So you just bought a new DSLR camera and want to start documenting memories of your little one, but don’t know where to start? I was there once, and I know the camera can be super intimidating at first, that’s why I started to offer mentorships for this exact thing! I actually get messaged by a lot of mothers wanting to do a quick lesson and learn their camera little better to make some gorgeous photos of their children. I love that! It’s important to capture those moments and when sometimes life doesn’t give you the finances to hire a professional photographer it’s good to at least know some basic tips to getting quality photos that will last. 

One thing most people probably wouldn’t guess about me is that I absolutely LOVE working with kids. Some photographers find it very difficult, to me it’s the most fun and laid back shooting environment you can have! Kids are so much fun to work with, they just run wild without a care in the world. I vaguely remember those days now, but what I would give to go back for a bit and revisit them! These moments go by so incredibly fast so it’s important to freeze them in time with photographs you can hold onto forever. In this article, I’m going to give you some tips and tricks on taking beautiful photos of your little one. 

#1 Let them run wild

If there's one things kids dislike doing, it's sitting still. This is the main reason why they dread going to photo shoots because they know they're going to have to pose, sit still for long periods, all while building up all of that energy inside of them. I am not the photographer that wants to work with an unhappy child by making them sit still. I want to let these kiddos dance, play tag, run around in circles until they're out of breath from all of the fun. This tactic brings natural smiles, and really captures them in their fun carefree state. All you need is some good lighting to crank up that shutter speed and really capture those quick little bursts of happiness they'll give you when you let them do literally whatever they want.

#2 Give them Props to work with

I'm not talking props like the number of how old they are sitting next to them.. Kids love to actually interact with things. If your child has a huge love for something in particular, say... COOKIES! Cookies are a great idea to shoot with, because it'll not only keep your kiddo entertained, but also allow you to capture their spunky personality while they're snacking on something they truly love. Keep it fun and candid with this trick, you'll end up with some adorable photos in the end and a happy kiddo!

#3 Turn up the tunes

Kids LOVE to dance. Who doesn't? Music is therapy and can completely change someone's emotions.. just like a child who is not happy about having their picture taken. Turning up their favorite songs while you photograph them will not only get you some great images, but will also keep their mind off the task at hand and make it more enjoyable for them. I always have my parents put on the theme songs from their favorite TV shows, or whatever their favorite songs are and the happiness really just starts to shine through.

#4 Color coordinate with your environment

One thing that will really make your photos stand out, is working with a particular color palette for the outfits you choose to dress them in. Matching the color tones to the environment you plan on photographing them in will give your images that extra design element to them and really make them POP! When clients want a nature type of setting for their children I always observe how that location looks at a certain type of year. If its fall and everything is dead out, opt for more whites, browns, and other warm neutrals. If its full of greenery at the location, you want to aim for grays, black and other neutrals to somewhat compliment the greens.

After all is said and done, really all you need to do is just have fun with your kiddo. Life is too short to take things so very seriously and get frustrated with a child for not posing for pictures. I get it kiddos! Bundling up all of that energy inside of you to only be told, no sit still.. isn't any fun. You've gotta go out there, run and play with your babies and capture these moments the way they are naturally. I hope this article helps give some of you mama's ideas on your next photo adventure with your little one. If you get stumped on how to actually work the technical side of your DSLR, and want more education on the device, reach out to me! I love doing small mentorships and helping women learn how to capture great storytelling images of their little ones.