Monday, May 19, 2014

Taking Your Own Family Photo

I know, I know. It's not ideal.  Everyone will tell you to have someone else help you take your photo.  But if you are going to attempt this, here are a few tips.

1.  Prepare everything you can in advance.

I went out looking for an exact location, practiced getting the settings right on at the same time of day I wanted to take our family photo. I used a Canon Rebel xsi.

2.  You'll need a tripod (or something creative) to stick your camera on.  I set mine to the timer countdown, and then had it take ten shots.  I had ten seconds to get into place before my camera started snapping.  I preferred this way over the remote shutter release, because I love how it takes ten pictures at a time.  Also, after I had all my family in place, I left my camera on manual focus.  I knew the focus would stay right where I wanted it.  I think the chair helped, because it gave me something consistent to focus on.

3.  Take the traditional "smiling at the camera" picture first.  The kids can only concentrate for so long, so it's best to get this out of the way.  Then you can get some more playful shots later on.

4.  Be prepared for less than perfection.  We had some out-takes (probably 100), meltdowns, some kids running off into the wild and unexpected messes.  This will happen.  I brought wet wipes and just did the best I could do.

5.  I think this was my best trick.  This is what I asked for- for Mother's Day!  I just wanted them to cooperate for a little while.  I think this really did help them all have a better attitude.  It was a great present.

All in all, even thought this isn't ideal, it's great practice to get yourself in front of the camera, and be in the pictures with your family.

Yes, it's an out-take, but I like it:

I love the less posed, more natural feel here:

Into the wild (Adam is in tears here.  Are family photos really that bad?)!

In this out-take I look crazy.  But don't be so quick to delete!  I still got two photos out of this one that I LOVE!

Number one:

And number two:

Happy shooting, you can do it!

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  1. I love your idea to ask the kids to do this as their Mother's Day gift to you. It's a win-win. They get to work to give you a gift [endure boredom and not complain] and you get the gift you really want for Mother's Day - a family photo. Genius! Plus, when they grow up they will appreciate the photos of when they were younger.

  2. I have always done my own family photo shoots I just like it better! Love the pictures! Although I think when Emmy graduates in a few years I may splurge!

  3. Awesome!!! I like that you did them to help give you practice! Good job they turned out really good. :-) also good job on janice ' s puppies pictures sooooooo cute! :-) ♡