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July 2011
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Baby and Kid Photography Tips | Mom Tip Monday

Welcome to our very first installment of Mom Tip Monday! Moms know the place to go for parenting ideas is our Facebook wall where they can instantly connect with the experts — fellow moms with fun ideas for raising kids. So we thought we’d let you all share your best tips to other moms right here on the blog.

This week we welcome Kristen from Kristen Mintz Photography, a mom, photographer, and fellow BabySteals fan. She is here to share her top five baby and kid photography tips. Whether you are taking portraits of your newborn or just precious moments of playtime, she has the expertise on capturing the photos you want.

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Hello, brilliant moms and dads! This is Kristen, from Kristen Mintz Photography, dropping in for the very first Mom Tip Monday. I’m so excited that Angie asked me to share my top 5 tips on photographing your family.

I know that as parents, you want to have gorgeous photos of your children that will become gorgeous heirlooms in the future. As a mommy and a photographer, I know how hard that can be. So, I’m here to help. I give you my top 5 tips on getting great photos that you will cherish for a long time.

1. Capture details.

Get closer to your child. I once had a mom tell me before our session that she just loved her boys’ eyelashes and feet. Guess what I tried to focus on? Yup. Adorable feet and long eyelashes. One of my favorite things about my son is his little Buddah belly. Think about it. If you know what your favorite features are, use that to your advantage! Focus on those things and try to highlight them in your photographs.

2. Lighting is everything.

If you are fortunate enough to have a DSLR camera, the best thing you can do for yourself is learn how to use it. Turn it to the manual setting and don’t look back. I found a wonderful resource for learning how to shoot manually at digital photography school. Trust me, it will make all the difference in your photos. If you don’t have a DSLR, or you’re just too afraid to learn how to use it, at least try one thing: take your subject outside. Get some extra gorgeous light during the “magic hours” of sunset and sunrise. Turn off that flash, please.

3. Get a different angle.

Running out of ideas for poses? Walk all around your child. Take a shot, and then move and take another. Get High. Get low. Get close. Go far. Shoot from the front. Tilt your camera. Continue to move around. Shoot from a different perspective. The same poses look radically different when you and your camera are in motion.

4. Keep learning.

Keep practicing. Have a camera with you at all times. Even if it is just the camera that comes with your phone, you will still begin to learn how to best capture your child. Practice framing and looking for light. Practice looking for moments and it will translate to your “real” camera, too. As a full time teacher, I assign homework all the time. Do you know what homework really is? It’s extra practice. And guess what? The kids who practice more are the kids who make the most gains. You will get better if you keep practicing. For both of my son and my daughter, I took a photo of them every day. Now, that’s quite a commitment that I can’t expect everyone to make. But I think it would be a fantastic goal to try to take one photo each week. That’s doable right? If you’d like to join me, I’ll make a weekly challenge on my blog where I’ll share tips, and you can share your questions and photos with me.

5. Capture real moments, not just “dress-up-and-say-cheese” (my personal favorite tip).

If your family is anything at all like mine, then real moments are very different than “say-cheese” moments. If your family makes messes, runs around nekkid, jumps in puddles, or creates works of art, then capture those things. Let them play, and just keep snapping. Chase them around. It’s fantastic exercise! Do your children really stay still and “cheese” all the time? Mine don’t. You’ll get something you love. Chances are, the photos of your child making a mad face or wrestling with their brother will resonate with you more in 10 years than a photo of them standing stiffly in their itchy Christmas sweater will.

I hope these tips have been helpful, and I hope you’ve been inspired to get out and shoot! Come join the weekly adventure on my blog!


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Thank you Kristen for these great tips on photographing children. Those precious moments are so fleeting at any age and it’s great to be able to capture these moments in time. Stay tuned for another great mom tip next week!

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View Comments to “Baby and Kid Photography Tips | Mom Tip Monday”

  1. Pam says:

    Congrats Kristen!  Thanks for the great tips!  You took one of my very favorite pics of my grandson.  It was a very close shot of his sideview! 

  2. Christie says:

    This was such an awesome post!! I just got a DSLR camera and really am afraid of all the settings. Thank you for the link … hopefully it will help me explore a bit. I also love the tip about capturing details & taking pictures from different angles. I don’t do a lot of this. Thanks for reminding me not to take the good ‘ol head on boring shots time after time!

  3. Amber says:

    I’ve learned that you can never have too many pictures!  Your son will soon be 10 years old just like mine is and I wish I had many more.  People used to tell me that I spent way too much money on getting his pictures taken (I seriously have a shoe box that is full of professionally taken 8×10′s).  Really in the end what could be a better investment?

  4. April says:

    Fabulous subject for the first mom tip monday!  I can’t wait to put these great tips to use!

  5. Rjparks says:

    I used to take tons of pics of my now 12 year old. I really need to get back into it :) . All the tips are good ones! I will have to learn about the dslr settings. I like the weekly photo contest too!

  6. Kristen Mintz says:

    My absolute favorite lens is a 50mm.  It’s perfect for portraits!

  7. Kristen Mintz says:

    As a photographer, I take LOTS of pictures. You’re so right- when you take a million, you are sure to get one that you really like.  And don’t be afraid of manual.  My first few shots were completely black when I began shooting manually, but I’ve never looked back! :)

  8. Kristen Mintz says:

    Thank you so much for letting me share, Angie!! 

  9. Kristen Mintz says:

    yes!!! come check in with me next Monday on my blog. :)

  10. Jenn says:

    Great tips!!  I love the idea of a weekly photo challenge :)

  11. Denise P says:

    Love it!  I just got a DSLR and once it’s paid off I’ll try and add more than my basic two lenses.  I take too many pictures (my son is 8.5 months and I have over 20,000 pictures of him because I want to learn different ways to take pictures…not all of them are good, but the sheer number increases my chances of getting lucky.  I’m leery of the  manual setting, but I just might have to learn more about what my camera does…after all, that’s why I bought it AND invested in a Photoshop class.  Great advice, thanks for making this the first feature!

  12. Sonia Zilvitis says:

    Keep these tips coming!

  13. Sonia Zilvitis says:

    Keep these tips coming!

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