Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Do It Yourself Family Photos

Welcome back to 31 days of Being a Stay At Home Mom! I am so glad you stopped by! Today I am going to share with you a way I save HUNDREDS of dollars a year! Since my children were born it has been extremely important to me to capture every moment. I had pictures done of my children for 3mon, 6mon, 9mon, 1yr, 18mon, 2y and every year after. Not to mention random holiday photos (I didn’t do them for every holiday) and if I wanted a picture of the kids together. So if you are anything like me you can see how this really adds up over time. I don’t regret having had their pictures done, I cherish every single one and I will still occasionally have professional pictures done in the future, just not every time I want them done and for every birthday. Instead I am taking my own pictures. Now I am by no means a photographer but I am finding ways to make them look really nice and saving a lot of money in the process. So I will give you a few of the tips I have learned in the last year or so I have been doing this.
1. First of all the best place to take pictures is outside. A really sunny day isn’t so great because the kids just want to squint the whole time so choose a day that is nice out but not really sunny. I just did my kids pictures a few days ago because we finally had a warm sunny day and they did pretty good but it was a little too sunny, you will notice in the pictures I show you that they are a little squinty.
2. Talk to them before hand about what you want to do, “Hey kids mommy wants to take a few pictures of you and I need you to be really good for me. I want you to listen and give me really big smiles”! I have found this works wonders and my kids will almost always cooperate.
3. Have realistic expectations. If you have 2 or more children and you want to take individual pictures of each of them and group pictures don’t attempt to do them all in one sitting. They just can’t do that for that long and will not cooperate. When I did pictures this week of my kids I did the 2 yr old before the other two got home and I did them for about 3 minutes. I only got about 10 pictures but for a 2 yr old that is a realistic amount of time. Then as soon as the other two got home I told them what I wanted to do and said I would be real quick but I needed them to be really good for me. So I took pictures of them for about 3 minute each and then got a quick group shot. So I actually did them all and a group in one sitting but I only spent about 10-12 minutes total doing it and it was spread out.
4. Also if it isn’t working out one day try the next or wait a few days. Maybe they are just having a bad day.
So now you say “I can do all that but how do I make them look good, I don’t know what I am doing”?? Well here is what has been working for me.
1. Make your child/children the focal point of the picture. Use nature and fun places as a background but really focus on your child.
2. Take lots of close ups. You do want full body shots but focus on the face.
3. For something different offset your child in the photo. Like the ones below.
4. Have your camera handy and capture moments you didn’t plan. Like this one below, we went to the park for a picnic dinner one evening and we went for a walk and there was this really cool bridge (I love bridges!) and I told them all to hold hands and walk across the bridge and this is what I got! I didn’t even have my camera with me just my phone! 
The last tip I will share with you is have fun with photo editing.
This is my favorite part! You don’t need some fancy, expensive software, there are lots of free ones online. My favorite is picmonkey, I use this for all my photo editing. There is a free version with lots of good stuff on it and also a small yearly fee if you want some extras.
Here are some fun things I did with the picture from above.
Turned a color photo into a black and white photo.
The same one into a sepia color.
And then did some softening of the picture, a hazy border, and a sweet quote about family.
The possibilities are endless! Just play around, have some fun, and make some amazing memories to last a lifetime!
Thanks for stopping by, come visit me on Facebook too!
Other great money saving tips from Bonnie:

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