For me documenting my family is one of the ways how I connect with people I love, show them, that I really appreciate them for who they are and that I do care about big and small things in their life.
But sometimes taking photos can be a disconnection from the moment.
Interrupting your kids play and asking them to pose for a picture, spending school concert behind your phone filming instead of smiling and supporting your child on the stage, ignoring their wish for privacy, bribing, blackmailing, forcing to smile… are just few of big mistakes parents can do, while trying to document their family life.
So how do we balance the wish to capture each special moment and desire to be present for people we love?
I put together a small guide, which sum up my main strategies and helps me balance between being present for my family and documenting special moments we will all cherish in the future.
(1) RESPECT IMPORTANT MOMENTS
Recognize the important moment and put your camera down!
When your kids have an important event and would like to have your support and share their joy with you (concert, sport event, getting a diploma etc.) – they should be able to see your smiling face, not your phone or camera.
Usually during the concert I try to make a few shots at the very begin and then I enjoy the performance.
If you can come to rehearsal – do it and take some photos! Then you can fully enjoy the final event without worrying about documenting it.
(2) LIMIT THE TIME
I photograph my family almost every day and I hardly spend more that 5 minutes doing it.
Because I take photos regularly I do not have to invest lots of time and I am not hunting for some special moments.
I like to be spontaneous and creative and even if the moment I wanted to capture is gone I am not getting upset – I will either put my camera away and try to capture it in the future or I will look around and often I am able to find a motive which is great to capture too!
I prefer to take photos of small mundane events, and I for example will not document my kids birthday parties from begin to the end.
I will take a few pictures at the begin, few in the middle and few with candles at the end. The rest of the time I will enjoy my guests!
(3) KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN
If you are a kind of person, who is searching through pinterest for “100 family photos to repeat this spring” - stop it!
Documenting your family is about DOCUMENTING.
The less you expect – the more you will enjoy this journey.
The only thing you should care about is to capture everyone! I for example have three kids and I can easily oversee that I keep capturing the baby who is at home with me much more often, than my “big” boys.
I also try to capture my husband regularly with kids and without. And I make sure that I get into pictures as well.
But normally I do not have a picture in mind, that I would like to create no matter what.
(4) DO NOT DIRECT
I love capturing moments when my kids are deeply involved into some activities or interacting with their surrounding.
These photos really capture them for who they are.
Also I find those moments to be truly creative, because I get an opportunity to find my best frame without rushing. Moreover they give me moments of solitude, which every parent needs.
The candid moments when your family is unaware of the camera turn out to be your best photographs!
And if you wish to capture an eye contact – which is also important to have in your photographs from time to time – start interacting with your family. Ask them a question, make a funny noise, play pick-a-boo. Your options will depend on the age of the participants!
These photos will be much more honest and emotional as any directed and posed portraits.
Thank you for reading!
If you would like to improve your photography and start documenting your family in relaxed and creative way, please feel free to join my facebook group for parents – Capture and Connect.
Please send a request
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