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10 non-poses to get natural photos of your kids

You won’t be surprised if I say that most kids hate to pose for the camera.

Frankly, who could blame them? We hate it too, right?

The secret to getting natural, happy images of children is simply to forget about making them pose. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be guiding them at all, though. It means that instead of telling them how to sit or stand, you are going to give them something to DO.

You know how much kids hate it when they don’t know what to do (Mom, I’m boooooooored!). Let’s follow their natural attraction for being in action!

1. Let them be wild

This is the #1 rule to get joyful, authentic images of children: make sure they are actually having fun.

It might sound obvious, but your main role when photographing kids isn’t to get good exposure or compose a great frame, it’s first and foremost to create the conditions for the kids to be happy even though you are shoving a camera in their face.

I love uninhibited joy so I will let the kids get pretty wild when shooting, but even if you are not a huge fan of such crazy behavior and prefer a softer kind of joy, allowing the kids let loose is a great tool to get the images you want. As long as they are in a good mood, their smiles will be authentic and infectious so don’t forget to let them be slightly wilder than usual.

The secret to getting natural, happy images of children is simply to forget about making them pose. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be guiding them at all, though. It means that instead of telling them how to sit or stand, you are going to give them something to DO.

2. Energy

One of the common threads between kids all over the world is their incredible level of energy. If you truly want to get natural, real portraits of children then let them show you how energetic they are!

Life (and especially childhood) is full of motion and action, this is what you want to document. Running, twirling, making little sister swing… anything can work, as long as they move!

The secret to getting natural, happy images of children is simply to forget about making them pose. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be guiding them at all, though. It means that instead of telling them how to sit or stand, you are going to give them something to DO.

3. Jumping

If you’re familiar with my work, you might have seen this one coming. I’m pretty much obsessed with making kids jump and there is a reason for that.

First, because they love it, so I know I’ll always be successful when suggesting this kind of challenge. Second, because bouncing will help any child, even the most shy one, loosen up. And finally, because the resulting images can be crazy fun and full of impact!

It’s a wonderful trick when you need to get uncooperative siblings in the same frame. It’s such a fun, irresistible activity that they will totally forget that you are actually photographing them together.

Realted: 10 simple tips for photographing your child jumping on the bed

The secret to getting natural, happy images of children is simply to forget about making them pose. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be guiding them at all, though. It means that instead of telling them how to sit or stand, you are going to give them something to DO.

4. Mischief

Doing something that is usually forbidden in their everyday life will bring a huge smile to any kid’s face. It doesn’t have to be overly crazy, juts a little bit of mischief in the air is enough to jump-start the fun. Dancing on the kitchen table, using Mom’s make-up, dressing up with dad’s clothes or pouring whipped cream straight into your brother’s mouth… the sky is the limit!

The secret to getting natural, happy images of children is simply to forget about making them pose. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be guiding them at all, though. It means that instead of telling them how to sit or stand, you are going to give them something to DO.

5. Hidden

Your kids don’t want their picture taken today? Catch them at their own game. Make it a challenge: let them literally hide from you (behind the couch, behind the curtains, under the sheets…) and chase them around. It’s suddenly much more fun to be photographed!

The secret to getting natural, happy images of children is simply to forget about making them pose. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be guiding them at all, though. It means that instead of telling them how to sit or stand, you are going to give them something to DO.

take-better-pictures-with-the-help-of-the-Clickin-Moms-photography-forum

6. The best props are already at home

I mentioned already that I’m not a fan of making kids pose. Well, I’m not a fan of using props either… Unless the props I’m using are already in the natural environment of the kids.

Children have this fascinating ability to find joy in the littlest things – use this to your advantage! The most boring household utensil can become a fabulous toy if you look at it the right way. The insane belly laughs you can get out of a toilet paper roll or a cardboard box are beyond belief!

The secret to getting natural, happy images of children is simply to forget about making them pose. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be guiding them at all, though. It means that instead of telling them how to sit or stand, you are going to give them something to DO.

7. Upside down

Even the most grumpy kid won’t be able to keep a serious face if you hold him upside down.

The secret to getting natural, happy images of children is simply to forget about making them pose. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be guiding them at all, though. It means that instead of telling them how to sit or stand, you are going to give them something to DO.

If you don’t have a helper available to hold the child for you, don’t worry, most children will be delighted if you ask them to do it by themselves.

The secret to getting natural, happy images of children is simply to forget about making them pose. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be guiding them at all, though. It means that instead of telling them how to sit or stand, you are going to give them something to DO.

