As a professional family photographer, I have to admit, things here are a bit slow. Because I appreciate the importance of social distancing, I have temporarily shut down my photography business. Clearly, I would never put my clients’ health in danger.
As I mentioned in my previous blog, I miss taking pictures. I am incredibly lucky to have been able to turn my passion into my business. I truly appreciate every opportunity I have, whether as a studio photographer for a newborn or taking pictures on location.
One thing I have come to realize during this period of quarantine: life goes on. We may not be able to experience it “normally”; but it’s still happening. Kids are growing (and changing), holidays occur and birthdays keep coming around. Imagine looking back, years from now, and not having pictures of these special occasions. Above all, this thought truly makes me sad!
So, while I would LOVE to be your child photographer or be staging your family photo shoot in one of our fabulous local parks; right now I can’t. However, you can! Below, I’m going to share my advice for your family photoshoot at home.
While I could give photography advice forever; you really can coordinate a photoshoot at home, yourself, with some key directions.
First, you must get your camera ready. Do you have a camera? So many people have an old 35mm camera in the closet. If you do, pull in out and make sure it’s still operable. Most importantly, charge the battery and ensure it’s functioning. Snap a couple of quick pics just to be sure.
What? You don’t have a camera? Of course you do. The point of a DIY photoshoot is that we can make anything work. And, I’m guessing your phone has a camera. In fact, if you have an Iphone I’m sure it does. Personally, androids confuse me; but I have friends who love them and they seem to be posting “int he moment” photos to the Facebook pages all the time, so I’m pretty sure they have cameras too!
When using your phone camera, again, make sure the battery is charged. Nothing is more frustrating than having everything, including your kids, all set and ready to go and realizing the little bar on your phone is red — less than 20% battery. You know how quickly you can go from 20% to zero?
Also, play with the phone camera a bit too. Make sure you know how to operate the flash. Additionally, make sure the button that lets you turn the phone sideways is enabled. Ten minutes of “practice” is, without a doubt, invaluable.
Secondly, determine where in your house (or in your yard) your family photoshoot will take place. Spring has sprung. Depending upon the day, you may be able to take advantage the beautiful weather. As a Marlboro family photographer, I have taken countless pictures outdoors. While I have visited almost every park and beach in Monmouth and Ocean counties, sometimes pictures in your own backyard are the best. Kids are comfortable at home. Above all, considering the conditions we are living in; this is truly the only option you have if you want to shoot outside.
On the other hand, maybe it’s not going to to be nice outside. Or, perhaps you think it is easier to simply manage this process indoors. If that is the case, you want to make sure the room you choose for your at-home photo shoot has lots of natural light. So, open the shades and raise the blinds.
For some reason, choosing clothing for a professional photo shoot seems to be the cause of much anxiety. As a child and family professional photographer, I work with my clients to determine the best clothing for their particular shoot. Of course, so much comes into play. Together we consider the location, the ages of the kids in the family, and even likes and dislikes. Honestly, if you force your child into something he or she HATES, I can guarantee the shoot will not be successful.
Because you are at home, with lots of time, you have tons of flexibility. Bright colors on kids are always fun! That said, sometimes a white tshirt and jeans is the perfect outfit. Finally, consider a pajama shoot….after all, it’s the perfect outfit these days!
Now that you have everything ready, it’s time for your photo shoot. One of the benefits of an at home, DIY shoot is that you can choose the time of day. Early morning light, especially if you are shooting outside, can be beautiful. Try it! If your kids aren’t cooperating, no worries, try again later. You can shoot inside or even at sunset. To clarify, you can start and stop as often as needed; and can even reschedule for tomorrow. Let’s face it; right about now we have LOTS of time on our hands.
Finally, take LOTS of pictures. As a professional child photographer, I take tons. For example, sometimes one second can be the difference between a picture you will delete and one you will frame. So, keep shooting.
Without a doubt, the pictures you take during your photoshoot at home are going to be quite different than those taken by a professional photographer. But, they are still incredibly meaningful. Don’t let this crazy time just pass you by. In other words, take advantage of the time you have, capture your kids at home. This is part of your life. Moreover, this DIY photoshoot will help document your story!
Finally, we will eventually be allowed out again. In short, we will see our friends, play in parks, eat in our favorite restaurants, and shop in our favorite stores. When that time comes, give me a call; I would love to take some beautiful pictures of your family!
Be well and stay safe.