Posts Tagged ‘photography tips’

I’m almost never nervous to pull out my camera in just about any situation. At a park? Of course! In a donut shop? No problem! At a grocery store? Why not?! But when I pull out my camera around my husband, sometimes I have my guard up. I never know how he’ll react.

You deserve to have great photos to look back on and cherish as your family grows up. I’m teaming up with Canon again to help you shoot for greatness and learn how to take some awesome shots for your family.

Father’s Day is coming up, and you’d think this day, of all days is the one that my husband would be willing to smile for a photo. He LOVES pictures of himself with the kids when he sees them. But when he hears my shutter snapping he’s not always eager to be in front of the lens.

Thankfully, I’ve worked on him a bit. And I have some tips to share in case your husband is a camera-dodger like mine.

Be sneaky

Sometimes I’ve just gotta hide around a corner, or sneak up on them when they’re being cute, hoping he doesn’t see me with a camera in hand, or at least pretends he doesn’t. If you’re lucky, you’ll get some great candid moments to share with him later. It’s easier to be sneaky with a smaller camera or one of my DSLRs with a smaller lens on it. I like using my EF 40mm f/2.8 STM (aka pancake) lens because it’s not big and bulky. The smaller size makes it less intrusive.

Encourage him to do something he loves

little girl doing box jumps in a garage man cave

My husband loves sports and working out. If I say I’d like to go in the garage and have the kids do a workout with him, he’s less likely to care if I take pictures because he’s in his element and they’re having fun. When your husband is having a good time, he might not mind you capturing it for memory’s sake. I like using a wider angle to take these lifestyle shots so I can can get more of the scene of what they’re doing. I shot this picture at 24mm length using my EF 24-70mm f/2.8 lens.

Tell the kids to go jump on his lap

fathers day photo tips

Does he love to roughhouse? Capture those candid moments where they’re laughing and doing what daddy does best. Make sure you raise your shutter speed so you’re ready for the action. The higher your shutter speed the more you’re able to freeze the action (here’s a tutorial explaining shutter speed and more).

Go outside and play

Being outside with more space can make even the most camera-shy people feel more comfortable. While he plays with the kids snap a few pictures. If you’re far out in a field you can keep your distance and use a longer zoom lens to still capture them up close. Your camera’s kit lens could work if the focal length goes above 100mm even better. The EF 24-105 f/4 is a great upgrade option.You can also switch your camera to continuous shooting mode so it will take a burst of pictures as you hold down your shutter button. I like to do this then just save the good shots and delete the outtakes later.

Just don’t forget to put your camera down now and jump in to enjoy the fun too!

Ask nicely

Tips for photographing a camera shy dad.

When all else fails, say please. He may surprise you and say cheese! While I tend to appreciate the candid and lifestyle photos more, my husband doesn’t mind posing for photos every now and then. And these are the pictures he likes to print out and hang.

Good luck using these tips this Father’s Day to get the daddy in your life in the photos too! And if you’ve had better luck trying other methods please share your success in the comments. And for more tips on photographing your family and kids check out my photography course Child’s Play: Simple Tips for Photographing Children. It’s just $39.99 and a great gift!

The moment I became a mom I crossed over onto the island of parenthood, of which there is no return. It’s one of those situations we dive into and just hope everything turns out ok. I’d say so far it has. For the most part.

Being the documentarian I am, I wanted to have that milestone on camera (both times!). Maybe not in all my flashy gorey glory but the sweet moment, once my newborn reached my arms. My husband was totally against it however, so the first time my photographer and friend came to take pictures a few hours later. The second time I convinced him to let a photographer join us the entire time, and I’m so happy with the results.

birth baby t3

When I was pregnant with my son, I took pictures of my baby bump from the get-go. This time full on with a timer and tripod–a DSLR selfie, versus into the mirror like before. I think it set a precedent of being in the picture with my kids.

36 weeks pregnant

It’s fairly evident that I love taking photos of my children. Taking pictures of my kids is fun, but taking pictures with my kids brings a whole different kind of gratification. There’s nothing like having that tangible proof that I was a part of those everyday milestones.

