Tutorial Tuesday: 10 Photography Tips for Awesome Photos at Home

I’m introducing a new weekly feature on the blog. Tutorial Tuesday! Ever Tuesday I’ll post a photography tutorial of sort whether it’s tips, tricks or a how-to for photographers and parents alike.

So maybe you’ve recently had a baby or maybe you’re well past those years. Unless you want to keep a pro photographer on retainer, you’ll probably want to capture images of your family in action on your own. Don’t get me wrong – there is a place for professional photos (otherwise why would I be here??) but in the in between times and after times you’re still going to want to capture the best images of your tiny that you can.

Here are a few tips that I’ve told my clients when they asked about how to get the best clicks.

1.  You don’t need a fancy camera with all the bells and whistles – just be sure you have one and you know how to use it.  A digital SLR (think those big Canon or Nikon cameras) will make it easier to be creative since you have a bunch of settings to play with (but also learn).  Honestly I survived with just my little point and shoot for a long time. Even our cell phones have evolved these days to be pretty dang good for every day shots.

iPhone pics courtesy of my brother of my niece:)

2.  Keep it out and readily available.   This is important – your little is doing something so adorable and cute and your rummaging through the close to find the camera and you miss it.  We kept the point and shoot on the counter and our cell phones are generally not that far away either.

3.  Don’t be afraid to be in the shot – let your partner take your picture enjoying your newest little one or if your camera has a self timer – use it.  Set it up on a table or a bed and jump back into the pictures. Sure, you probably haven’t gotten out of your yoga pants in three days and your hair is dumped in a mess bun on top of your head but this is you in the moment.  That messy is something that you’ll look back on and sigh.  It will bring back those emotions and moments that are wrapped in the haze of your newborn’s first days.

Okay, so they’re not newborns but I’m in the picture!!!

4. Find the light in your house.  Look around and find where the light is coming in.  Some are fortunate to have huge windows with great light, others are limited.  Look for unconventional spots – your front door, a sliding glass door, even out in the garage (which has surprisingly nice light for most people as the sun reflects off the concrete floors and diffuses really well).

5. Clean up the background – a white sheet or duvet can go a long way to helping to simplify your images and help focus on the baby.  I’ve laid a white duvet down on a crib mattress next to a window to grab shots of my babies.  Nothing fancy, just focusing on their beautiful features.

6. Make it fun – if your kids start ducking when they see you pull the camera out, it’s time to inject some fun into it. Let them (if they’re old enough) have some say in what you all do.

7. Catch the in between moments too – some of my favorite shots are not the posed, looking at mommy images. They’re the ones of them playing and interacting with the world around them. I love playing sneaky paparazzi in my own house.

8.  Away with the “cheese” – Yelling, “say cheese” always yields a squinty strained smile. All teeth, no emotion. Instead surprise them or dare them not to smile at you. Just trying not to smile will have them in fits of laughter. And when all else fails? Chicken Butt:)

9.  Experiment with angles. Don’t just shoot straight on at them. Lay down, get up high, try to get at their level. Explore different angles to add interest to your images.

10.  Don’t stress. Most of all? Don’t sweat it. Just snap away. I look at photos from back in early 2010 and smile and laugh just as much as the ones I took last week. They are memories preserved and sometimes even the most imperfect photo can remind you of a perfect moment.

I hope that you found these helpful. If you have a request for a topic on tutorial tuesday, just email me at hello @ kloeppingphotography.com!!

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I'm a young family photographer specializing in maternity, newborn, and family portraiture.

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