I often share about encouraging moms to get in the photos with their children, families, spouses, friends, etc. When I talk at local libraries and moms clubs, I share ways to basically get over yourself and your silly insecurities and get in the photos. Your kids will love to look back at old photos of you present in their childhood, not just always behind the camera! However, this is physically easier said than done. So today I am sharing tips on how to literally be in the photos. (ie how do I set up the camera?!)
Timers and remotes are my best friends when it comes to getting in the photo. I typically only shoot with my DSLR so I purchased THIS intervalometer which made a HUGE difference in the ease of taking photos. I want candid action shots with my kids so I want the camera to just keep on shooting without me really knowing it is taking photos. I can set the timer to take, for example, 1 photo every 3 seconds 50 times and then let my camera just start shooting. This is great for me being able to play and interact with my kiddos, like in the baking example. You may want to invest in a tripod, however I more often just set the camera on a surface like a counter, a dresser, the mailbox, etc. I didn't use a tripod in any of the photos below! If you use a cell phone, I just found an app called PicTimer+ that seems to do the same thing with your cell phone so check it out! I would look into getting a tripod for the cell phone, like this JOBY GorillaPod that you can put basically anywhere.
When I do want a more posed photo with the boys, the remote works great for that too. Plus the boys LOVE taking turns pressing the button the remote to it keeps them sitting for photos longer. (don't forget to take the photos in public too, like the 2nd photo below where we are in a waiting room or at restaurants!)
2. ASKING FOR HELP
I obviously don't always want to set up the remote for my camera (but I do it when I have no other options!) so I will have to ask for help. Usually that means asking my husband to take photos for me. I am sure my husband is like many of yours- his photo skills are questionable. Heads get chopped, too much empty space, blurry photos...I feel ya moms! However, he now knows taking one shot isn't going to cut it. He will try different angles, positions, etc when taking photos of me with the boys which really helps me pick out a favorite photo of the bunch. I also have to release some of my control (and possibly lower my expectations) and be happy with what I get. You get what you get and you don't throw a fit, right?! There are several times Brad either insists on taking the camera from me so I can be in photos or he whips out his cell phone and takes photos without me realizing it. And some of my favorite photos may not be the best technically (like the one of me walking with the boys below), but they are real life photos of me and my sweet boys so I love them!
Now, notice that Brad KNOWS this is important to me. So make sure your family KNOWS this is important to you. It make takes a while to get them into the groove of taking photos without being asked, but whether you are relying your on husband, wife, boyfriend, mother, bestie... tell your family to help allow you to be in the photos too!
We all know how to take selfies, but take it up a notch with creativity. Use reflections, other than mirrors for photos! Plus it helps give more context to your photo rather than just a close up of your faces.
4. HIRE A PRO!
I have literally thousands upon thousands of photos of my sons. And I am in a decent amount of photos throughout the year. However, it is always still easier to hire someone to take some nice family photos without me being the one doing the work. This year I hired photographers on two different occasions : one to document a fun afternoon with candid family photos and one to get a nice portrait for holiday cards. My favorite types of sessions to shoot for other people is real life documentary sessions. This gives about 95% candid photos which are unique to that family and what their favorite activities. I have photographed families on archery outings, gingerbread building, hikes, trips to the lake, adoption homecomings, siblings visiting new babies in the hospital for the first time, playing with play doh or board games, making holiday breakfast together...just to name a few. :) Want to book a family session- I would love to hear from you! Want a mini session for quick portrait updates and holiday cards? I have my last day of mini sessions on November 17. Shoot me a message if you want to snag one of the last spots! Lastly, if you want to be able to take your OWN photos throughout the year (like I do to capture my own family's daily memories) then I can teach YOU to be your own family's photographer! I teach private photography lesson or you can check my workshop schedule HERE.
Hope that helps give you a starting point to getting in the photo! Email me with any questions you have!