Brittney Owens Photography

Brittney Owens Photography
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Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Tips for photographing your own children {Fort Smith AR Photographer}

I really enjoy the opportunity to photograph my own children, but they are the most difficult subjects I have. They do not hold still like a clients child would. They are just so over the camera! Fast is key with them. For each shoot I do I get maybe one or two usable images. I have, however, learned a few tricks to make it easier.

First trick is to have your back drop/props completely set up and to have your camera settings exactly how you want them. I never do more than one set up with my toddlers in one day. I usually test shoot on a doll or stuffed animal. I use to ask my daughter to sit for me while I adjusted the lighting but by the time I was ready to go she was done.

 My second trick for photographing my children is a high shutter speed. I adjust my ISO keeping it as low as possible to avoid grain, but high enough to accommodate my fast shutter. I do not have studio lighting. I utilize a small space by a window. I also shoot at an f/2.8 or higher especially when using a shallow back drop. I have begun adding back in the blur I enjoy with low aperture when I edit in Lightroom. A fast shutter and higher aperture help me to capture any possibility of a smile of eye contact with the camera. These three images are the only ones where my daughter was looking at me.


My third trick is to allow a favorite toy to be used. This bear was what I used to adjust my lighting, and it just so happened to be my son's favorite. I asked my son if he would like to take some photos with "Bear" and he did. He also made sure to growl like a bear. My daughter isn't as keen on any particular toy, but being allowed to dress like a princess was enough of an incentive.

Fourth... I bribe. Call it an incentive if you rather, but I straight up offer candy. Sit for just a second and get a skittle!

Fifth and final, I take what I get and I know not to push my luck. I have begun to enjoy photos that are the essence of my children. My babies are so over exposed to my camera that they tune it out. If they are in a setting they love, outside by water or in the woods, they relax and I can snap some candids. Sometimes they are dirty, half dressed, or making crazy faces. Once I accepted that the images I capture of them will never be the same as the ones I capture of clients the process became relaxing for me as well. Doesn't mean I never try, but its the reality of things. If you have a friend who does photography, that is always a great trade. Take turns photographing each others family.

Hope these tips help! Just know you are not alone and don't get frustrated. 

Instagram: BrittneyOwensPhotography
Fort Smith, Arkansas photographer specializing in newborn, children and family portraits. 
All images are copyrighted by Brittney Owens Photography 

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