Thursday, May 5, 2011

Photographing your children

Hope you're having a happy spring day!  I wanted to write a post for all of you who love photographing your children- but feel like you could use a few tips to make your portraits more successful. I could write for pages on this, but I'll give you a few simple pointers just to get you going. Oh.... and who's this little beauty you might ask? This is my precious little girl - she so cute isn't she?

First thing is first- what time of day? If I'm shooting commercially I almost always shoot 2 hours before sunset. It's the best golden light and it doesn't cast the harsh shadows that mid day sun does - being directly above the subject. Sunrise works too- but who wants to wake up at 6:30... I mean c'mon! If you shoot during the day- like I did in this one- find a shady spot and make sure there are no streams of sunlight coming through making bright patches on your subject. Also- remember composition! Avoid centering the subject... use the "rule of thirds." Don't be afraid to crop the face and pay attention to your negative space as well as your positive space.

Props- I L O V E them! A client said to me recently, "you must be the queen of props!" It's true. But how awesome? For this shoot my prop was simply a lady bug... and how presh! I've also used balloons, wands, chalk, tricycles, fresh flowers, vintage furniture and candy. You can see some of those here. Just stand back, let your child interact with the prop and explore, don't nag them by posing them all the time. This prop turned out too cute... seriously!

Get lots of details. Focus in on the eyes, the curls, the feet, the hands, the lips... while they're playing. In the top right picture above Annabelle was looking at a robin hopping by, I took advantage of her short lived stillness to shoot some close ups. Those blond curls and chubby fingers are things you'll miss when they're teenagers so capture them before they're gone.

And if I were to save my best advice for last I'd say...have fun. Resort to tickling, wrestling, making goofy faces, putting bugs on your head, wearing silly mustaches... you name it, I've done it! I mean how worth it is it to capture such a radiant smile? And... even though you're going to be a pro after this little tutorial... still you should hire a photographer once a year or every few years to snap some because no one can do it like we can! Hope this helped. And if you know someone who loves taking pictures and you think they would like this please copy the link and paste it on their FB page or shoot them an email. Like my friend Sugar always says on her blog... it's sexy to share!

And just for fun I had to throw this one in... look at what my little stinker did after the shoot while I was making lunch....

Oh my... that was fun to wash off! Take pictures of those moments too :) Have a great day. If I inspired you to do a photo shoot... send me what you came up with (here)- I'd love to see- and remember to pass on this post to anyone who you think would love it- just copy and paste the link. Taa taa for now!


  1. OMG! I LOVE all these pictures!!! Annabelle is SO SWEET! Loved seeing her interact with the ladybug! Loved her blue dress and bow!
    I cracked up with the lipstick at the end!

  2. Amazing, Michelle! You're so awesome to give the ordinary person the low down on how to capture great moments :) Love your blog BTW!

  3. Great post Michelle!! Your little girl is a real gem! Let me know when you are in Montreal, I would love to book a session with you for my little guy!!!! xoxo

  4. Michelle,

    I love you pictures. They bring out the best in Abelle and create splendid, creative portraits. She is so expressive and exqusite and you capture her charm so well.