Beryl Ayn Young, creator of the Momtographie Online photography class, believes that there is magic hidden inside your camera, and she’s here to help you discover it. She is a professional photographer by chance and a teacher to the core. Pop over to her site beryl ayn young and you’ll bond over love of your little ones, Chipotle’s guacamole, TOMs shoes, and of course photography. Today she is sharing her 5 tips to ensure your DIY holiday photos are perfect.
In a flurry activity I tear around the house packing a diaper bag filled with toys, snacks, and goodies, trying on outfit after outfit because I can never make up my mind on what to wear anymore, and wrestling a fickle toddler (and husband) out the door.
It’s my inlaws year for official Thanksgiving dinner, so today we’re on our way out the door to my parents house for “Pre-Thanksgiving”.
We’ve finally made it to the car and that’s the moment I realize our outfits happen to coordinate, the weather is pure perfection, and it’s likely the last week of autumn color before the brisk winter wind blows the leaves away and puts a chill in the air for what will surely feel like an eternity .
“Let’s stop at the park on the way over and take our family photos, it’s a gorgeous day!” I sing to my husband.
I take that as a reluctant yes and run back inside to grab my half charged camera, tripod, and remote.
By the time I get back to the car, the toddler is screaming her head off for a drink and my husband is clearly agitated.
But I press on, because I’M A PHOTOGRAPHER AND I’M DETERMINED TO HAVE PRETTY PICTURES FOR OUR CARDS THIS YEAR!
Of course, the pushing and forcing only makes my attempt for natural, happy, loving photos that much more difficult to capture.
Because we didn’t go into our holiday memory making with a plan.
Planning is key when it comes to photographing winning, natural smiles for this year’s holiday card.
Today I’ve got 5 practical and simple tips help ensure your DIY holiday photos aren’t a mess of eyes rolls, whines, and cheesy ‘let’s get this over with’ grins.
Ready for your most beautiful Tiny Prints card yet?
- Have a plan – Planning is key to a positive photo experience. Are Mom and Dad going to be in the photo? Do you need to set a timer and get a tripod ready in order to make that happen? Will you be calling on a friend to push the shutter for you? Or maybe you just want to focus on your kiddos this year while you rock your camera skills. Make sure you have a location, time of day, and creative ”smile-maker” plan in mind BEFORE you start shooting.
- Happy kids, Happy camera – Think through the time of day your kids are going to be the most cooperative and the happiest. Happy kids = Smiling kids = Beautiful photos. Bribes can work wonders too. Plan a trip to their favorite ice cream shop when the photo taking is over. Or let them stay up past their bedtime that night to watch their favorite movie with you. Remind them of that special activity while you are taking the pictures.
- Creativity is key – Use this time to work your creative magic! Set up a tea party in your backyard and capture photos of your little girl serving hot cocoa and candy canes to her stuffed animal friends. Light a fire outside in the fire-pit and take a photo of everyone snuggled together under a blanket. Do you lack creative inspiration? Check out the Tiny Prints site and explore a world of inspirational cards and photo ideas for styling an activity. Get those creative juices flowing and your kids will be having so much fun playing and using their imagination that getting them to turn your way and give a smile or two for the camera will be a breeze.
- Turn off the flash and find the light – Keep in mind these are holiday photos and not Halloween photos. The pop-up flash on your camera can leave your kids looking ghostly. The best times of day for outdoor photos will be early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun isn’t directly overhead. Before you click, make sure you as the photographer are looking into the sun to avoid squinty eyes, hard sun light, or shadows on faces. If you decide to do photos indoors enlist your kids to help you find the room in your home where natural light is best. Find the places where you have sunlight streaming in and use those places to your advantage.
- Know when to call it quits – When the kids start throwing a tantrum, are getting bored, or running you ragged it’s time to call it a day. Remember there’s always tomorrow to capture a great shot for this year’s holiday card.