Taking Day-to-Day Family Photos

I asked and you guys answered! This post is (hopefully) going to offer some insight on how to both take more and take better at-home family photos!

To be honest with you, when I was pregnant I had numerous people tell me, “Oh my gosh, I can’t wait to see all the beautiful photos you take of this baby!” and I was already nervous. I only took a handful of photos of my growing bump and I had relatively all the time in the world- was I going to remember to take photos of my baby while tackling keeping a child alive and happy? In the beginning, it was rough. It was a true task that I had to remind myself about numerous times the day before, saying “Okay, I need to do his newborn photos tomorrow. I need to do these tomorrow.” I had to do that for the first couple of months and then I grabbed my camera ONCE when Ryan was holding him and the light was perfect and I realized those had been some of my favorite photos. Don’t get me wrong- I love the posed monthly ones too but I wanted to look back and see the little moments that happened in between also (something I strive for in my client photos).

So here are a couple of little tips that have helped me document the in-between moments. Don’t get me wrong- we still do some posed family ones too (I would like to be somewhat present in our family photo albums) but those laughs on the play mat or when he won’t give up his purple telephone- those are the ones I want to make sure last forever.

  • Leave a camera in the living room (or wherever you are the most): It helped me SO MUCH when I decided to leave one of my cameras downstairs in the living room. Too many times I talked myself out of documenting a moment because I didn’t want to go get my camera. Even if you don’t have a camera, you always have your phone next to you so use it!

  • Use every bit of natural light available: We live in a townhome so our natural light isn’t as great as I would like it to be but every little bit helps! The natural light is best in our bedroom so any posed photos (the monthly ones usually) I ALWAYS do in there- give myself the best opportunity to make those photos right. I usually open the blinds all the way (so there are no shadows) and take some photos with him in the middle of the bed and then some with him facing the window as well (so his face is lit evenly). If Grayson is having a really great day in the high chair, I turn his chair just a little bit towns are back door so the light is a little bit better. Basically, when in doubt, have your little ones face the window (but make sure not to block the light taking the photo yourself!)

  • Don’t make the excuse of inconvenience: This kind of goes along with the first bullet but I wanted to emphasize this- I don’t know if anyone else does this but sometimes with our phones in our pocket, it just seems easier than lugging “the big camera” but I promise you won’t regret it. Some of the special moments in the hospital are on our phones which I’m glad we have them documented but when I went to print them, I really wished they were on the DLSR. So just pack the big camera and use it- it’s going to take a little more time in the moment but you’ll appreciate it later on.

  • Watch for shadows: (I’m realizing this is all about lighting so I’m hoping this is still helpful!) When you’re taking photos at the pool or zoo or really anything in mid-day, lighting is rough. Try and keep the sun either behind your little ones (or in front if it’s overcast- you don’t want them looking into the sun if you want to avoid the battle of squinty eyes). But if you keep the sun behind them, you’ll want to change your settings for their faces (so they aren’t super dark) but it will be better than having harsh shadow across their faces.

  • Print your photos: If you’re anything like me, about an hour after you put your little one to bed, you end up in a deep dive of all your phone photos commenting on how much you miss them. (No, just me? Oh, good) But there will come a time where you won’t go back to the beginning, or you’ll forget you took those ones of him in the highchair so please PLEASE print your photos! It doesn’t have to be anything fancy or expensive but I promise you you won’t go back into your computer 25 years from now and look at them. I have officially established a way that I am documenting all of our photos and I’m so excited about it. (If you guys have any interest, I can share that in a later post).

If you have any questions, comment below and I can answer them!

xx, c