8. Let’s dance

There’s nothing like good music to set a happy mood. I have a special Deezer playlist on my phone with my favorite music for photo sessions.

I’ll also ask the parents before the session which song is their children’s favorite at the moment to make sure I include it beforehand (if you’re photographing your own kids then you already know!). Then, when I need a little help to get the groove on, I’ll simply press play and watch them have the time of their life!

It’s unbelievable how a little bit of music can completely change the mood of a session. You don’t even have to make the kids dance – just listening to music will bring a smile to their face!

The secret to getting natural, happy images of children is simply to forget about making them pose. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be guiding them at all, though. It means that instead of telling them how to sit or stand, you are going to give them something to DO.

9. Funny faces

If you ask a kid to smile for you, you will usually get an ugly funny face instead. However, if you ask the kid to show you his best funny faces, there’s a good chance you will capture a perfect smile in the process. Especially if you laugh really hard and express very loudly how awful those faces are!

The secret to getting natural, happy images of children is simply to forget about making them pose. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be guiding them at all, though. It means that instead of telling them how to sit or stand, you are going to give them something to DO.

10. Being messy

Being messy is always fun, but being messy TOGETHER is simply irresistible!

You might have some serious tidying up to do after the fact, but I promise the giggles alone are totally worth it. Make sure to keep this special trick for the very end of your session!

The secret to getting natural, happy images of children is simply to forget about making them pose. It doesn’t mean that you won’t be guiding them at all, though. It means that instead of telling them how to sit or stand, you are going to give them something to DO.

Now, let’s spread the fun! Share your favorite non-poses with us in the comments!

Need more tips for infusing happiness and laughter into your photography sessions? My Capturing Joy workshop starts on June 5, click here to learn more and register!

The post 10 non-poses to get natural photos of your kids appeared first on Clickin Moms.


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6 things to know about taking everyday beach pictures

Nothing says summertime like a trip to the beach – the sand, the water, the swimming, the sandcastles.

The beach has become one of my favorite locations to shoot at here in Hawaii because the options to create amazing photos are boundless.

Aside from client sessions – so much of my everyday shooting takes place at the beach and these are some tips and tricks that I use for shooting at the beach when it comes to everyday photography.

Have all your gear ready to go.

This seems pretty obvious, but I always make sure that my gear is all set and ready to go before we leave the house. I don’t want to be changing out cards, putting in batteries or switching lenses at the beach. Think of the elements – sand, saltwater, wind.

I also just take the essentials with me. Camera, extra battery and a good cloth to clean my lens if need be. If something were to happen – I wouldn’t want to risk my entire kit being lost.

So much of my everyday takes place at the beach and these are some tips that I use for taking pictures at the beach when it comes to everyday photography.

Don’t wait for that “perfect light.”

With clients, I have the ability to schedule them at a time when I know the light will be optimal for amazing portraits. When it comes to capturing our everyday moments at the beach – I don’t wait around for that “perfect light.” If I were to wait around for “golden hour” on all of our beach trips I would absolutely be missing out on all of our beach fun.

Just watch for harsh shadows and highlights from the water. Many beach parks also have open shade to play in as well. Use what you have around you. I love finding green space and trees to take photos and remember our time at the beach.

Related: 4 ways to shoot beautiful photos in full sun

So much of my everyday takes place at the beach and these are some tips that I use for taking pictures at the beach when it comes to everyday photography.

Don’t forget the details.

I tend to get really focused on photos of my little boy playing and tend to shoot for the bigger, more emotional type moments. I have to remind myself to capture the details of our day as well. Picking up shells, walking to the beach and all of our little in-between moments make great photos, too.

So much of my everyday takes place at the beach and these are some tips that I use for taking pictures at the beach when it comes to everyday photography.

Go wide.

In Hawaii, we have so many different beaches and they all have their own personality and vibe. I like to go a little wider with my lens to capture all of that water and beauty.

Don’t forget to capture the landscape and your surroundings. They truly add to your day. You definitely don’t want to forget that.

So much of my everyday takes place at the beach and these are some tips that I use for taking pictures at the beach when it comes to everyday photography.

So much of my everyday takes place at the beach and these are some tips that I use for taking pictures at the beach when it comes to everyday photography.

take-better-pictures-with-the-help-of-the-Clickin-Moms-photography-forum

Be brave.

