3 Tips for Easily Capturing Motion II #TheAuthenticPortrait, Learn Photography

SOOOOOOO many times I have moms emailing me when they book a session saying things like:

1. "Katie, I have no good photos of me with my kids (I'm always the ones behind the camera!)"

2. "Good luck trying to get a photo of my kids that’s not blurry, They never stop moving."

And my responses are always something along the lines of, 'Oh, that first one, I get it more than you know! And don't worry about that second one, I've got you COVERED’.

Sweet mamas, I too, without kids, am the one always behind the camera. I have so many beautiful photos of my Frenchman all throughout our travels. When I’m in photos, they’re basically selfies or I tell Mr. EXACTLY how I want him to take the photo. Needless to say, I want IN sometimes. SO recently we had a couples photo session. It was AWESOME and (nerve-wracking?) so cool to be in front of the camera. It seems silly but a few days before I spent some time in front of a full length mirror practicing how I liked to pose myself and which ways I felt I looked the best. I’d TOTALLY recommend doing this if you’re not comfortable in front of the camera so you KNOW that you won’t naturally put your body in unflattering positions. Okay okay, more on that a different time though.. 

Back to the kids. 

They never do stop moving.. Even while sleeping somehow they end up with their feet on the pillow in the morning and their head where their feet were! Here are some tricks to taking better and sharp photos of your speedy kids:

  1. Make sure you have enough light! Outside on a bright day is ideal, in your living room at night is not. If you’re shooting with your phone or with your DSLR on automatic, your camera needs to adjust for a low lighting situation and usually it does this by slowing down the shutter speed. This allows more light in but leaves LOTS of room for motion.
  2. Give your subject a reason to be still! If you’re photographing your kiddos, perhaps give them a game to play or somewhere to sit down. (Remember, good lighting! Somewhere bright is best!)
  3. Tripod yourself. Okay, I never EVER use a tripod. I have one that I use in extreme circumstances for shoots but really, who wants to carry 5 extra pounds with them if they don’t have to? Call me a lazy photographer if you want. I'll just call myself smart for turning other things into tripods, like myself! It seems silly but sometimes YOU are the problem and making the photo blurry. Be sure that you are standing still with your feet firmly planted on the ground and your arms close to your chest holding your camera (or phone) super close to you. Take a breath and while you’re holding it, take the photo. Another way is to lay the camera ON something, like a chair or a table if you’re inside or a ledge if you’re outside. I use outside things, like a window ledge, all the time to steady myself when I know I could cause motion in the photos.
  4. BONUS - IF YOU ARE USING A camera where you have the option to CHANGE the settings. Put the camera on TV mode. This tells the camera to work it’s magic but YOU are going to set the shutter speed. If you have kids running around, put it on 1/500th of a second or 1/1000th of a second and you are good to go! The shutter speed will freeze the action and your camera will work out all the other settings. 

So, after installment 3 of #TheAuthenticPortrait series, what questions do YOU have about photography? Are these posts helpful to you? Want to contribute? Email me or head over to instagram to share your photos using these tips and hashtagging #TheAuthenticPortrait!

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