Of course I could hand the camera over to my husband. And when I’m in a hurry I’ll do that. But usually I prefer to set up and take the picture myself, as I envision it, whenever I want just as I’d do if I were standing behind the camera.

Taking self-portraits is not hard once you have a system down. I like to use one of my DSLRs with wifi. Usually my Canon EOS Rebel T6i or my EOS 70D.

In order to take the photo I use either a flat surface around eye level when we’re sitting, or I’ll set up my tripod if I have more time. I think it’s easier to show you versus tell you how I do it, so here a quick video tutorial for how I make it work. Please excuse my rambunctious kiddos.

As mothers, many of us try our best to take pictures of our kids to remember their childhood, but it’s also important that we take the time to get in front of the camera as well. Even if we don’t have our makeup on, or are still in our yoga pants. It’s the day-to-day milestones I’d like to remember being a part of. Like finishing Harry Potter with my daughter.

How to take a DSLR selfie: Self portrait photography ideas and ways to get in the picture with your kids. Remote DSLR tutorial.

Goofing off in the backyard together.

How to take a DSLR selfie: Self portrait photography ideas and ways to get in the picture with your kids. Remote DSLR tutorial.


Or morning snuggles.

How to take a DSLR selfie: Self portrait photography ideas and ways to get in the picture with your kids. Remote DSLR tutorial.


Taking the time to be in a few frames will be something I never regret and you won’t either.

When choosing what camera to start with I highly recommend getting one with Wi-Fi! Here’s a quick list of Canon DSLRs with Wi-Fi. The ones highlighted are cameras I used for photos in this post:

Canon EOS Rebel T6
Canon EOS Rebel T6i
Canon EOS Rebel T6s
Canon EOS 70D
Canon EOS 80D
Canon EOS 6D

How to take a DSLR selfie: Self portrait photography ideas and ways to get in the picture with your kids. Remote DSLR tutorial.

*I love capturing milestones and special moments with my kids, which is why I partnered with Canon on this post. All opinions are my own.

Today’s story is sponsored by Sam’s Club. All of the opinions are my own.

If I’m telling the truth, it’s the first time in two and a half years I’m fighting off a teeny tiny slight case of baby fever. Some days I feel like I want one more. One more tiny little baby and newborn to love on, snuggle with and capture in photographs. But then reality sets in that I’d have that third kid forever, not just for the sleepy sweet, cuddly newborn phase. And the fever starts to fade.


Nevertheless, those moments as a new mom are so special. If I could go back in time, I’d relive the last five years over and over again and soak in every little bit. Is that weird?

Professional newborn photos are awesome, but it’s also nice to be able to photograph your newborn on your own. Here is a mommy survival guide to help you capture some of those precious newborn moments to cherish forever.

How to photograph your newborn

1. Be ready with a camera and lots of memory

Buckle up mama, you’re going to be taking a LOT of photos. Consider adding a digital camera or even a DSLR to your registry. Then have some backup memory cards to switch out when one gets full before you have a chance to load it on your computer. Sam’s Club has great deals on getting these in bulk.

2. Take your time

How to photograph your newborn

Be patient. Though it feels like your newborn is growing overnight, you have time to photograph your newborns. Don’t feel the need to rush it. You just had a baby. Get some rest. Once you’ve had some time to recover and just soak in that goodness, then you can start taking photographs. Unlike with a newborn photographer, time is on your side, you don’t have to take all of the photos in two hours.

3. It’s all about the lighting

How to photograph your newborn

You don’t need fancy props and studio lights, turn off the flash on your camera and position your baby near a natural source of sunlight. Pay attention to when the light shines through the windows in different parts of your home. The window will filter it nicely so you can position your baby nearby. Put your back to the window so the light will catch your baby at the right angle.

4. Keep baby comfortable


A warm room, full belly, clean diaper, and soft blanket can do wonders for keeping your newborn sound asleep long enough to get some sweet pictures. I love these white throw blankets. You can find them at Sam’s Club for a great price. They’re simple, cozy, and great for bouncing light too.