Your gear is meant to take photos and be used. I used to be far too scared to ever take my gear to the beach. Surrounded by “what if’s” – I was missing out on opportunities for photos.

Keeping safety in mind – I will push the limits and try new things when it comes to capturing our day at the beach. Side note – good insurance helps ease some of those fears.

Related: How I keep my camera safe at the beach

So much of my everyday takes place at the beach and these are some tips that I use for taking pictures at the beach when it comes to everyday photography.

Try something new.

Recently, I realized that in all of my beach shooting that I was yearning to take it to the next level. I recently decided to invest in underwater housing to capture our fun in and out of the water.

There are so many options on the market right now to dip your toes into this type of photography – everything from renting the gear for a weekend to housing your iPhone or camera itself. The point is – when it comes to the beach – there is so much to capture if you think outside the box.

So much of my everyday takes place at the beach and these are some tips that I use for taking pictures at the beach when it comes to everyday photography.

So much of my everyday takes place at the beach and these are some tips that I use for taking pictures at the beach when it comes to everyday photography.

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4 ways to get ready to photograph your summer like a pro

I don’t know about you, but my absolute favorite time of year to photograph is summer.

The short, cold, dark, and often uninspiring days of winter behind me, I am re-energized by the promise of long, hot, sunny days and the feelings of freedom and ease that summer brings.

I know that the family photographs I make between June and September will be my best of the year.

Days spent outdoors, the perfect mix of adventure and everyday routine, and plenty of family togetherness make for a very good life. And nothing sets the stage for amazing family photographs better than the good life.

Well before the official start of summer, Memorial Day Weekend for those of us in the United States, I start to get excited by the occasional warm days where the thermometer rises a bit, giving us a glimpse of what is to come.

And though I cannot bring myself to seize these days as vigorously as my kids, who prematurely trade in their warm leggings and boots for shorts and flip flops, my enthusiasm grows and I begin to think ahead about what I want from my summer photographs.

For me, preparation is incredibly valuable. Almost all of my personal family photography is in the documentary style. This means that I rarely pose my subjects or set up scenes. I take the action before me as it is and work to capture the moment authentically and in a way that makes a strong photograph.

And though I want my images to appear as if they were captured naturally and with ease, we all know that capturing just the right moment and just the right way is almost never easy, especially where kids are involved.

Taking the time to plan now enables me to seize the abundant opportunities of summer as they arrive. Planning also enables me to produce a more intentional body of work that documents the people, places, and things most important to me and my family.

luck is where opportunity meets preparation

Without planning, I’m afraid I won’t get lucky. And in documentary photography, lucky is everything!

Regardless of your style, a little preparation can go a long way towards achieving better photographs. Here are a few tips to help you prepare now to capture your best summer ever:

1. Write out your bucket list

Take some time to think about what it is that you want to capture this summer by setting aside some time to brainstorm your bucket list. This is not a casual bucket list downloaded from the internet, rather a very personal bucket list just for you.

Begin the process by closing your eyes and envisioning your summer. Where are you? Who are you with? What do you see, hear, smell, and feel? Get in close and look at the details in your mind then step back and take in the entire scene. Write out every idea that comes to mind, censoring nothing.

You can always go back and refine your list later. Be both vague and specific. As you continue to visualize your summer, think about how your everyday routines will change, what special events or milestones will occur, what old traditions will you uphold and what new ones might you start.

Think carefully about what it is about these things that you want to remember. Are there old photographs you want to recreate, perhaps to show growth or change, particular groups of people to capture together, signs, foods, or landscapes that will best tell your story? Write it all down then place this list on your phone, in your car, or somewhere you can see it daily. Refer to your list regularly, cross off items as you go, and continue to add to it as new ideas come to you.

Regardless of your style, a little preparation can go a long way towards achieving better photographs. Here are a few tips to help you prepare now to capture your best summer ever:

2. Get your gear ready

Now that you know what you want to capture, make sure that you have the equipment you need and that it is ready to go.

Now is a good time to take inventory of your gear and clean it up. Inspect your camera and lenses and give them a good cleaning. Send them off for service if necessary. Then decide if you need any additional gear. Perhaps a particular lens would make all the difference.

Before going all in, consider renting it from a local shop or online retailer for a week or two. Renting lenses is also a great option for travel, either out of necessity – you need a super long lens for your whale watching expedition, or for fun – perhaps renting a tilt-shift to bring along on your week at the beach.

To hold your gear, a lightweight bag is a must! There are a million choices from shoulder bags to backpacks to small cases that fit into your larger purse. Try a few in the store and decide what works best for you.

