All right moms, let’s just get it out there – a professional photographer I am not. If you follow me on Instagram then you’ve probably already come to this conclusion, but I just thought I would throw this post together for moms to share. Why? Because picture taking is generally an invisible work of motherhood. Moms are always concerned with taking photos to capture memories, which then means moms are never in any photos. And as a mom, that just makes me so sad – that my children will look back and have tons of cute photos with their dad and none with me. And the holidays are coming up, which means lots of opportunities for cute photos! So I’m going to share literally the most basic photography tips for dads (because let’s face it – that’s all I’ve got!).
To be clear – this post isn’t about shaming dads or making them feel bad. This post is about helping moms make it into more family pictures and therefore more family memories. Moms work really hard for their families and it’s only right that they make it into all the family photos too!
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Before we get started…
Moms, there are some things I want you to keep in mind though.
- If he’s taking candid photos of you, your perceived flaws and insecurities will show up. Your husband’s eye just isn’t trained to see those things. So if you’re bent over at a weird angle to read a display plaque about an animal at the zoo to your kid, your mom pooch might show up. If you’re laughing with your kids, your double chin might come out to play. You have to learn to be okay with that and realize it’s not your husband’s fault that he captured it in a picture after you asked him to take more photos. I’m not saying you have to share the photo on Instagram. I’m just saying you can’t chew your husband out for it. Honestly, this little point could have an entire blog post dedicated to it…
- If your pictures include lots of moving parts (ie small kids), don’t expect perfection. Ever. That puts unnecessary pressure on you and your husband. Trust me, there are no photography tips for dads that will make your children more cooperative, all right?
- Become familiar with some type of photo editing app. I’ve found Snapseed to be relatively useful for my minor editing needs.
All right, dads, listen up!
The holidays are rapidly approaching, and that means lots of opportunities for cute photos! You and your family will undoubtedly be at tons of family events, and it’s only fair that your wife is in these pictures too. She’s probably the reason you guys are at these events and creating these memories in the first place – she deserves to be in these photos too! And not just awkward-angle selfies either, because, often times, that’s the only ways moms make it into pictures with their kids.
I know, I know – you aren’t a professional photographer. But I already spoke with your wife about having realistic expectations and to not be upset if your pictures aren’t perfect. We don’t expect perfection – we just expect our heads to not be chopped off.
Photography tips for dads
Tip #1: make sure we aren’t in the middle of talking
As moms, we rarely get to take a breath because these kids need constant direction, especially when trying to get them all to cooperate for a photo. So please make sure I’m actually smiling for the photo and not yelling at one of our kids to stand still.
Tip #2: make sure the lighting isn’t too funky
Sometimes the places we go as a family don’t offer the most perfect or flattering light for photos, but please make sure there isn’t a weird beam of light across our face that’s washing us out. Or that the family is cast in the shadow of a giant tree while the background is perfectly lit. Or that your own shadow isn’t blocking the light.
Tip #3: make sure we aren’t cropped out
This seems like common sense, but you’d be surprised the amount of photos I see where literally part of the mom’s head is cropped out. Or the entire left side of our bodies.
Tip #4: make sure to wipe the camera lens
Whether you’re using our phone or your phone, the camera probably has some gunk on it. Just wipe it down with your shirt to make sure the pictures turn out crisp and clear. If a photo ever appears foggy or muted, it’s likely because the lens is dirty.
Tip #5: make sure the family is in focus
The worst thing ever is when the photo was actually good but the camera is focused on something in the background. There’s usually lots going on at these family events, and our phones sometimes focus on those instead. Just tap our family on the screen to help the camera focus.
Tip #6: make sure our hair isn’t doing something weird
We know you can’t control the forces of nature, so if it’s windy, we’ve more than likely resolved ourselves to having a bird’s nest made of our hair for these pictures. But sometimes we have that strand that just goes rogue. If you can see it with your naked eye from wherever you’re snapping a pic, then the camera will see it too. So if you notice a strand trying to betray us, just let us know and we’ll fix it!
If these 6 tips seem a little overwhelming, sit down as a team and decide on 1 or 2 your wife would like you to focus on first. I know it can be hard to retrain your brain if you don’t have an eye for this stuff, but all it takes is practice! And the work is definitely work the reward in this case!
Oh, and bonus tip: never take pictures of us eating. We’ll never think that’s cute!
If you found this post helpful or informative, share it with the dads in your life!