture. I mean, sure, it can help using their advanced features, but it is actually your subject that makes a great picture. Taking photographs of two toddlers is challenging because they do not want to stand still. Taking pictures of your 13-year-old is tougher because she doesn’t want her photo taken and won’t stand still on purpose. The struggle is real!

I must admit that I have become the annoying mom photographer. Growing up, I remember my father taking that honor. So every time we go on a family outing, I bring my camera in its case, which means carrying two bags in addition to whatever else I have to carry on the way back. Usually, it entails purchases made (i.e., pumpkins, apples, baked goods, cider, etc.). My husband helps, but I’ll be honest, I end up carrying everything.

Keep your sanity and your pictures! Keep these basic tips in mind the next time you snap some photos!

  • When taking pictures during the day, make sure the sun is behind you and not behind your subjects.
  • Make sure you don’t cut off your subject(s) heads when taking their picture. (I have many photos with the top of their heads chopped off).
  • Be patient!
  • Hope for the best with an action shot. Hopefully, your picture will not come out blurry when you try to capture your kids running around the pumpkin patch.
  • Play with the settings on your camera. Sooner or later, you will figure out the settings for when you see your final product.
  • Try not to argue with your 13-year-old in public when she makes a face at you or tries to run away from having her picture taken.
  • Try to take as many pictures of the same pose as possible using your camera and your cell phone camera. One of the shots taken will come out right.
  • Make sure you ask your husband or partner to massage your neck later that day. Having the camera strap around your neck for hours can do horrible things to your neck and shoulders.
  • Refrain from uploading a picture to social media if you can’t see the image on your phone or camera because the sun is bright. It’s tempting, but you should see the picture first before showing it to the world.
  • Have fun!

Hopefully, these basic tips will help. Chances are, I will eventually get the perfect picture, one that I will use for a holiday card or to frame and place on my mantle. The next step is to edit your photos, but that in itself is another process and a discussion for a future blog post.