How to photograph your newborn

5. Try different perspectives

Tips for photographing newborns

Don’t just stand over your baby for every single photograph. Try different perspectives, angles, and locations. Take photos through the crib slats, or over daddy’s shoulder.

6. Get your other kids in the picture

Tips for photographing newborns

Brand new sibling love is my favorite newborn moment to capture. Lil’ J would always snuggle with her little brother, cuddle him, and rub his ear lobes. Photographing the her with her new baby brother was such a treasure. Try to make sure they’re in a safe and comfortable place and snap away.

How to photograph your newborn

7. Get yourself in the picture

Mother of two self portrait

Photographing your newborn should include you too! Hand over your camera and get some shots with the two of you together. Or if you’re like me, you might be better off setting up a tripod and using a remote. Whatever it takes, get in the shot with your newborn. You’ll thank me later.

8. Get the detail shots

Tiny fingers, tiny toes, little ears and a tiny nose. Get close and capture those little details. A macro lens is a great tool to accomplish this. It’s best to try to get these shots when they’re sleeping.

Tips for photographing newborns

How to photograph your newborn

9. Keep it safe

How to photograph your newborn

Don’t try to duplicate the posed newborn photos you see on Pinterest. You know the photos with babies hanging in a blanket from a tree branch, or propped up on their arms. Those photographs are taken with multiple photos edited together with other people helping hold the baby. Safety first! Keep it simple and capture some of those real moments safely.

10. Print your photos!

How to photograph your newborn

All of those precious pictures deserved to be enjoyed and shared with friends and family you see. Don’t keep them all cooped up on your computer. These days you can order prints online to be mailed to your home, or even pick them up at your local Sam’s Club.



A few other reasons it pays to shop at Sam’s Club:

  • Savings for your whole family.
  • Club pickup allows you to shop online then pick your order up at the store.
  • When you join you join online using this link you get $80 in savings for baby items like diapers and wipes.
  • Free subscription service and delivery on baby essentials like diapers and wipes.


Sam’s Club provides big savings for growing families, join and get $80 in special savings on baby basics.

*This post was sponsored by Sam’s Club, however, the text and opinions are all my own.

Lately I feel like I haven’t had much time to get out and take photos with the kids “just because.”

I’ve been in a whirlwind with the end of summer, start of the school year, work and whatnot. Crazy how life has picked up speed and doesn’t seem to slow down.

Like life, my son is all over the place. It’s hard to get him to sit still, much less for a photo. Photographing active kids isn’t easy, but I’ve learned a few tricks along the way and thought I’d share some on my blog today so you can lear how to photograph kids in motion and make your active-toddler (and even athletic teen) moments to cherish forever.

how to photograph active kids

1. Take A LOT of photos. A huge perk of digital photography these days is the chance to keep snapping and delete the outtakes. Don’t feel like you need to take one perfect picture and be done with it. Set your shooting mode to continuous and hold that shutter button down to take a burst. Later you can go back and delete the blinking and blurry pictures, but you’re more likely to capture a good one amongst many. This photo of my kids playing in the water fountain is one of several I took in a burst.

2. Use aperture priority mode (could also be portrait mode): If you aren’t comfortable shooting in manual yet, or find it difficult to have to continuously change your settings as your toddler runs from shade to sun and all over the place, try using aperture priority or AV mode. This allows you to change your f-stop (the lower the number the more “blur” you’ll achieve around your subject). My lenses go as low as 2.8 and 1.4. Don’t go too low and too close or their whole face won’t be in focus. You can set your lens to the f-stop your want, focus on your child, then let your camera do the rest.

how to photograph active kids

3. Let them play!: Don’t feel the need to stifle your child into a pose. Just let him do what he loves and be nearby to capture that. I like to have a great zoom lens on hand when capturing my active kids so I have the option of zooming with my feet, or my lens if I’m confined to the stands. The Canon 24-70mm lens is a great option for this.

