Friday, June 8, 2012

Feature a Friend {on Friday}

Welcome to the second Feature a Friend {on Friday}.  Today we have some great photographing tips from Stacey J who blogs over at Real Southern Living and Stacey J Photography.

I found Stacey's blog through pinterest and her beautiful photography caught my eye immediately.  When I asked her to do a post on photographing kids she was more than willing to share with us.  So here is Stacey
with Five Tips for getting the perfect photo of your children!

Hi! I’m Stacey and you can find me over at Real Southern Living or Stacey J. Photography.  I’m here guest posting on one of my most favorite hobbies, photographing my children. 
Now, looking back I wish I had developed some of my photography talents when my oldest daughter, now almost 14, was born.  It wasn’t until 2006, my youngest was 10 months old, that my real photography hobby was born! I am self taught and don’t claim to be an expert in any means.  I have taken a few classes, read lots of blog posts and experimented with my 5 kids. I hope to give you some tips on how to photograph your children so you can capture the special moments to treasure forever.  Children can be so hard to take pictures of because they are constantly moving.  They also act different when they see a camera…some more shy to the opposite of wanting to Model with their cheesecake smiles!  So here are my tips that I use when photographing children and I’m using a sampling of my photography over the last several years of family and friends.
SJ Photography Blog Header
1. Camera
The camera makes all the difference especially if you know how to use it. Now, you can get great pictures with point and shoot camera’s or even your phone but, learn how to use the settings and don’t be afraid of learning the settings on your camera. If you have the ability to purchase a DSLR camera I highly recommend it. If you have a DSLR then learn how to use it and play with the wonderful settings on your camera.  The shutter speed is much faster to capture the moments with much more ease then a point and shoot.  How many times have you clicked the picture and it snaps 2 seconds later only for your kids to have moved and the picture blurred…ugh!  The other great thing about a DSLR is the ability to switch lenses…especially having a zoom lens. I bought my 1st DSLR in June 2006 which is when my photography talents really started to be developed.  Just because you have a nice camera doesn’t mean you will get great shots…you still need to learn how to have an eye for photography…it is like drawing a piece of art through your viewfinder.
Most of the entry level DSLR cameras are wonderful and the brand is a preference you need to choose.  I personally shoot with Canon but, I know a lot of Nikon lovers too.

2. Zoom
Don’t be afraid of the Zoom.  Zoom in for the close up!  Most of the time my favorite pictures are the ones super close of my kids faces!  You want to see their eyes not all the stuff in the background!  Don’t be afraid to crop your pictures in your viewfinder before you snap.  I find people with camera phones especially stand way back to get the whole person or group in the shot yet the people look like tiny figures being swallowed up by their surroundings.  Fill in your frame with just a small border or no border.
Carter Color indoor pop contrastcute Kai
When you have a DSLR with a zoom it allows you to stand way back where your children don’t see you with the camera yet you can zoom way in on their cute faces while they play…you capture the natural moments. It also helps you get that blurry back ground in the back so you notice only the kid and not all the clutter that might be behind them.  Also zooming in lets you capture the moment better or just a portion of a picture like cute little feet.
Grandpa & EmilyFun at the old fire truck 062

3. Lighting and No Flash
The flash is not your friend in most cases.  Flash photography is usually very harsh and then you end up with red eyes or reflective light off glass.  Try to find well lit areas if inside by a window. Or go outside in the early am or early evening is usually the best lighting for no flash photography. Again learn your camera settings so you can set it so the most light will come in through the lens with your shutter speed and aperture when you are shooting in a darker area.  Not always an easy thing to do but, if you can master it you will end up with much better photo’s. Like below if I would have used a flash I just wouldn’t have captured the fish at the aquarium in a pleasing way…it is okay that you see just a silhouette of the cute girls.
Or the dreaded classroom photos with fluorescent lights…see how nice pictures with your kids teachers in their classrooms can look without the harsh flash and shadows behind them.  Also the lens you have makes a huge difference.  The lower the aperture of the lens the better for dark places.

4. Angels and Centering
Try tilting your camera for different angels.  Now days with digital you don’t have to worry about wasting film so shoot away and you might surprise yourself with what you get.  Also get down on your children’s level and don’t always shoot from above them.  If you can be eye level or raise them up to your eye level.  I know my husband is taller than I and my neck hurts trying to look up at him all the time…think how a child must feel when you want them to look up at you.  Again you will capture their expressions better if you are down on their level. Also remember your pictures shouldn’t always be dead on centered. 
Kelsey 001 copyJoe 1
You want the focus of your picture to be slightly off center…I know growing up you were always told to center the person in the picture and that doesn’t always make the best photograph. Like the sled or swim race picture you can give the eyes a place to follow.
MaryKate 004kids in fields 8

5. Facial Expressions
Don’t have your kids say “Cheese!” When posing your kids for a picture my favorite thing to have them say is “thursday” before they smile.  I heard it on the talk show LIVE and Kelly Rippa mentioned having her picture done and the photographer told her to say Thursday.  It helps get a more relaxed natural smile and it is different unexpected...unless you are like me and say it all the time. 
Mc Bride Boys
I also like to try to make them giggle as small giggle smiles are usually fun representation of your kids. We love to hear our kids giggle so why not capture a giggle! Kids crying, mad or grumpy face are fun to capture too. They may not be appreciated at the moment you are trying to get a smile but, you will cherish the different expressions later.
kids 18
I use Photoshop to edit my photo’s before printing them but, just enough to pop color or change to black and white.  I don’t like to crop or really modify the image other than just enhancing the color or effect.  I use professional actions in Photoshop that I purchased.  However, free programs like Picasa are wonderful for helping you to edit images and many of the photo printing websites also have editing software to use.

Thanks for letting me share my tips with you and I hope it helps you create better quality photo’s that you will cherish. 

Thank YOU Stacey for being here on Broken Treasures :)  These are very helpful tips and I'm excited to try them out with my own kids!  Please stop by Stacey's blog and say hi or leave some love for her here in a comment :)  If you are interested in being a guest here please e-mail me at alwaysdeeper at hotmail dot com.  Have a great weekend!!


Elizabeth Mindemann
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  1. Thank you Elizabeth for featuring me today! Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Thank YOU Stacey for a great post, beautiful photography and super easy tips :) I'm so glad to have you!!


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