Today I am pleased to have my friend and professional photographer Tricia Schumaker as a guest. You can see examples of Tricia’s work on her photography blog, Wigglebug Photography. She named her photography business after her two sons, her “wigglebugs.”
5 Tips for taking better photos of your own Wigglebugs
When was the last time you had professional portraits of your family taken? As a professional photographer and also the mother of two little boys, I believe that everyone should have professional portraits taken at least once a year. Let’s face it; this is the only way Mom is going to be in any of the photos. It might also be the only time everyone in the photo has a clean face–at least, that is true in my house.
As a mom, however, you also want to capture everyday moments as your family lives and grows. Here are a few tips that will help you be more successful in capturing those moments.
1. Leave your camera out.
That’s right, do NOT put your camera in that spiffy case and store it in the hall closet. Leave your camera out on your kitchen counter or a room you walk into everyday. When my boys were babies, I kept my camera in the bathroom! Now my camera sits on my kitchen counter or on my desk. Yes, my $4000 professional camera sits on my kitchen counter and this one thing has made me a MUCH better photographer. Why? Because I actually USE it! Taking lots of pictures is the best way to learn what works and what does not work. My kids are also used to me snapping a few pics as they eat their breakfast or put their shoes on. These are the everyday moments that make up life.
2. Consider your white balance.
Have you ever taken a picture and looked at the back of your camera (looking at this digital image is called “chimping”) and noticed that it was a goldish yellow or blueish color? This is because there is a problem with the White Balance. How do you fix it? Each camera is different but most point and shoot cameras or entry level DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras have different white balance modes. They are usually named something like “daylight,” “shade,” “incandescent” or “florescent”. Pick the one that is closest to the lighting situation you are in. If you are outdoors “shade” is the safest one to pick. If you are inside and there is lamplight or overhead light then you need to pick “incandescent” or “florescent.”
3. Use a fast shutter speed for photographing children.
Don’t know how to change the shutter speed on your camera? No problem. You can take advantage of the “scene modes” on your camera. There is probably a menu called scene mode. Choose the one with the picture of the child or the picture of the guy running (sport mode). These scene modes will automatically speed up your shutter and you’re less likely to get those blurry shots.
4. Pay attention to the light source.
A bright light source should not be behind your subject. Imagine you are in your kitchen and your son is holding his latest craft creation up for you to take a picture. If he is standing right in front of your sliding glass door, the sensor in the camera says, “Oh, this is bright, I do not need a flash.” Then you snap the photo and your son and his creation are very darkly shadowed and the light behind him is super bright. The easiest way to solve this problem is to move him to the side or perpendicular to the light. Now the door is your light source and your camera’s sensor can work to your advantage.
5. Just keep shooting.
Above all, have fun!