Capturing Childhood

agoldenafternoonkids2Childhood is precious.  These little ones have been given to us for such a short time.  We want to soak up these moments and keep them forever, right?

Every Mom has a different perspective on the best way to photograph their kiddos.  For me, the distant and quiet observing point of view is my favorite because I prefer not to interrupt my more intimate moments for a photo.  Think for yourself about which moments make you smile.  Do you smile most when you have a loved one in your arms?  Do you crack a smile from a far, soaking in all of the childhood joy exuding from your little ones. Whatever it is, remember…

When you take a photo, you are telling a story.

agoldenafternoonkids61.  Don’t be afraid to leave out a face.

This may not be our Grandma’s favorite shot.  She might think it’s weird that you see hands but no face, but I love the joy I feel from remembering a moment with my kids and the beautiful way they used their hands.   Chubby baby hands are a total bonus!  Don’t forget to include some open space (like the table space above) so that you give the action in the photo some room to breath.  Nobody like a crowded picture, right?

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2. Capture the funny.

We all have those pictures of our kids being goofy and acting crazy for the camera.  Those moments always make for great pictures.  However, my favorite funny pictures are the one where they DIDN’T know they were being funny.  This picture of my son above reminds me of this time in his life when he didn’t know that a squishy round bottom in a cute pair of underwear made me chuckle quietly to myself every time I saw it (sometimes out loud).

 

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3. Stand back with your camera. 

You don’t have to see the whites of your little ones eyes to capture the beauty in a moment.  Stepping away will help you gain a new perspective and therefore, an entirely new photo and memory.  The above

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4. Black, white & low lights were MFEO (Sleepless in Seattle, anyone?).

You know those times you wants to remember but you realize it’s night, there isn’t much light, and the color ends up looking wonky when you snap a photo?  I totally have those too.  Those nights were meant to be black and white nights.  The contrast that is created in a photo when light meats dark can be extremely emotional.  The picture above, taken of my youngest son, was a scary and precious moment.  He had just received a shock from an outlet after sticking something in it.  While I was completely nervous about the cause and effect he had just discovered, it was one of the first times he seemed to understand the danger in being too curious.  He was actually scared from the sparks and jolt, which is the emotion we really want them to have in order to stay safe as little ones.

 

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5. Let’s see it again.

I get asked all of the time if I pose my kids or create scenes just to take pictures.  Usually, my pictures are completely “in the moment” and organic, where I speak nothing and just snap a photo.  Other times, I might be having a conversation with my kids and they do something funny or something worth telling a story about.  In a few cases I say, “I love it!  Let me see that again!”, “Show it to me again and hold it up and to the side.” or “Do that dance again”.  The moments are happening, but when I feel the moment is worth preserving beyond just my memory, I ask the kids to do something again so I can capture it permanently.

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6. Capture the ordinary.

A funny conversation amongst your kiddos, silly little dance moves, the way a toddler waddles like a penguin, a child reading their favorite book, the groceries all over the counter, a messy room, your morning oatmeal…

It’s important to remember the moments that make up our every day, however ordinary they may seem.

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