4. Use a higher shutter speed: If you’re noticing a lot of your photos are coming out blurry, check your shutter speed. This will help you freeze the scene as your child is in motion. I try to keep my shutter speed above 500 when I’m trying to photograph my active kids. This may mean raising my ISO to compromise and give myself more flexibility, especially when I’m shooting indoors.

how to photograph kids in motion: photographing active kids flying a kite

5. Get creative and silly: What makes your child laugh? Your singing? Dancing? Pretending to tickle him? A natural laugh will come across much better than a forced smile. And there’s a good chance if you’re being silly, he may stand still to watch long enough for you to snap a picture.

6. Get down on their level: Break out of shooting just from above. Get down on their level and change the perspective. Even getting some shots from the ground level can be fun. Or from up above. I love using my Rebel t6i for this because it has a flip screen and it’s easier for me to use if I’m trying to get a shot from way up high. I can put my camera in live screen mode and flip the screen down so I can still see how my shot is composed without looking through the viewfinder.

how to photograph kids in motion: photographing active kids

7. Pay attention to the background: It can give context or be distracting. It’s so frustrating when I get a great picture of my kids but there’s a bunch of junk behind them. Out it out of focus or move to get a better angle. To make it out of focus in your shot, try lowering your f-stop number and/or zoom in more with your lens. This will cause your background to go out of focus or out of the frame.

8. Follow them in action: If you run at their speed and snap the photo you can freeze them in motion while blurring what’s going on behind them, making for a fun action shot. You’ll want your shutter speed to be around 1/50 to 1/80 to achieve this. It can be tricky to achieve this but practice makes perfect. I usually raise my f-stop over f4 to give myself some leeway if I miss the focus, and use Al-Servo Mode for continuous focus.

how to photograph kids in motion: photographing active kids running

9. Use Al-Servo focusing mode: It keeps tracking the moving subject versus focusing once when you hold the button halfway down. This will make catching a clear shot of your moving target a little easier.

10. Be patient: It’s rare that the very first picture I take is the one I want to keep, blow up and frame. If they did something cute, they’ll likely do it again with a little encouragement or patience.

Good luck and have fun making memories with your little active ones. Let me know if you have any other questions and comment with links to some of your favorite photos! And check out more photos of my kids on the move over on my Tampico is color photo blog.

What busy activities would you like to capture your active kiddos doing?

how to photograph kids in motion: photographing active kids flying a kite

Let me try to paint a picture of a dance recital to someone who has never experienced one before…

Imagine being handed a half dozen costumes and accessory pieces a month before the performance, they’re too cute for your child to resist wearing immediately, but they’re not allowed to wear them until it’s the big day. Oh, and at the dress rehearsal before. So you save all of those said things in a safe place for a month so it’s ready to go, but then you bring all of those things they’ve given you to rehearsal, and by the time that day is over, one of those items goes missing. But you don’t realize until 15 minutes before the actual performance. No, there are no extras.


There are people everywhere. Girls, and tutus, and random sequins and feathers. Shoes. So many kinds of shoes! Stressed out moms are around every corner. Wait… More like every three steps. Hair spray, makeup, and other things I didn’t think my daughter would use for at least another decade.

Your child knows five dances and she’ll perform each of them with a costume and hair change in between.


You sit and watch 1200 other dance numbers until it’s your child’s turn. Cheer and clap during her performance, then watch another 800 before it’s all over.

I wouldn’t call it a nightmare, but it was definitely one of those experiences that made me question how people could do that year after year. Not only that, our dance studio had six recitals. SIX. Ours was three hours and luckily my sister and daughter were in the same one.


I can’t imagine sitting through that three, four, or five times… Times two! Not because it wasn’t entertaining–because it was, in more way than one– but because my son didn’t have much patience.

brother and sis
He got so excited when his sister was on stage. He cheered so loud for her, and watched the routine. But he wasn’t so impressed with anyone else. Luckily he was such a great trooper, and he lasted without throwing a fit.

