When you are always the one that initiates the photos and work so hard to document every detail of your kids’ childhood, you can easily get stuck behind the camera… These are sure fire ways to turn that around and actually get in front of the camera with your kids!
How to get in front of the camera with your kids:
1. Pass off the camera.
There are two different scenarios that I most often come across when passing off the camera to get in photos. So I’m going to break this up into a two part option.
Pass off the camera to your husband:
Over time, your husband (or sisters) will eventually learn what you like and what you are looking for. I passed the camera off to my sister for most of our family photos last summer! And then my husband has gotten great as well and I passed off my camera for any of the photos that I am in during our Tinker Bell costume photo shoot! Both photos above are from these two shoots! But be specific!
- Make sure the settings are right.
- Make sure it is on auto selection. If it’s on manual selection, tell them exactly where that single focus dot should be placed. (I make this mistake more often than I’d like to admit and then perfectly framed shots are ruined because the focus point was the wrong spot.)
- Tell them how to frame it. Things I say often: “Put my feet at the bottom.” “I want lots of sky.” “Put me in the bottom right third.” “Cut my legs off mid thigh.” If I forget to say something my husband or sister will now ask, because they know better than to risk a do-over. Easiest way to translate what you want the framing to look like though, is to take a picture before you hand off the camera and tell them where you are going to stand in it.
Pass off the camera to a stranger:
The two photo above are from passing my DSLR off to a complete stranger!
Now passing off the camera to a stranger is definitely trickier, but worth it to get in front of the camera with your kids. With your phone, just tell them what you want in the frame, and where you want your head to be. I also tell them to take an extra step back in case I need to crop it a little, and tell them to take a few! (The more the better really.)
Now a DSLR is where it gets tricky, because sometimes they might know how to use it, and sometimes they have no clue where to look or what to press. Make sure the settings are fine. Make sure it’s on auto selection. Tell them which button they will need to press, and I like to note that they will press it half way down and it will focus, and then all the way down it will capture the picture. Tell them what you want in the frame and what hole to look into. (Can’t tell you how many times they are surprised that I don’t have it set to show up on the screen…)
Usually I sound something like this, “Look through here and have it so that our feet are towards the bottom, but still in the picture. You will press this button. Half way down it will focus, and then all the way, it will snap the picture. Take several back to back and don’t worry if we are looking at the camera or not.”
2. Use a tripod.
The tripod didn’t used to be my go to at all, but the more I have messed around with it, the easier it gets, and sometimes it’s just the only option to get in front of the camera with your kids. On our girls trip to Florida last June (tripod photos above!), we wanted pictures of all of us. I have a compact, light weight tripod that luckily I thought ahead to bring on the trip. We ended up capturing three group shots that I just absolutely love that we would never have captured otherwise! After all, sometimes there is just nobody to pass the camera off!
I also quite often use a tripod with my girls. They love it. It’s like a game. Our guest room/office/play room gets the best light for the majority of the day, so we like to set up the tripod in there and “play” with the controller. Those pictures on my instagram when we are on the bed or against a white wall (like the ones below), those were tripod pictures.
You might think, “Oh so they are posed pictures.” And while you are partially right, because I dictated where we are standing, the pictures are always different! Hardly ever do I ask them to say cheese and I never know what they are going to do once we start snapping! But we usually capture some goofy stage that they are going through.