It’s not uncommon for many moms (and dads too) to find themselves absent from many, if not most family photos. Often we’re too busy being behind the camera, capturing all the important and memorable events in our children’s lives to worry about making sure we show up in front of the camera too. The other day, my baby, who had been experiencing a pretty ugly cold, finally seemed to show some relief and was giving me lots of smiles. I decided to take some photos of this happy occasion and captured some pretty amazing photos of just him. I decided though that I should take advantage of his good mood and try to get some pictures of the two of us. Siting in front of my mirrored closet doors I started snapping away. At first I was discouraged because they weren’t quite coming out as I was hoping they would. But then all of a sudden, I nabbed it! The perfect shot. A shot that I’ll frame and hang on the wall. and remember for years and years to come. Here’s how I got that shot. And let this be a lesson to you moms (and dads)! Get in front of the camera, because you just never know when, or how, you’ll get the perfect shot yourself.
I began by just doing some test shots to try and figure out where and how I needed to position the camera. I don’t take many, if any, pictures in a mirror this way so it was all new to me. My main concerns were getting us both in the picture, and having us be focused, not just the camera. As you can see, the camera is what’s in focus and we are blurry. You can also see baby is not real into this.
I started getting a better feel for how to position the camera, but Hayden was not playing along. Despite my best efforts, he couldn’t care less about trying to play along and give me some smiles.
The Scarf Catches His Attention
I started to wiggle my scarf around to get his attention and he does start to show a bit more interest in my impromptu photo shoot.
He starts to get a bit irritated with me and my demands for him to look at me in the mirror. He lets out some whimpers and his face starts to scrunch up to show me he’s about to cry…
The Scarf Game Saves The Day
So I go for the distraction and start a game of peek a boo with my scarf. He’s into this now and we’ve turned the tide. He’s giggling a bit, the sweetest sound of all, and has stopped frowning.
Almost Cut Off
I start to get a bit too excited and nearly cut off our heads when I think I’m going to get some good pictures of us now that he was smiling a bit, when I mess up my angle and placement of the camera.
I reposition my camera and the baby, standing him up a bit more, and I start to go for the super animated face and voice to get him smiling.
And It Starts To Work!
He’s getting more and more animated as I get more and more animated. He’s now giggling and freely smiling and I’m clicking away as fast as I can take the pictures! The angle is still a bit off though.
With a slight adjustment and some continued excitement and fast clicking on my part, I got the shot! The lighting was great thanks to the angle adjustment, we’re mostly in focus and in the center of the frame, and our happiness and love jumps off the screen. He’s happy, I’m happy, and it completely shows! It’s hard but not impossible to capture perfectly imperfect moments like this.
Some Tips & Advice
The biggest advice I can give is to be patient in waiting to get that great shot. Be willing to experiment and take plenty of pictures with the hope of getting that special shot.
Adjust & Readjust As Needed
Move you and baby around, move the camera around, and try as many things as you can think of to elicit a smile.
Practice and Consistency
And remember, you may not always get the “perfect” shot each time. But if you take enough pictures over time you’ll get better and you’ll naturally get more and more shots you love. Don’t give up, and don’t exclude yourself, because the only thing better than a perfect shot of a happy baby, is a perfect shot of a happy baby and mommy (or daddy).
Do you routinely get in front of the camera to capture you with your babies, or are you camera shy and prefer to stay behind the lens?