Backstage he was thrilled to see her, and I snapped one of my new favorite pictures of the two of them together.

hip hop mama

My recital (yes, I was in one too) was the next day. But since I was just in an adult class and not waiting around for the participation trophy, I was able to come and go just around my performance.

For us, the dress rehearsal was the real deal. My husband had to work the day of Lil’ J’s actual performance so he came, sat in the audience, cheered for her, and we celebrated like it was recital day. Between me and you it wasn’t any different. Well, except for the fact that there was a fraction of the people in the audience. So if you ask me, it was better. I was actually tempted to call it a day and skip the big shebang.


So a few tips for recital beginners who want to capture some memories of the big day.

1. Take all of the photos and video at the dress rehearsal. I can’t stress that enough. It’s way less crowded and chances are you can stand right at the edge of the stage for a great shot and to record the entire dance. Usually cameras aren’t allowed during the actual performance anyway.

tap dancer

2. Hand off your camera duty. Whether that means bumming photos off your friends, or ordering from the professionals the studio hires. I know it can feel like you’re paying an arm and a leg for everything from costumes, to flowers, to actual attendance, but it can be a huge relief to know someone else has you covered for pictures. I actually did pay for a photo package, but only for one costume, and for $35 I got ONE photo. So, if you’re cheap like me…


3. Find good lighting. It’s dark in the theater, and other rooms have non-flattering fluorescents. If you’re taking pictures when s/he is performing, adjust your settings to the conditions of the stage. But once she’s finished, pull her near a window or even outside for pretty photos.


4. Get a photo with the teacher, or your favorite friend. Aside from your cute kid, that’s the main person you’re gonna want to remember down the line.


5. Have fun with it. Have her do her favorite move or pose and get into it. You don’t have to choose just one photo to order for a package, you get to create your own. And there’s a good chance your child’s personality will shine even more in photos for you.

If you’re taking all of these pictures during the dress rehearsal, on recital day you can sit back and enjoy the show, knowing you got all of the pictures out of the way, and not have to add one more stress to your already-stressed day.

So we survived our first dance recital. Although it wasn’t quite as dramatic as an episode of Dance Moms, there were times I questioned my sanity. But as I watched my daughter light up on a stage she once saw as intimidating and terrifying I realized something… I can’t wait to do this again.

Lil’ J had a blast. Right after her dance she told me the big stage wasn’t so bad once you got the hang of it, that she heard us yelling her name, and that she had so much fun.


Once all the dust settled I asked her more about it once we got home. I wanted to know if it was worth it, and what she liked best.

Me: Did you have fun on stage?
Lil’ J: YEA!
Me: Oh yea? What was your favorite part?
Lil’ J: Getting my surprise.
Me: Oh… (A little disappointed) Your trophy?
Lil’ J: No, my tattoo!

So after 12 months of dance classes and the highlight is the 25-cent temporary tattoo. Can’t wait until next year!


10 moments I may have missed without my DSLR


I bought my first DSLR shortly after I found out I was pregnant. On a whim, I chose Canon. I read it was easier for beginners and I was familiar with the brand.

I wanted to be able to take photos during my pregnancy and pictures of my baby after she was born. Little did I know I’d get hooked.

I hit the ground running, read the manual from cover to cover, tried not to stay in “auto” mode for long, and fell completely in love with photography, specifically photographs of my family.

You know I’m all about making beautiful memories and capturing that. Well, 5 years and 3 Canons later, I didn’t expect for some of the moments I’ve captured to have such an impact on my life. While there are countless moments that wouldn’t have been the same without my DSLR, I’m narrowing it down to 10 today.

I’m partnering with Canon to share some photography tips and more specifically, I wanted to share 10 moments I may have missed without my DSLR camera.

10 moments I would have missed without a DSLR. Pros and cons of a DSLR vs smartphone for photography

Hi! I’m Jennifer Borget


I'm a part-time journalist, full-time wife and mother striving to make the world a better place and inspiring others to do the same. This is the space where I share my journey in making the most of every day.

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