Stock your bag with essential cleaning supplies like a rubber bulb blower, lens cleaner, and microfiber cloths. Knowing you are prepared to remove sand, dirt, and other icky stuff will help prevent any reluctance to take out your camera in a messy situation.

And since summer is synonymous with water, consider investing in a waterproof camera, housing (I use this one with my Fuji X100t), or bag. There are a host of options in all price ranges.

Depending on where your adventures may take you, you may consider purchasing (or borrowing from a friend) a polarized filter and/or a tripod. Finally, don’t forget to make sure you have an extra battery and plenty of memory cards.

Regardless of your style, a little preparation can go a long way towards achieving better photographs. Here are a few tips to help you prepare now to capture your best summer ever:

Regardless of your style, a little preparation can go a long way towards achieving better photographs. Here are a few tips to help you prepare now to capture your best summer ever:

3. Have a personal growth goal

Is there something you have been wanting to learn or improve in your photography? The summer is the perfect time to work on your skills.

Set a goal (or several) and devise a plan to achieve it. Take a class, read some books, or commit to daily practice of skills you want to improve. Be intentional about learning and growing.

Last summer, I seized the opportunity to learn DSLR video by taking an online class that coincided with our beach vacation. It was perfect timing. The more relaxed days afforded me the time to practice and the film I made of our trip is priceless to me.

Regardless of your style, a little preparation can go a long way towards achieving better photographs. Here are a few tips to help you prepare now to capture your best summer ever:

4. Plan for your final output

Think about what you want to do with all these awesome photographs you will take. I hate the idea of all these memories sitting on an outdated hard drive somewhere 20 years from now.

Without a little planning, the business of life will invariably interfere with the daunting task of printing or otherwise presenting your work. Take the time now to consider what you want to do with your images. Perhaps you plan to blog your images, print them, create a slide show, or even sell them through your stock collection.

Then devise a strategy for organizing and storing your photographs in a way that will enable you to easily export for your final output. I myself love photo albums, especially from Artifact Uprising and Nations Photo Lab, and create an album of our beach vacation every summer. As a Lightroom user, I take full advantage of the tag feature to label my images. For example, after culling and editing my vacation photos, I go through and tag my favorites “beach book.” When I’m ready to create my book, I simply sort out those images, cull a little more if necessary, and then I’m ready to create my album.

Regardless of your style, a little preparation can go a long way towards achieving better photographs. Here are a few tips to help you prepare now to capture your best summer ever:

With a little advance planning, the photographs you make this summer will be your best ever. Start now, as summertime is just around the corner!

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5 ways to make it look like you’re on a private beach when you’re not

Do you ever look at beach pictures and think that you could never take images like that because your only option for beach photography is the public beach?

Well, that’s completely untrue, because I do it all the time!

With a few simple tips you’ll learn to shoot on a beach like no one else is there.

1. Zoom in

This is probably the easiest and most obvious tip, so let’s get it out of the way first. Check out the number of people on this beach. No way right? Well…you just have to zoom in.

I knew there wasn’t going to be any long shore images here, so I just went to the least crowded part of the water and got a few shots of my daughter.

Do you ever look at beach pictures and think that you could never take images like that because your only option for beach photography is the public beach? With a few simple tips you’ll learn to shoot on a beach like no one else is there.

If I zoom out a bit, you see the very crowded beach, but since I’ve moved so far away from the crowd it’s not horribly distracting.

Do you ever look at beach pictures and think that you could never take images like that because your only option for beach photography is the public beach? With a few simple tips you’ll learn to shoot on a beach like no one else is there.

2. Get to the beach early or stay late

The least crowded time of the beach is going to be between 8am-10am or around sunset, 7pm-9pm. We definitely make it a point to visit the beach during these hours.

I usually can find a less crowded spot on the beach and get some good images. Here, I was able to crop the people right out of the image. This was taken on a public beach right near the pier.

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Do you ever look at beach pictures and think that you could never take images like that because your only option for beach photography is the public beach? With a few simple tips you’ll learn to shoot on a beach like no one else is there.

Do you ever look at beach pictures and think that you could never take images like that because your only option for beach photography is the public beach? With a few simple tips you’ll learn to shoot on a beach like no one else is there.

pullback

3. Wait it out

I really wanted to take some pictures under the pier, but so did everyone else. At times it was so crowded I knew it wasn’t even worth it.

