There is definitely an advantage to being a photographer when it comes to getting photos of my own kids. I have the technical know-how and many, many tricks up my sleeve but in reality my days are just as chaotic as any other parents and more often than not I’m too busy or distracted to reach for my own camera.


Here are a few tips I’ve picked up along the way for getting the best shots of my kids:

  •  Keep your camera close at hand. If you have a camera bag, don’t use it (unless you’re out and about although in all honesty most of the time my camera is in a padded/waterproof bag inside my diaper bag). Leave your camera on the kitchen counter or somewhere in the house where it’s easily accessible. You’ll be much more likely to take the time to snap a few photos if you don’t have to rummage through a drawer to get your camera out.
  • Take photos of everyday things. Cameras aren’t just for special outings, parties, and celebrations. Take photos of your kids playing outside after dinner, in the tub, reading stories, playing with their favourite toys, or rough housing with each other. Hands-down my favourite photos of our kids together are the ones snapped while they do relatively mundane things.
  • If you think you’ve taken enough photos, take more. The colour photo in the post was taken on Canada Day: like a lot of parents I wanted a cute shot of my kids wearing their bright Canada Day shirts. The black and white photo, one of my favourites of our three boys together, was taken after I got the shot I planned. Even if you have the image you’d hoped to get keep snapping: you never know what tender/funny/memorable moment you might catch!
  • Get down on their level. If you have a baby, lie on the floor so you’re looking right on them. Toddlers and kids? Crouch down do you’re photographing them from their perspective. You don’t have to spend your life in a crouching position every time you have your camera in hand but you’ll get a lot more variety of shots if you change the angle you’re shooting from.
  • Back-up your photos. There are a variety of choices (DVD, hard drive, online back-up systems) but no matter which one you use make sure that your photos are duplicated in at least two places. How often you back up your photos will depend on how often you download them to your computer. I recommend shooting with a smaller memory card because it forces you to download your images and there’s less risk of losing them to user error or technology failure once they’ve been backed up. If you use your smart phone to take photos of your kids make sure you transfer them to the hard drive of your computer as well.
  • Just keep shooting. Just like Dory in finding Nemo who sings “Just keep swimming”, remind yourself to ‘Just Keep Shooting’. There are days I take a 100 photos of my kids and only keep 10, deleting the rest because they look to similar or they’re out of focus or I chopped off a key part of the photo. The more photos you take, the better you’ll get and the more likely you’ll be to get a treasured memory.

Sara McConnell Photography ~ Ottawa Photographer / Ottawa Baby Photographer

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