I have a confession. I thought I only wanted one child. I was perfectly content with being a family of three. And then when my son was two and a half I thought, gosh, it would be really cool to have a little girl too. We got lucky and got pregnant right away… with a little girl.
I remember dropping my son off at preschool the morning of my scheduled c-section and thinking to myself that we were ruining his life. He’s had all of our attention for three and a half years and now I’m going to only have half the time and half the love for him. I thought for sure this baby was going to ruin his life.
And, of course, I was so totally wrong. Although my kids are three and a half years apart, they are the best of friends. He is her protector. She is his favorite dance partner. He is her Bubba. She is his number one fan. I love capturing their relationship with one another. I want to document each and everything about their love for one another. The good, the bad, and the awkward. I really just love capturing them as they are. The candid moments. Here are some tips to help you do the same.
Set up an activity: Give your kids something to do. Keeping them busy will help them forget that you are taking their pictures. And don’t be afraid to set the activity up somewhere in your home that gets great light. Also, keep interacting with them. Ask them to help each other out. Be silly to get those natural smiles out.
Let them do their thing: On the flip side sometimes just letting them do their own thing is the best option. What they will do will on their own will be better than anything you can ask them to do. If they are in the moment just let them go for it and have fun!
Be sneaky: I find that once my kids know I’m taking their picture they will start goofing off and acting silly. If I can hear them giggling from the other room I will grab my camera and tip toe over to grab a shot. Sometimes that’s all I will get. One shot. So, I like to have my camera settings ready before I go over there.
Get one on your side: My oldest is my rule follower. If there’s a moment that I’d really like to capture, I want him on my team. I give him a responsibility and make him feel like he is being my big helper. Because most of the time he can get his sister to cooperate better than I can.
Anticipate the moment: Your intuition knows when something good is about to happen. When one of your kids really misses the other. When you hear them playing well together in the other room. When one child is comforting the other. Be ready for those moments. You know your kids well and know when they are going to happen.
Always be prepared: I was a Girl Scout. So I always like to be prepared. But, you can’t get great, natural shots of your kids if your camera is stuck in a drawer or your phones memory is full. Keep your camera in a central part of your home so it’s handy. And always be sure you have a memory card with sufficient space and a charged battery as well. I don’t always have my big camera on me, but I do always carry my iPhone. A lot of the everyday moments between my kids are captured on it.
Have fun! If you aren’t having fun, your kids won’t either. If you have to force them to do something they don’t want to do it won’t be fun for any of you and you probably aren’t going to get the shot you want anyways. The great thing about kids is that each and everyday they are doing something new and fun so there are always great moments to be captured.