Who says that you have to go to a studio to end up with great photos of your children? The last time we went to a portrait studio was when we took Baby Bear to Olan Mills nearly 2 years ago. While we probably will go for a family portrait of us and the girls, I doubt we'll take the girls to a studio anytime soon.
We actually have fun taking our girls' photos. Mr. Incredible's grandparents have a lovely home with flowers everywhere. Around Easter, one particular bed of creeping phlox bursts into full bloom, creating the perfect backdrop for beautiful portraits - like the one of Miss Muffet at the top of this post.
Here are tips to help you create beautiful portraits of your children:
- Work around your child's schedule. I cannot stress this enough! If your child is happiest after breakfast, do your best to take photos then.
- Take along a snack and drink. You may think that it will only take a half hour to get that perfect photo, but time has a way of slipping away. Besides, snacks are great for coaxing uncooperative little ones into a more helpful from of mind. When we took the photo of Miss Muffet pictured above, we kept popping peanuts into her and her sisters' mouths to get them to sit still.
- Bring favorite toys for infants and toddlers. These can be cute and can also be used to distract a fussing child. Some of our favorite infant photos of Pookie Bear, our oldest daughter, are of her as an 8 day old infant lying on our baby-blanket-covered couch surrounded by her Winnie the Pooh character friends.
- Be prepared to shoot many photos. This means having extra film (unless you have a digital camera) and making sure your batteries are up to the task. It would be disappointing to run out of film or battery power without having captured "the" shot.
- Take your cue from your child. Don't make this a time of frustration. If your child is telling you that he has had enough of this picture-taking business, it's best to end the session and try again later if you are not satisfied with the photos you have taken.
- Local parks - several of ours have lovely flower beds, ponds, fountains, and other features
- Historic homes - most places only charge for a tour of the place, not for admittance to the ground, which are often lovely
- Old churches
- Beach - if you happen to live close enough
- Mountains - ditto
- A neighbor's beautiful garden - ask nicely, and you might be surprised to get an affirmative answer. If you do, make sure to send at least a thank you card, preferably a gift.