Motherhood is such a beautiful, challenging, and rewarding time and so much of it deserves a permanant place in a photograph. I started my photography journey because I wanted to capture my kids growing up. These beginner photography tips for moms are exactly what helped me get to where I am today.
Beginner Mom Photographer Start Here
Learning a new skill can be a frustrating and challenging time. Especially when it comes to photographing your kids. First let me start by saying I am so proud of you for taking the initiave to learn and grow.
Now I want to help you feel confident in photographing your kids and help save you from some of the big mistakes I made early on in my journey.
There are a few things to share that might seem overwhelming at first but soon they will be second nature and you will be on your way to creating beautiful photos of your children.
10 Beginner Photography Tips for Moms
#1 Lights, Camera, Action!
My first beginner photography tip for moms is to turn off the overhead lights.
Many of us are in our homes or in the homes of loved ones when we want to get that perfect shot. Whether it’s of those newborn snuggles, or the siblings play house together. Unfortunately our homes are not photography studios and therefor do not usually have the best lighting.
Open up the curtains and blinds, turn off all the lights in the house and try to use natural light if possible.
Doing this will eliminate the orange/yellow tones to your photos and give you some beautiful lighting to capture your kids.
#2 Invest in a Good Lens
I know I know you just bought a big expensive camera and you’re so excited about it but the kit lens that comes on it is not the best. Or maybe you’ve been trying to photograph your kids for awhile now and your iphone is doing a better job than your camera.
I always recommend to invest in a good quality lens like a 50mm or a 35mm prime lens. Or if you prefer a zoom lens, make sure it is a fixed aperture lens and it’s from a reputable brand. This is a great time to rent a lens if you’re still not sure.
Having a quality lens as a beginnner mom photographer is a game changer. The lens will allow you to have a beautiful blurred background and a tack sharp focal point.
# 3 Use 3 Different Angles
I love to tell a story when I am photographing my kids. I want to remember everything that was going on.
Beginner mom photography tip #3 is to take a photo from 3 different angles of the same thing.
For example when my girls do their yearly gingerbread houses, I like to take an arial shot from above. Then I get down low at the edge of the table and do one from there. Lastly I like to do a shot from one of their perspectives.
This beginner photography tip for moms is an easy way to stretch your creativity and also really capture what is going on in the moment in your life.
#4 Don’t ask your kids to stop and say “cheese.”
We have heard that phrase our whole lives and I am not sure I know of anyone who likes to stop what they are doing and pose. Kids especially don’t like to stop having fun.
If you want to capture their true expressions and experiences I say just skip that and take the shot without making them stop or do anything different. You wont have a perfectly posed picture but you will have a true raw photograph of your child in their element. Those are the moments that we will look back on and remember fondly.
#5 Keep your Shutter Speed Fast!
If you don’t already know, kids are FAST. Put a cookie within eye level and see how quick it gets eaten. Because of this your shutter speed should match their speed.
I always keep my shutter speed at a MINIMUM of 1/125 when photographing kids. If you go below this, you will likely have unwanted blurriness in your photos from the motion.
Don’t be scared to adjust your ISO if you need more light since you are raising your shutter speed. I promise you will want to get those arms, legs, hands, and face tack sharp and the ISO won’t cause too much noise if done correctly.
#6 Keep your Camera out on the Counter
Out of sight, out of mind am I right? As a beginner mom photographer you might be very tempted to just use your phone’s camera because that is what you are used to doing. I encourage you to leave your camera out on the counter so you will see it often and use it often.
When it’s out and in sight you will be reminded to pick it up instead of your phone to capture your every day memories. Or just to practice which we all need!
Here is a free extra tip coming from experience. When you leave your camera out, make sure you either take your long camera strap off of it or wrap it around your camera. This is just to avoid little hands grabbing and accidentally pulling it off the counter. Ask me how I know haha!
#7 Pick up your camera Daily
Pick up your camera daily. If it is out on the counter you will likely pick it up multiple times a day. All of this practice will not only make your photography better, but will help your creativity in capturing your kids.
Consider doing a photography challenge to help motivate and encourage you to use this beginner photography tip and pick up your camera every day. Here’s some tips of how to finish a photography challenge.
#8 Frame Your Subject
It is easy for us to pull out our phones and take the shot without even thinking about it. I want to encourage you to frame your subject in a creative way.
This doesn’t have to take a lot of time or energy, just simple look at your surrounding and see what you could use to make your subject stand out.
See here for some creative framing techniques.
#8 Avoid Clutter
Beginner Photography tips for moms tip number 8 is to avoid clutter. Too many things going on in the photo will drawn the attention off of your kids.
I am NOT saying you must clean your house before you snap a shot. What I am saying is that you can quickly move some things out of the frame, or use other furntiture to block the mess. Like below this couch is blocking a pile of laundry!
Always remember, less is more!
#9 Learn the Rule of Thirds
The Rule of Thirds is basically a frame/ guideline to use when photographing a subject. Imagine cutting your frame into a tic-tac-toe board like this.
Then place your subjects eye as close as you can to one of the points where the lines intersect.
You also will want to use the rule of thirds as a guide for what is going on in the photo. Try to only use one third of the photo with your subject and use negative space for the other 2 thirds.
Check out this post just for you on Rule of Thirds.
#10 Add Catchlights
Add catchlights to enhance your subject! Your children are beautiful and there is always a magical sparkle in their eyes.
Adding catch lights is easy to do and will bring the appropriate amout of light into their eyes to really show off what they look like.
All you need to do to capture these catchlights is to place your child in front of a window and have them slightly turn towards you. Or if you are outside go into open shade and have the sun at an angle to them.
This beginner photography tip for moms is a great memory maker. When you look back in 10 years these photos will make you cry.
Beginner Photography Tips for Moms FAQs
After you buy a camera, invest in a good quality lens, not a kit lens. I recommend a 50mm or 35mm prime lens to start. There are a few more things that will really help found here in this post on gear for beginner photographers.
You can spend a lot of time trying to learn this new hobby or you can invest in a professional teacher to show to a shorter and more effective way of learning photography.
I teach a beginners guide to manual mode course that will set you up for success. You will feel confident in your photography as soon as you complete the course.
All new skills take time to learn and then time to master through lots of practice.
If you invest in a photography course, you will quickly learn photography. Otherwise it will take you a while to scour the internet and learn all of the different tips and tricks.
Then you will just be refining your skills by practicing, and I recommend practicing every single day.