The holidays are knocking at our door. And you know what that means…
 
Photo Ops. Lots and lots of photo ops.
 
But how do you nab the perfect don’t-you-wish-your-kids-were-THIS-cute photo? We asked some of Charm City’s favorite lifestyle and family photographers to share some of their trade secrets. They happily obliged!
 
Jennie Sjursen from Lil Blu Dragonfly Photography knows that kids don’t always cooperate. What’s a parent to do when trying to nab a favorite photo for the annual holiday card? Here’s what Jennie shared:

  • Let your child be exactly who they are in that moment in time. I met a woman who’s daughter for one year went through a phase of wearing her winter coat backwards. She decided not to fight it and go with it. Her daughter is now a college student and one of her favorite images of her daughter is of her bundled up in her backwards winter jacket and all smiles.
  • Bargain and Bargain hard! There are times I am really working for a shot and a child is pulling every face they know and just won’t cooperate. I make them a deal, if they let me get what I want (and I show them the back of the camera so they can see what I’m doing) then the next few shots they can be doing what ever they want. Those images are just for them. With the younger kids I usually get a lot of rolled back eyes, tongues hanging out and hands as horns on the head. I almost always include one or two of them in the final take. Usually they’re funny and in years down the road you’ll appreciate them as “remember them when..”
  • Think about framing, both near and far. Start with your overall framing – how you see the image in your head. Does it include the door frame and two stairs? Then step in and take close ups – of your child’s face or maybe even just their shoes – go for details. Finally step back, way back, and get an overall shot of the larger scene, maybe including the whole house and have your kids be a small part of the over all scene. In one of those three scenarios there is an image that showcases your child/family perfectly!

We all know that the holidays are a great time (and maybe one of the only times) your entire family is together. So how do you capture the ‘real’ moment – -and not end up with a stack of cheesy ‘are you really taking my picture?” wooden soldier-type shots? John Waire of John Waire Photography gave us some fabulous tips! You can also find some inspiration on his photography blog.

  • Get in there! Be a part of the action and take shots that are at the level of your subjects. If you’re shooting kids, you should be on the floor! This relaxes your subject and creates a more interactive/fun environment.
  • Be patient. Moments are special and truly define an event. They’re often not scripted…so take your time and allow things to unfold
  • The candid vs. formal debate? I’m a true believer that interactive moments/expressions are much more memorable than a ‘everyone look here’ shot. Let the good times roll and snap away. If there’s a group that you absolutely want, put them in the same location and encourage some dialog and interaction
  • Keep it simple. The old adage ‘less is more’ goes a long way with composition. Worry less about the background and more about your subjects
  • Don’t forget to keep your camera close! =”font-size:small;”>There’s a lot going on around the holidays, so be prepared and have your camera with you as much as possible so you don’t miss those moments!
  • And last but not least… HAVE FUN!
Need more inspiration? We’ve got more tips from local photo-snapping fav Laura Black coming soon!
 
But in the meantime, what are your favorite shutterbug tips?
 
Photo from Gadgets Blog.