Struggling to capture those “insta-worthy” photos you see with moms and kids all smiling and laughing and cute and yet every thing you try turns out to be a blurry flubbering mess?! BEEN THERE.
It took me lots of trial and error to figure out the formula that works for me, but I think me and my crew have perfected our art of the self timer and I have been so happy to have captured so many precious moments with MAMA IN THE FRAME too. If you’re anything like me, 90% of your camera roll is filled with pictures of your kids, but you are no where to be found. I set out to change that last year and have learned the tools for both shooting with iphone or real camera! When my kids look back on all these memories, I want them to know that I was there. Not just behind the camera but there with them, in these little moments, frozen and captured in the frame forever.
Let’s get down to business!
( to defeat the huns! Mulan puns anyone? )
So how do I do it? I’ll break it down below! I’m going to give you two methods – the “every mom” version where I detail how to capture with just your phone and everyday objects. Followed by the “mom-tog” version. Which is exactly how /what I use now to take my photos with the kids.
The Every Mom Way
- SELF TIMER!!! Do you know how to set your phone to take a photo on self timer with continuous shutter? Download the app – Photo Timer + ( its a blue icon with white camera and 3,2,1 on it) Its free in the app store! This is my SECRET WEAPON for iphone photos. You can set the app to take a succession of 10 images in 3 second spurts. It will count down “3-2-1” and snap a photo 10 times in a row. I will set up the shot using the app and focus on something in the frame where I will be standing. Then run into the frame! Use the back camera, not the forward facing one, the back camera always has a higher resolution.
- Get a tripod or get creative! One of my must have tools is a tripod. It will change everything. I highly recommend the Joby Gorilla $30 iphone tripod. You can set it up pretty much anywhere and also wrap it on things, so it is super helpful for wrapping on grocery carts, random phone poles, and door handles ( true stories) to get that shot. 🙂 However- if spending $30 on a tripod is totally out of the question some of my favorite home items to use as a makeshift tripod are : a shoe, a mug, and any ledge I can hang my pop socket off of. Shoes are the easiest, tennis shoes or trainers work best for this. Mugs are a second best choice, depending on what model of phone you have you might need to use a wider mouth mug. Simply set your phone down into the shoe or mug and place it on a level surface. Then open up your Photo timer app and get to shooting!
- DON’T FORCE IT!! Fake and forces smiles often come across that way. Fake and forced. It’s pretty easy to see right through that and they don’t often translate well in a photo. The best photos I find are the genuine moments of laughter, movement, and motion. I typically set up a fun scenario with the kids where we can just be holding hands and then tickle each other or I ask Teddy to show me some ” cool moves” and we laugh and give each other kisses or tickles. Those are my favorite photos. When you’re shooting on the phone, just remember that you don’t have control over your shutter speed, so do try and move a little slower than you would normally to minimize your risk of blur. Shooting outdoors in an even natural light will also maximize the photo taking abilities of your phone. So do your best to shoot outdoors in the shade or inside near a window!
The Mom-tog Way
Everything I previously mentioned is pretty good to keep in mind here too, but with some upgraded tools you can get some pretty spectacular photos!
- Wifi / or Bluetooth shutter is a must have. I shoot most of my photos with a Canon M50 mirrorless camera. It is wifi enabled and I use the Canon app on my phone to act as my remote shutter and I can control the focus and pretty much everything else from my phone! It is seriously a game changer. I have my camera drive mode set to continuous shutter 10 shot series. It will take 10 shots in rapid succession.
- Same thing again here with the posing. It is way better to set up a fun scene that you and your kids can interact in and then just let the magic happen. The most important piece is to make sure you’re in focus when you set up the shot and have the highest shutter speed you can to still maintain the proper lighting and focus. One of my favorite ways to get great photos with the kiddos is to set up some jumping on the bed scenes. We usually get some very cute moments and the lighting in my bedroom is so dreamy.
- Have fun!! If you’re stressed about capturing the photo, your kids will pick up on it and it will show. So just breathe deeply, relax, have fun and know that if it doesn’t work out this time, you can always shoot another time!
Need the right gear?
I have two posts about apps and all my photo gear that I have linked directly everything. You can find them here!