Take Better Pictures of your kids: How to use the moments

May 27, 2014


I say it all the time, it’s part of my business philosophy “our moments tell our story”.  But how can we truly and honestly tell the stories of our own lives?!  Sometimes it’s hard because we are so close.  We know all the ins and outs.  We can anticipate what might happen or how the day will pan itself out.  We can plan.

This is where it gets sometimes tricky for us to capture our children in those truly awesome moments!  Sometimes we just need to let go.  You need to learn to really use each moment!

Lots of photographers somehow come to take these super amazing and artistic photographs of their children!  I could spend all day on instagram or blogs and these images really blow my mind.  I think to myself all the time: how did they capture that?!  How did they think of that?!  What was the technical side to this?!  But then I remember something:  These images, the ones that really tell me a story… the ones that I really and truly connect with are the ones where the photographer is feeling something and connecting with the moment themselves!  

There is no planning involved most of the time.  There is just an opportunity.  There is just a moment of magic and intimacy and connection between the subjects that speaks loudly to anyone that comes across it.  

So, if it’s all happened upon by chance… how can you read a moment without planning it?  How can you use a moment to make it feel personal and intimate?!

You just have to understand the difference between being present and fully involved instead of hiding behind the camera!  Shoot the moment and not the person!  Recognize and interact with your children and let the camera become something that’s almost an after thought!

Most importantly… KEEP SHOOTING!  You never know what you have until you sit down at the computer hours later!  And you will never know what you might miss if you are staring at the small screen on the back of your camera instead of seeing what’s happening right in front of you!

There are so many moments that help tell the story of our families:  keep recording them all, never stop shooting and never be afraid to try something!

1.  A Tender Moment:  Mon, Weds and Friday mornings we are usually pretty quick about our breakfast.  Linc has school half days and he is pretty excited about seeing his friends.  This particular morning he woke up and was feeling a bit sentimental.  He refused to eat his breakfast without several friends in tow including his BFF Wink who is stuffed unceremoniously under his arm.  I usually bustle about trying to drink my coffee, pack him up and sit and visit with him while he eats.  This morning though was different:  it was quiet and calm.  Linc talked to his friends and made sure they each had a bite of oatmeal before he did.  He was nurturing and loving.  It was a very tender morning and one I will never quit forget.

2.  A Bonding Moment (one on the sidelines):  Tuck obviously just got home and Linc and I couldn’t be more happy.  We aren’t quite sure how long he will be staying, if he will be staying or what will happen over the next few weeks.  Right now we are just happy to be spending time together as a family and figuring out what our new every day is.  Linc loves to run downstairs in the morning and eat his “amm maas” a.k.a muffins in a bowl in his chair while I prepare the rest of our usual breakfast.  He usually likes to watch trucks or sesame street or listen to some music.  I just caught this as I was finishing up our scrambled eggs… my two boys, bonding over “amm maas” in pjs sitting using the back of the chair laughing about something secret and for the love of boy.  It didn’t matter to me that it was through the counter or the bar chairs… it mattered that I caught that moment and it was a quiet unrecognized moment by my two loves.

DL3A19363.  Capture the Funny:  Bubbles.. everywhere and Linc loves to eat them.  He hates the taste but yet he still pops them with his mouth!  This is also one where the closer you can get the better!  There is nothing better than popped bubble or spit splashes from those lips.



4.  Mother and Child Moment:  Tuck took this of me and it isn’t one I have shared.  I don’t like to add a lot of editing or effects to images.  I think in a way it takes a way from the story, but sometimes black and white can add to the feeling of the picture.  This was taken the week we brought Linc home from the hospital.  Our bed was the place we longed to be since we were so exhausted but also the place we were happy to hardly see!  Our room was a mess, I was a mess but this was just a peaceful moment where the light was warm and gorgeous and we were just getting to know one another!

5. The Moment in the Details:  Anyone that has been to my house since January until now has requested that I take a photo of my computer screen in my office.  I’ve heard many descriptions to describe it:  amazing, a true image of toddler and of love, ridiculous, and heart warmingly sad.  Anyone that has family in the military;  anyone that has family far away, and uses skype will understand!  Sometimes the best reminders of the precious time we have with our little ones are the smudges of fingers and kisses left behind!  These were made and added on every time we spoke or kissed daddy from a far!

Each image has a meaning for me!  Not all my subjects are looking at the camera and not all of them are of people at all.  But each holds a special story that reminds me of something very intimate and unique.  I’m sure it also speaks to you in an entirely different way.  That’s the BEST thing about art and photography.  No two people will see the same thing or understand it the same way!


What do you see when you look at these images?  What story do they tell you?  What are some of your favorite images of your children of your family?  What is the story behind that image?  Does it reflect the moment?!

I have an assignment for anyone following this series!  A $20.00 Starbucks gift card given at random to someone brave enough to attempt.

Break out the camera and start shooting the moments.  Tell your story and e mail them to or post them to my facebook page!

Winner picked at random but drawn on Friday will receive a 20.00 Starbucks gift card for being so brave and so willing!




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FROM THE journal



      top 5 tips for           best family        photos

Everyone wants photos that are timeless, magical, joyful and purely THEM!  Photos that not only stand up to the test of time, but when you look back on them you will say YES!! This was us!  This was our lives: beautiful, silly, chaotic and wonderful!  I can help you get that!  Check out my tips on how to get the best family photos!   And then maybe schedule a session!


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