I was keeping an eye on it and noticed at one point the space was open. I called my daughter over and told her we needed to be quick. We still had to wait for a few people to walk by, but eventually we had a clearing and left only a few people to remove from the final image.

Do you ever look at beach pictures and think that you could never take images like that because your only option for beach photography is the public beach? With a few simple tips you’ll learn to shoot on a beach like no one else is there.

Do you ever look at beach pictures and think that you could never take images like that because your only option for beach photography is the public beach? With a few simple tips you’ll learn to shoot on a beach like no one else is there.

pullback

4. Take a walk

Take a walk on the beach and look for a spot where no one is around. This area was near the parking lot of the public beach and not really a desirable place to set up your umbrella for the day. However, it’s a great spot for some beach shots.

Do you ever look at beach pictures and think that you could never take images like that because your only option for beach photography is the public beach? With a few simple tips you’ll learn to shoot on a beach like no one else is there.

Do you ever look at beach pictures and think that you could never take images like that because your only option for beach photography is the public beach? With a few simple tips you’ll learn to shoot on a beach like no one else is there.

Do you ever look at beach pictures and think that you could never take images like that because your only option for beach photography is the public beach? With a few simple tips you’ll learn to shoot on a beach like no one else is there.

5. Remove people using Photoshop

This is probably the most time consuming but the most rewarding. This is my big secret in getting that look of the private beach. I’m going to include several final images with the pull back and then include an editing video to show you how I do it.

Do you ever look at beach pictures and think that you could never take images like that because your only option for beach photography is the public beach? With a few simple tips you’ll learn to shoot on a beach like no one else is there.

final image

Do you ever look at beach pictures and think that you could never take images like that because your only option for beach photography is the public beach? With a few simple tips you’ll learn to shoot on a beach like no one else is there.

pullback

Do you ever look at beach pictures and think that you could never take images like that because your only option for beach photography is the public beach? With a few simple tips you’ll learn to shoot on a beach like no one else is there.

final image

Do you ever look at beach pictures and think that you could never take images like that because your only option for beach photography is the public beach? With a few simple tips you’ll learn to shoot on a beach like no one else is there.

pullback

Do you ever look at beach pictures and think that you could never take images like that because your only option for beach photography is the public beach? With a few simple tips you’ll learn to shoot on a beach like no one else is there.

final image

Do you ever look at beach pictures and think that you could never take images like that because your only option for beach photography is the public beach? With a few simple tips you’ll learn to shoot on a beach like no one else is there.

pullback

With a combination of these tips you can get the private beach look. I hope this will help you gain the confidence to pull out that camera out even if you have some unwanted people in the frame.

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26 photos of weather that will take your breath away

Winning image above by Jamie Bates

Who doesn’t love a contest?

Every month on the photography forum, we throw out a theme and leave it up to members to interpret it in their images. Last month, we chose the theme ‘Weather’.

What resulted was an amazingly beautiful collection of pictures that allowed us to catch a glimpse inside the lives of the members. We’ve compiled a few of them here for you to enjoy and we want to congratulate Lindsey for winning a live Breakout seat from Click Photo School with her image above!

Alaina Carr

Alaina Carr

Alyssa Ahern

Alyssa Ahern

Amanda Bradt

Amanda Bradt

Amy Bartley

Amy Bartley

Andrea Johnson

Andrea Johnson

Anita Perminova

Anita Perminova

Becca

Becca

Beth Cagnoni

Beth Cagnoni

Dana DiSalvo

Dana DiSalvo

Gen Palmer

Gen Palmer

Ilaria Cossettini

Ilaria Cossettini

Iris Bergmann

Iris Bergmann

Jennifer Nobriga

Jennifer Nobriga

Jenny Brake

Jenny Brake

Jenny Rosenbring

Jenny Rosenbring

Jenny Rusby

Jenny Rusby

Kristen Ryan

Kristen Ryan

Mabel Chow

Mabel Chow

Mel Karlberg

Mel Karlberg

Michelle Stoddard

Michelle Stoddard

Renata Plaice

Renata Plaice

Shelby Zavala

Shelby Zavala

Sonja Stich

Sonja Stich

Stefanie Berry

Stefanie Berry

Tarah Sweeney

Would you like the opportunity to be featured in next month’s photo share here on the Clickin Moms Blog and possibly win a prize? For our next contest, we’ve asked for your best ‘Close Up’ photos which you can submit here.

Not a member of the forum? Don’t forget that you can sign up today risk-free!

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