I love when families come back and I get to see how much their babies have grown since our last session! This sweet girl turned ONE this year and I loved getting to freeze in time what life was like for them!
Category Archives: Children
Every trip or family event I struggle with the decision on which memory capturing device to take. My heavy professional DSLR, my little entry level DSLR, my point n shoot, or my iPhone. I recently took a mini family vacation to Kings Island and once again found myself struggling with which device to bring. While I LOVE the results I get with my DSLRs, I decided to only take my iPhone for pictures this time. I wanted to travel light and be able to quickly take a picture and pocket my phone so I could enjoy time with my family.
Here are a few tricks and tips I’ve learned over the years with using an iPhone to get great results and not just a snapshot of your family!
1) Treat it as you would a DSLR and set up the shot. This means looking for good lighting, background distractions and composing the image. If good lighting isn’t available in the spot you want to get a picture, check back later to see if the light is better!
Our first shot of the day in this spot (see end of the post) was taken early morning during bright sunlight. When we came back later in the evening, the lighting was a lot less harsh and I was able to get this image of my kids. There wasn’t a line of people when we came back, so I was able to pull my kids away from the designated spot so I could get the entire tower in the image AND have them be a larger part of the image too. The closer to your subject, the more space they’ll take up in the image.
2) Tap the screen over the subject to tell your iPhone where to focus + get exposure. If the image is still too dark, after tapping drag your finger up or down the screen to adjust the brightness.
Also, you can use the focus + exposure lock feature. If you hold your finger on the screen over the subject, the focus and exposure will lock, you can then move around the phone a little to compose the image how you’d like it to be without having to adjust the brightness again.
Left image: iPhone automatically selected the exposure
Right image: I adjusted the brightness by sliding my finger up after tapping the image to increase the brightness.
3) Use a technique called “panning” to get clear pictures of moving subjects. It’s a simple technique that relies heavily on timing, so it may take a few tries. All you need to do is follow along the movement of your subject with your camera while you take the picture.
When there’s a lot of light, you might not need to use panning as the shutter speed the camera selects will be enough to stop the motion. However, in low light, it can be a great asset! I didn’t need to use it while my kids were on the swing this time (left image). But, years ago I used panning to get a shot of my family on a similar ride that wasn’t a complete blur (right image).
4) Change your angle. You can completely change the feel of an image by changing your viewing angle. Taking pictures of multiple angles also helps tell the story of your adventures!
Don’t be afraid of trying new angles to get the shot. For the right Eiffel Tower image, I was basically on the ground, with my phone upside down, angled up so that I could get the top of the tower in the picture while my kids played around. I’m certain I looked a little crazy down there, but it was worth it.
5) Zoom in. When my kids rode this roller coaster, I positioned myself to where I could zoom in and out to capture the whole thing. This allowed me to get a variety of images to show their experience and capture their expressions as they got closer to me.
Side note: When you want to take a detail shot of something very up close, zoom in! This works great for pictures of flowers, bugs, jewelry, etc.
6) Turn off the flash. When it’s getting dark, use natural light to capture the emotion and avoid the “deer in headlights” look.
For the left image there was light from a ride to the left, helping illuminate my family while allowing the glow from the glow sticks to take precedence. The middle image I took during the fireworks show. I loved my daughters little hands holding her glow wand. For the right image I looked around for an area with a lot of light to get our family picture. The nearby carousel was the perfect light source! So we walked over and asked a stranger to take our picture with us facing the light.
7) Act natural and capture your surroundings. When taking pictures of your family or kids, do not ask them to look and smile for every picture. They will quickly tire of that. Instead, try capturing them in the moment. Or you could take a picture of your surroundings to capture what they saw. This will tell the story of your trip so much more than a “say cheese” picture.
8) Don’t be afraid to process iPhone images. When you get home and you’re a tiny bit disappointed that an image is a little dark, do not despair! Pull the image into the editing software of your choice (I LOVE Lightroom) and polish off the image a little as needed.
Ahhh, much better. Just had to increase the exposure a little and brighten the shadows. If you practice tip #2 then you wouldn’t need to do this!
I also loved the image of my kids in front of the eiffel tower so much, but there were a lot of distractions with people passing by. If you have kids, you might know that their patience has a limit when it comes to pictures. Thankfully I snapped a few and was able to merge some together to get a cleaner shot that is now a framer.
What was your favorite tip? Do you have any other tips you’ve learned? Sound off in the comments!
There are times when I’m beyond grateful for being a photographer. Being able to capture this gorgeous pregnant momma and her son before they relocated to California was one of those. You see, this is a military family. I know first hand how difficult life is for families in the military, my husband was in the Navy for six years and through one pregnancy and childbirth. I know that you don’t get to see your loved one much, which is especially hard during a pregnancy and early childhood. So, to be able to freeze this moment for them… this moment right before their family grows… yep, that fills up my happy cup.
The holidays are such a special time of year, a time for gathering with loved ones that live near and far. This was the case with this awesome family. Cali’s husband is serving our country in the Military and when they were home to visit for Thanksgiving + Christmas in one trip, they also snuck in an extended family session! This visit was the first time Cali’s grandpa had seen his first great grandson. It was also the first time Grandma got to feed her first grandchild ice cream, which is something she had been looking forward to! What grandma doesn’t want to spoil their grandchild with yummy things like ice cream. It’s their right as a grandparent. 😉
We also spent some time with Cali’s dad and he brought along their childhood dog for Kelsi, Cali’s sister, to get a picture with. She loved him something fierce. I know these pictures mean the world to this whole family and I was so blessed to work with them. Such an insanely happy and fun bunch of people!
So hard to put into words how much I adore these people. I’ve been photographing their growing family for a couple years now and each time is different and wonderful. We lucked out with the weather this time! Not too cold, not too hot! Yay Kentucky for giving us a good day! We’ve experienced it all since we have a session twice a year. May for big brothers birthday and November for little sisters birthday.
This year, we also snuck in a mini session to get some images of Miss Ava before her first birthday bash… mama worked very hard on this set up and in preparing for Ava’s first birthday. I think she did a marvelous job! I had the pleasure of being invited to Ava’s birthday party and got to see all the images from this mini session around the room! Made me so happy!
About a month after our tea party session, I got to see the whole family! I can’t believe Ava is ONE! And Liam is going to be FOUR at our next session. Nope. I simply don’t believe it. Why must babies grow!?
P.S. I don’t think Ava liked her smash cake one bit….