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Tips on photographing your own kids...

This year was rough, it took me 3 attempts to finally get some shots of my own little "angels" that I was halfway satisfied with for a holiday card.  I won't lie, there were tantrums, crying, screaming, and the kids had a hard time too ;)  I made a promise to myself that next year I am hiring someone to do our holiday photoshoot.  This way I won't be as stressed and can even be in some of the pictures.  Sounds like a win win!  But if anything, the expereince helped me plan some goals for the holidays and next year.  I want to capture more of my kids' personalities and their spontaneous moments, rather than posing them perfectly and making sure they are are looking at me with angelic smiles, after all most of my favorite shots of the three of them are exactly the opposite.

 With the holidays approaching and hopefully some family downtime, whether you have a fancy DSLR or a point and shoot camera, I wanted to share with you some tips on capturing those moments.  The moments that we are going to want to remember...

1. Be ready! - the moments I am talking about happen so quickly, that if you have to figure out where you last left the camera, or if the battery is charged, the moment will pass by, and recreating won't work (trust me).  I suggest leaving your camera in an out of the way location that you can easily access.  Want to really prepare?  Have one on each floor of your house! 

2.  Individualize - I know for me, having the perfect picture of the three of the girls together is always my goal, but this year, with the craziness of our 3 attempted shoots, I ended up with a series of 3 pictures, one of each of them, which I absolutley love.  It shows how each of the girls has changed over the last year and really makes each of their personalities stand out. 

3. Catch the ordinary - Is there a part of their routine that you just find adorable?  Bath time photos are some of my favorites!  Someting about soapy little toes! 

4.  Details - Focus on the little details.  does your little one have the cutest dimples?  Zoom in on him when he gives you that little smile that brings them out.  Do they have a favorite Christmas tree ornament?  Get a close-up of them holding in in their hands.

5.  Perspective - Shoot from different angles, from above them, underneath them, behind them, there are plenty of ways to get creative with capturing
the moment.

6. Traditions - Capture the little things that your family does for the holidays.  Does everyone hang out in their PJ's on Christmas Day?  Get a shot of all your feet up on the coffeetable!  Does everyone help with putting the lights on the tree?  Get a shot of the stretching to reach a taller branch.  Capture all your families little traditions, the things that make your family unique from others.

7. Show the flaws - Life isn't flawless...catch some of the inperfections.  Did your baby make a mess in his room?  Get a shot of him sitting amongst it (then properly redirect the behavior ; -) Did she put on her clothes backwards?  Mismatched shoes?  A few tears?  These moments are precious!

I hope this has been helpful and I hope to follow some of my own advice this holiday season!

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