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Clearing a Space in Your Crazy (Kid-Filled) Life For Pictures

So my daughter was going out on a "Daddy-Daughter" date and she looked SO cute! So of course I wanted pictures of her. But my house was a MESS (as you can see!)

Did I get discouraged? Did I think that I couldn't have good photos? Of course not! I cleared a space the size of a door way. I swept the puzzle pieces off of the floor. I threw some bouncy balls in the hall and I set up my camera.

In less than two minutes, I changed the look of my photos, just by taking extra time.

I knew that I had the best light on this side of the house, because of my big bay window. But as you can see from the daughter's shadow below, I still want to fill in the shadow a little bit.

For my camera settings. I did: shutter speed 1/80, aperature 3.5 and ISO 800. I did this because it was getting to be 5:00 at night, so the light was getting weaker. I wanted to shoot at 3.5 because I wanted to get everyone in focus. I didn't want to lower my shutter too much, because I was shooting children and they might move. So my ISO had to move WAY up.

So I had two options. First I put on an external flash on my camera. I use this particular brand, Yongnuo, I have 8 of them. I use them for weddings. Here is a link to them. Plus, they are only 60-70 dollars and not 300 dollars a piece!

Here is a little video to show how to use them.

But then, when I jumped in to the picture with my 10 second timer on, my flash didn't fire. So I used a video light to fill in the shadows. Here is what I used: And only $29 dollars! What a steal. Plus, I've use them for videos and weddings when my flashes were having trouble with the batteries.

I wanted to have everyone sit down. We have little kids, so sitting makes us all at the same level. Plus, I am 6 months pregnant, so standing, holding a kid could be an awkward position.

Here is what a typical snapshot would be from this view. I saw a lady today at the children's museum who was pointing her camera down with the pop-up flash at her little grandson. This is what her image probably looked like (see below). I usually don't shoot down on children, unless I am getting a certain effect. I try to have the camera pointed at their level. That way the photo appears to be at the level of the child. Like you are stepping into their world.

The backgroud is crazy busy and MESSY too in this photo!

So I had my son sit on a little stool against the blank wall and literally in less than a minute- my photo turned from "oh" to "WOW!"

It's amazing, that when you clear the background of your image and make your subject do something (I let him hold his favorite ball), then it really makes your photo pop!

To get my son to smile, I didn't say "Cheese." I said, "Caleb, say 'hahahaha!!!'" and then I did the voice for him and it made him smile.

I actually rarely say "Cheese" in my photos. I usually say, "Ready, set, go!" I don't know, it's just a silly thing I say. But I've noticed that it's a little change that helps the kids that I am working with be active and ready to take a picture.

So here is an unedited photo that I took from today. This was with a little bit of fill flash pointing at the ceiling. I have a smal picture frame hanging on the wall as well. So I brightened it up. And with only doing one action on Lightroom, and the crop tool, I was able to take the photo and make it special. If you are starting off on lightroom (which you can try here for 30 days for FREE) then reading this blog from ADOBE might get you started.

let me see your ideas on how you shoot your photos and hashtag me (see below)


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