How to get great at home pictures of your kids!

Are you stuck at home yet? Well, while it hasn’t been mandatory for me to stay home yet I have made that choice for my family to protect us from exposure from COVID-19.

I have also chosen to make the best of it, and for me that means continuing to capture my simple life moments that I will want to remember. Being pregnant, I am suddenly feeling aware that my time alone with my toddler is coming to an end soon. This makes me want to remember every little thing about him from the way he likes to wear his fireman “soup” (suit), and which toys he is loving right now. If your kids are older, then use these tips to capture how you guys are getting through this time together, that they might remember later on as the time of their lives being less stressed about school, having quality time with family, and sleeping whenever they wanted. AKA Best extended summer ever!

1. Light

1. Whether you are using a cell phone or digital camera, it is always important to have a well lit environment. The best would be sunlight as opposed to your indoor lighting. Try to play in a well lit room with the blinds open, or directly by the window and you wont have to fight for a crisp picture. If you are taking photos mid-day outdoor, try your best to find shade. Contrary to belief a cloudy day is perfect for pictures, it acts like a giant light umbrella in the sky!

If you would like to plan your day for the best time, try to do it at Golden Hour! This is the beloved time of day most photographers wait for and it happens the hour before sunset, and the hour after sunrise. Lighting is the best during this time because sunlight is being more filtered coming closer to the horizon than it is in the middle of the day when it is too harsh and bright.

boy playing with toys by window

2. Angles

Change up the way you see the world around you. Someone’s natural instinct when taking pictures is to just lift up the phone/camera in front of them and take the picture. This works fine most of the time but things are different with children. Try crouching to their level before you take the shot and you’ll get a much better portrait worthy of a print. YES!PRINT!!! Take your images with the intent of putting them in an album or wall art for your family to look back on. There is just something special about a physical picture that isn’t the same feeling as on a screen. With that being said, don’t be afraid to get creative!

lifestyle child photographer

3. Clean environment

OKAY, hear me out before you get mad at me! When i say clean I do not mean that you have to spend all day going through toys or doing the dishes before you can take picture of your kids. What I mean is that you should take a look at the surroundings you plan to use for your pictures and pay attention to what might be drawing your focus away from your little human in a picture. Is there anything that might draw attention? A Poptart wrapper, empty water bottles on the table, a spare shoe ? Those kinds of things can be distracting in an image later on. However, if they are sitting around all their favorite toys, and you want to remember that moment, just go for it!

stefani warchol photography SWFL

4. Let them be themselves!

Don’t go into this expecting all smiles and sitting still. Parents expect this from them all the time when they get to sessions with me. Some cooperate, and some don’t but I am always ready. You’ll need to move with them, because chances are they will not sit still. Remember that you are taking pictures in digital format these days, so unlike film, you’ve got plenty of chances to get the one perfect shot. Sometimes I have 10 almost identical images to get one good picture where there isn’t blinking,  weird faces, and more. take all the pictures you need and review them once you get them on the computer. (Don’t delete them in camera, most often things look different in your camera display than on a bigger screen. This has saved me plenty of times when I thought the image was out of focus but it was just the tiny viewing screen messin with me.)

Make them laugh, smile, jump, twirl and overall just have fun. Ask them to pose silly and get it out of their systems before you try to get a “normal” pose out of them.

North Port Photographer

5. Give them something to do

Sometimes the best thing to do is have an activity. Kids will sometimes clam  up when they see a camera and act shy. Try to get them playing their favorite game, dancing to their go-to tunes, or making something like crafts or food! YUM.

Toddlers are a different story….They really NEED to be given a quick task to focus on. You can try things like asking them what sounds different animals make, holding down a leaf so it doesn’t fly  away,  peek-a-boo, and giving them something to keep their hands occupied. If they are distracted, your chances are better that they won’t run away when you get try to get the shot. This also give you a good window of opportunity when you say their name or make a funny noise that they will be looking at you and smiling.

If all else fails, I’ve never been against a little bit of bribing. offer them snacks or ice cream for giving mommy a big smile for one minute.

Now it’s your turn! If you give it a try I would love to see the outcome if you are posting online. You can tag me on Instagram @stefwarcholphoto ( Instagram) or on Facebook @stefaniwarcholphotography . ( )

If this didn’t turn out to be the thing for you but you still want some candid portraits of your  kiddos, contact me and I will be happy to schedule your session in a few months from now when things have cleared up. (keep an eye out for specials during this time that you can pre-book and have a session done before the end of this year.)