Mother’s Day is quickly approaching and my goal this year is to encourage as many moms as I can to get in the frame. Ladies, your kids need to see you in your family pictures. They want to see pictures of you doing things together. Playing, laughing, hugging, dancing, reading, etc. They deserve to see everyday moments that capture love and connection, not just a selfie from your phone. But how? If you’re always the one behind the camera, how can you include yourself more in the frame? Ask for help! How many times have you picked up a camera to capture something sweet that your hubby and kids are doing? Well, now it’s his turn! Dads, it’s time for you to step up! If you’re not sure how or what to do, I’ve put together some simple photo tips for dads that you can use to photograph your family.
1. You might not know what to look for so my first tip is to sit back and observe. Watch how your wife interacts with the kids. Pay attention to how she shows love. Look for quiet moments you might not otherwise notice. Gentle kisses on the forehead, the way she sings your baby to sleep, bedtime stories, Saturday morning snuggles, baking cookies with the kids, how she fixes a boo boo, etc. Make a mental note to photograph it.
2. Once you’ve come up with a few ideas, the next step is to make sure you’ve got good light. If you’re indoors, open up all the curtains and let in as much light as possible. If you’re outside, try to keep the sun behind the action. You might have to get a little sneaky if the light is not ideal. Let’s say the idea is to capture your wife doing a craft with the kids, but the room is super dark. Make the suggestion to set everything up on the kitchen table instead. Or, take the craft outside if it’s a nice day.
3. One of the biggest complaints moms give for not getting in the picture is their appearance. Help her look her best with these tricks. Shoot from slightly above for the best angle. Cover up her middle by asking the kids to pile on her lap. Not every picture has to show her face. Get in nice and close and capture the details instead. Hands clasped together. Arms wrapped around each other. Cheeks pressed against each other.
No matter how you take the picture, JUST TAKE IT. Your wife will thank you! Finally she’ll get to see evidence of her love documented for the kids to see. You’ll be preserving moments that matter and providing photographic evidence that she’s doing an amazing job. A priceless gift in my opinion.
I am so so excited for this blog series! I haven’t done one in a while and I’ve been working hard behind the scenes emailing my favorite mom bloggers to see if they’d be willing to participate. Some of you know how pumped up I was after watching this video from Chatbooks a couple weeks ago. So much so that I decided to devote the next two months to moms. All of my blog and social media content will focus on moms in some way. I wanted to come up with an idea to share tips and tricks with you all about getting in the frame more and how photography can really open your eyes to the beauty of motherhood. So, like all good ideas that come to me, I was in the shower thinking about all of the amazing Instagram accounts I’ve discovered lately and how they all feature moms who do such a wonderful job of being present in their story. Their kids won’t grow up thinking, “where’s mom?” in their family photos. And that’s how Motherhood, Captured was born! Every Wednesday over the next few weeks, I’ll be featuring my fave mom bloggers who will generously share tips on how they go about documenting their lives in an honest, creative way and how you can get in the frame more when taking pictures.
I hope you’ll join me! You’ll be able to follow along on social media using the hashtag #smpmotherhoodcaptured and I’ll also be sending updates through my newsletter as well as in my Instagram stories.
When this mama filled out the questionnaire for her home sweet home newborn session, she mentioned that her family has what they call ‘coffee talk’ every morning. During their morning chat, they discuss the plan for the day while sipping on milk and coffee. How cute is that?? The ‘coffee chat’ includes their adorable daughter Olivia, mom, dad and now baby Leo has joined in. I really wanted to capture this fun tradition for them during their newborn session. How amazing will it be to tell Olivia and Leo about this when they are grown and now to have the pictures to go along with it.
This is one of the reasons I love home sweet home newborn sessions. You get to capture all of those sweet, meaningful moments that happen on a daily basis and you just can’t recreate them in a studio.
What I also love about in home newborn sessions is that you can capture siblings too. I fell in love with Miss Olivia and her sweet personality. Don’t get me wrong, Leo was a cutie pie too, but he slept most of the time I was there! Olivia stole my heart with her smile. See for yourself!
And how could I not post a few images of the two of them together.
And finally some shots of Leo all by himself. Swoon!
Our first snow day of the winter and it was a good one! Everyone got to stay home – even my husband! The girls were thrilled and I was happy to sleep in and stay cuddled up on the couch all day. The only hiccup was having to shovel at lunchtime. The snowblower kept clogging up with wet and heavy snow so it was better to just shovel it. I lasted about an hour and then I was pooped!
When Jaime wanted to go outside and play, I grabbed my camera. The snow was still coming down so I used an umbrella to protect my gear. Kind of makes shooting a little difficult since I only had one hand, but I chose my settings first and then went outside so I wasn’t fumbling around. This was the first year that my teenager didn’t want to go outside and play. My how times have changed. I used to love watching the two of them in the snow. Even Jaime didn’t last as long as she usually does. She still knows how to have fun though!
Annnnnnd this is how a teenagers spends a snow day. Lol! To be honest, I can’t blame her. It was cold and windy and she doesn’t have the right clothes to go outside and play. I just think it’s funny how different they are right now.
What’s your favorite thing to do on a snow day??
I had sooooo much fun teaching my first beginner photography class for moms called Click & Capture. I’ve hosted this workshop online before, but to get to talk about photography with other moms and teach them a few tricks of the trade was so awesome. We talked about why it’s so important to be documenting those everyday moments and how you can tell your family’s story in a unique way. The class is designed to help you capture your kids with confidence and creativity and there are quick, easy changes you can make that same day to improve your photos.
