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I don’t know about all of you, but I’m definitely taking photos of Monkey Boy and Turtle Boy all the time. I try to get them doing things that are cute or funny, but also I love a good photo of them just being themselves. Apparently, Monkey Boy loves it too, because he often will say “Can I take a picture?” or “Momma, can you take of picture of me/us?”. More often than not, I’ll take the picture (or 12, ha!). And although I understand some very basic things when it comes to photography, I’m also trying to learn so much more. One day, I know I’ll have a nice great DSLR (like this one), but for now I just try to use any tips I learn when I’m taking pictures with my phone.
Now that the weather is so much nicer and there’s all the great sunshine, I really want to take nice summer photos outside!
I met Jen Lebo online (isn’t online such a great place to meet people?) and she has her own photography business in Colorado. But, she also loves to teach “Momtography” to other moms and so I thought it’d be a great idea to learn from her about taking those great outdoor summer photos. So, without further ado, here’s Jen!
Jen is a proud mom of 3 from Colorado and she’s an actual photographer, but she also loves to teach other moms how to improve their “Momtography”. So, without further ado, check out her tips!
Thank you, Kendall, for inviting me to write on Life Breath Present! I love connecting with other moms, and especially love sharing my love of photography with them. Our kids are so amazing and so precious, and it’s important for us to know how to handle a camera and capture the beauty of everyday. And so I love to offer tips, tutorials, and teachings on “Momtography”! Today I’m going to share 5 simple tips for shooting in summer sun.
1. IF AT ALL POSSIBLE, SKIP MID DAY SUN
Mid day sun is harsh. It creates super bright highlights and super dark shadows, not to mention the “raccoon” eyes that come from the shadows under your kids’ eyes. Plan ahead in your momtography quest, and decide to either shoot during morning hours or after dinner during the “golden hour” of sunset. Skip those raccoon eyes!
2. IF YOU MUST SHOOT DURING MID DAY SUN, LOOK FOR OPEN SHADE
Sometimes you can’t get out of shooting during mid day sun. A trip to the zoo or a family outing might have you trying to shoot at 2pm. Yikes. If so, look for open shade. A tall building could do the trick, or a big, leafy tree (skip partly full trees, as they will give you lots of spotted “dappled” light).
3. TRY BACKLIGHTING
We always assume that the sun needs to be behind us and in front of our kids. Then we blind them with the light and get squinty kids. Not pretty. If the sun is not completely above you, try putting it behind your kids, not behind you. Then expose for your kids faces. This will overexpose your background, but your kids’ faces will be even, and there will be no squinty eyes. Well, besides you- but you’re not in the photos so tough! (hee hee!)
4. IF YOU MUST LIGHT THEM FROM THE FRONT, HAVE THEM LOOK AWAY
If you want that sun behind you, you’re bound to get squinty eyes. A simple solution to this is to have your kids just not look at you. Have them play together, look at each other, or looking somewhere where the sun is not. This will create fun action shots and give your kids a break from the sun in their eyes. And it’s good to get photos of your kids doing their thing.
5. REWARD THEM!
This is a tip I use most every time I’m talking about photographing kids. It’s not always fun for kids to be part of “portrait time” (when my kids see my camera, they run away, and that includes my 12 year old!), so it’s important to let them know that you appreciate them sitting for you. A reward could be ice cream after, or some time at the playground. Nothing crazy, but something that says “I know this might not be fun, and I appreciate you doing this”. At any age, this is a must. For dads too!
Hopefully these tips will help make taking summer photos a little easier for you. Enjoy the sun, and go have some fun with your kids. And don’t forget the camera!
Thanks again, Jen, for coming and sharing these tips with us. I’m sure we will all take some great summer photos now, thanks to you!
To see more tips and tricks to improve your “Momtography” skills, or to grab a copy of Jen’s FREE mini workbook, “Spruce Up Your Momtography”, check her out at Jen Lebo Photography. Jen also specializes in portraits and high school senior photos, so if you’re in the Colorado Springs area, head over to her website and book an appointment!
Also, tell me your favorite tip for great summer photos that you can implement in the comments below. I’d also love to hear your favorite place to take photos in the summer.