I’m passionate about documenting little moments with my kids, and sometimes that means making sure I’m captured in those moments too.
I want my kids to know I was there goofing off alongside them, and not always be remembered as being behind the camera. I think a lot of moms face the same problems I do with this… My husband isn’t always here when I want him to take pictures for me, and he certainly doesn’t take the initiative on his own. And when I do get his help, he’s usually not enthusiastic about it, and the pictures don’t always turn out, bless his heart.
Nevertheless, I make it happen. Now I enjoy taking photos with my kids on my own and I’m here to share my tips for taking self-portraits with your kids.
First, what you’ll need:
A camera (duh), preferably one with a timer and/or remote response.
A remote control compatible with your camera.
A tripod, or something to balance your camera on.
1. Take time to set up. The first thing I do is get my camera set up on my tripod in a nice prime position aiming toward a spot my kids and I will be sitting. If I’m indoors, I try to pick a place that is well lit by window light. I get as much prepared beforehand, so the kids don’t have to wait while I fumble around and change my settings.
2. Pre-focus. I try to do this one of two ways. In once instance I’ll set the camera’s lens to manual focus, then aim at my daughter or son, who is sitting where we’ll be, and focus on one of them. Or, I’ll leave my lens on auto focus, and use my camera remote.
3. Use a and remote timer. I switch my remote to the 2 second timer setting so once I hit the shutter button on the remote, I have two seconds to hide it before the photo snaps.
4. Snap away (a lot). I’m sure to take several different photos and poses before going to check my camera to see how they’ve turned out.
5. Let your kids take the photo. It’s fun for them to get involved and push the button. It an also make for some cute outtakes.
6. Keep the shutter speed up and shoot closed. I try to keep the shutter speed above 100 in case the kiddos have the wiggles, and the aperture higher than usual. That way you don’t have to worry about accidentally getting some of you out of focus.
7. Shoot wide. It’s easier to shoot wider than necessary and crop the photo than to try to aim the shot tighter and hope to get it just right.
8. Take a variety of angles/ emotions/perspectives. Raise your tripod up, and move it around after you’ve gotten some you like, play with angles.
9. Sit close together. Get snug! Hug, touch, cuddle. And keep snapping! I tend to like the sorta “candid” looks by making faces and sounds at my daughter between pictures. But it’s fun to take some all looking at the camera too. You can even make them into a “photo booth” style with your timer.
10. Have Fun. This of course is most important. Don’t stress about it, make it a fun event, and show your kids how they look in the digital previews.
My daughter loves taking pictures, but she especially loves taking pictures with me, or her brother. The ones I take myself with them aren’t usually as striking as the ones I take of them alone, but I cherish these just as much, if not more, because they capture the love I have for them.