Photosanity photography coaching for parents

take better photos
a FREE video lesson with my top 5 tips that will make an immediate difference in under an hour

As Seen at Cool Mom Picks

Search the blog


Setting the shot to capture natural moments (sibling photos week 15/52)

Raise your hand if you're excited about spring! Me!

Yes, we were back at Pratt this past weekend and yes, Liam was in short sleeves! We picked up some large poster boards and crayons on the way over, spread out a blanket and I dusted off my 85mm lens, backed up a little and captured Liam and Jack hard at work.

Of course, Liam complained three seconds later that he was too hot in the sun and so we moved to the shade!

Photo tip

As much as I recommend shooting in open shade, the shade we had available was just too shady and the backlighting I captured in this photo was much more captivating.

The boys didn't know it but I actually set this shot up quite deliberately, checking out the direction of the sun and positioning them so other picnickers would not be in the background.

The blanket and art activity were perfect for getting them a) in the same frame, b) still, and c) engrossed - not something my active boys would otherwise have any interest in cooperating for!

My 85mm lens allowed me to get back a little farther and leave them relatively undisturbed. And of course I got down low to shoot at their level for more of a child's view.

Get more photo tips for capturing the moment outdoors and capturing natural moments with your kids in my Stop Missing the Moment Workshop, available online and at your own pace.


Take better family beach photos - 10 tips on Mom 365

This month on Mom365, I am celebrating spring with some of my best photo tips! We've hit the playground and the park, so, in anticipation of the upcoming summer months, this week I am talking about beach photos.

On our last family trip to the beach, I only took my DSLR out once so these are my favorite iPhone photos from our trip, along with my top 10 tips for beach (and vacation) photos.

1) Get way way back

Our first day at the beach, my husband took the boys to check out the waves and I lagged behind slightly to grab this shot before putting my iPhone safely away and joining them in the water...

Get all ten tips on Mom365.


Spring photo tips (sibling photos week 14/52)

Spring is finally here! Well, we'll ignore the current forecast of rain mixed with sleet and "wet snowflakes" and pretend that spring is here!

Last week we celebrated spring by making our first trip of the season to the Pratt campus where we spread out a blanket and enjoyed some snacks and time running around in the sun.

As we were packing up to go home, the boys started whispering and giggling to one another and I managed to capture this moment.

I am loving seeing their relationship develop through the lens of my camera. Looking for sibling moments to capture means that I am seeing more of them, and creating more opportunities for them to occur. Already I have a much stronger sense of their relationship that I did last year and that is something I feel really good about.

Photo tips

Early spring can be tricky for photos as the sun is starting to get higher and brighter but there is not a lot of tree foliage to provide shade.

Here are three strategies I used to create this photo:

1) Position yourself so the sun is behind your subjects: In this photo the boys are in direct sunlight but I put the sun behind them so their faces are in shade.

2) Crop for an off center composition and to remove clutter: Because I was in a rush to capture this moment, the boys were more centered in the original photo and you could see the stroller and all our stuff in the background. Cropping totally transformed this photo - even I was pleasantly surprised by how much, to be honest!

3) Convert to black and white if the lighting conditions are harsh: The blanket is close to blown out (over exposed) in this photo as it is in direct sunlight compared to the boys, but in black and white it is less noticeable and distracting.

Get more tips for capturing the moment this season.


Capture the moment from your child's eye level (sibling photo week 13/52)

I've shared moments of synchronized pizza eating before. Last week's pizza eating excursion was at local fave Speedy Romeo who were kind enough to host a field trip and lunch for Liam's pre-K class! Jack and I met them there and joined in for a quick tour behind the scenes as well as, of course, pizza.

I'll be blogging more about the trip in the future but in the meantime, here is last week's sibling photo!

Photo tip

Get down at your child's level for more intimate photos at eye level rather than from the "grown up" vantage point from above.

Join me in my year long weekly sibling photo project and share your photos with the Peer-to-Peer Facebook group. Become part of the group - membership is free with a purchase, past or current, of any one of the Photosanity workshops.


A new favorite game - and natural light (sibling photos week 12/52)

Liam has been playing chess on the Kindle lately... there is a "child" setting that teaches him all the moves and also allows him to "undo" and go backwards if he doesn't like how a move turns out! So he was very excited when we visited a local cafe that we haven't been to in a while and he saw that they had a chess set.

Of course Jack wanted to help set up the board, which gave me the perfect opportunity to capture my sibling photo of the week.

It turns out that chess provides some great photo opportunities!

Here, Liam is filled with glee as he captures one of my pieces. (Is that my Queen?!)

And of course he got so upset every time I captured one of HIS pieces that I had to let him take all his pieces back AND help him with his winning strategy. I did at least force him to make only legal moves with his pieces.

The triumphant "winner":

Photo tip

We deliberately moved from a darker booth towards the back of the cafe to the one by the window when it became available, purely for photographic purposes. When you go out and are planning on taking photos, be as strategic as you can about looking for natural light without driving your family too crazy. On the plus side, natural light creates a more pleasant experience for everyone whether you are taking photos or not!

Join me in my year long weekly sibling photo project and share your photos with the Peer-to-Peer Facebook group. Become part of the group - membership is free with a purchase, past or current, of any one of the Photosanity workshops.