The class was hosted at my home, which I was kind of nervous about, but it worked out better than I expected. It was a small group so it felt much more intimate and I could answer questions one on one. The tricky part was keeping my husband and the dog locked away in the bedroom for a few hours! Once the weather gets warmer it’ll be easier. Here are a few behind the scenes shots of my setup.
Each student got a notebook filled with bonus worksheets for the class. I added in some blank paper for notes too. I always like to have snacks on hand just in case anyone gets hungry. The class lasts about 3 hours and I know I need to eat every 3 hours. Lol!!
I also picked up these cute bags from Target so that they could take home their goodies. Just a little something extra for spending time with me on a Saturday afternoon away from their kids.
Would you like to come to our next class? I’d love to have you. It’ll be February 25, 2017 from 1-4. The first class was 2 hours, but we definitely needed more time to get through all of the material so this time around it’ll be 3 hours. I have a whole presentation for you and then we make time for questions and practice. As the weather warms up, we’ll head outdoors to practice too. Eventually, I’ll be adding a second level class where we can practice more. There will be one-on-one opportunities as well as field trips! So much fun!!
If you’re not in NJ or just can’t make the in person class, I’ve also recorded an audio version that is available to purchase. You’ll be able to view the slides and hear the presentation, but you will not have the benefit of one-on-one instruction, the ability to ask questions, or the bonus materials. I still think it’s packed with useful tips at a really affordable price.
What an amazing feeling to welcome a brand new baby into the world and have a newborn session in the comfort of your own home. No travel required. This is especially nice during the cold winter months when the weather can be nasty. Who wants to pack up a newborn and all.the.things you need to drive somewhere for pictures?? A newborn session in your home is ideal! Plus, if you’ve spent the months before his or her arrival decorating the nursery, picking out every detail and making it perfect, we can document all of it!
As a New Jersey family photographer, sunsets are kind of elusive. We’re never guaranteed sun, when it happens, it’s so magical!
I’ve been photographing this family for several years now and this was a new location for us. Jockey Hollow in Morristown. Such a fun spot! I’d definitely go back for another sunset family session. Family sessions are fun because we can just walk around and explore. There’s no time crunch like in a studio and there are usually plenty of beautiful backdrops.
Looking at these in the dead of January makes me anxious for spring! If you’re looking for a family photographer in New Jersey, now is the perfect time to schedule something. Hit that contact button and let’s chat!
These images are from last week. I’ve been doing a whole lot of shooting in low light these past few weeks and I’m learning to embrace the grain in my photos. I normally would never pull my camera out once the sun goes down because there’s so much beautiful, natural light during the day, but once it sets, the house gets pretty dark. We don’t have a lot of lamps or even overheard lighting so I have to really crank up my ISO. One of the easiest ways to disguise the grain is to convert the image to black and white. That’s exactly what I did with these two. I couldn’t resist snapping a picture of Lady begging for a piece of the cookie Jaime was eating. And the second one is a picture of her looking out the window on a rainy day watching the cars go by.
Jaime is still enjoying her new pet. She asks to hold her every morning before school.
I grabbed my camera one day last week before heading out the door for pickup and snapped this while she jumped in to the car. I love that you can see a few rain drops on her cheek and her nose.
I always feel guilty not having Julianna in a ton of pictures, but this picture is meaningful to me because every Friday she gets in the car and she say, “Mom, guess what day it is? Fry day!!” So we drive to McDonald’s and share some fries. It’s a memory I’ll cherish even if her pretty face isn’t in the pic.
Over the weekend we went to my mom’s to celebrate my dad’s birthday. He would have been 70 this year. We started this tradition of letting balloons go about 3 years ago. All of the kids write messages and we watch them float away up to heaven. I love how excited they get and it keeps my dads memory alive, especially for the younger ones who never even met him.
This in home family lifestyle session in NJ was the perfect way to kick off the new year. I am so excited to do more sessions like this in client’s homes. I couldn’t wait to post a sneak peek of these images because they’re just too good not to share! I know what you’re thinking though – my house doesn’t look like that. Well, neither does mine so who cares?!?! It’s the memories that this family is creating that matters. Moments like this happen all the time at home. Everyday magic. But no one ever thinks to have it photographed. Why? It’s just as important as those sunset family sessions everyone craves. When you look back at images like this years from now, it will spark a memory and you’ll tell stories about how every Sunday morning you piled in to the kitchen to make pancakes. Whether you hire a professional or do it yourself, remember to capture the small stuff too!!
Who doesn’t love a chance to make a mess? Middle sis is looking like she can’t wait to dig in!!
It’s only week 2 of my Project 365 and I’m already behind! But, to be fair, yesterday was a holiday and I didn’t get on the computer. I am, however, doing well with taking pictures everyday. It’s just posting them that hasn’t been consistent. Lol!
One of the cool side effects of having my camera out is that my 9 year old loves to use it. She will walk around the house taking pictures and I love to watch her. It’s also really neat teaching her about exposure and how she can brighten her images when she wants to and how to focus as well. She’s becoming quite the shutterbug!
Last week we had a little snow so I took a few shots of her playing outside (and the mess that followed her in!) We also welcome a new pet into our home. A bearded dragon. Her name has changed a few times since we got her, but I think we’ve officially settled on Lizzy. I’m sure there will be a lot more pictures of her in the future! And I always end up feeling guilty about not having as many pictures of my older daughter, but she’s not as willing to get in front of the camera anymore. I’ll have to find more sneaky ways to capture her!