Couple of years ago when our now budding toddler was just born we invested in a DSLR camera. I did not know much about it and definitely did not have time on my hands to learn how to use it fully, so it was pretty much set on Auto and click away I did...
Some of the photos turned out great, some not so much, but either way it inspired me to try and have a little photo shoot with kids and hope for the best. I now rarely use Auto feature on the camera, as I tend to either select 'No Flash' setting or work with manual ones and I am much happier with results as I feel more in control even as there is still a lot of trial and error..
I love photos that appear unrehearsed, but as anyone who took any photos with kids can attest to, it requires quite a few takes before "the right" photo is achieved. During our travels I try to make great memorable photos, but it is often hard to focus on photo taking when you are either enjoying the atmosphere, scenery, sights or just relaxing. So I've started doing little photo shoot sessions in and outside the house.
Couple of days ago all of the kids seemed to be in a good mood prompting me to do an impromptu photo shoot. I got the kids to quickly dress into white clothes as I wanted to unify their look. Even if it is quite typical, white looks great in photos and it was one colour I could count on all four of them had in their closets.
I also quickly decided on a setting - white armchair in front of fireplace. As the baby is only 3 weeks old, I needed something comfortable and safe where other kids could hold her. In retrospect, fireplace was not a great choice as the glass of the insert was reflecting light and I had hard time hiding my reflection in it.
Kids cooperated for a most part - initially my toddler did not want anything to do with it until we turned it into a game and she just loves being part of games. But she also lost interest really soon. To get her back in, I think I bribed her with some chocolate as well and that typically works well with her. Baby started the shoot crying but as soon as I positioned her on the pillow, she calmed and was great for the rest of the time. She was alert, calm and seemed interested in what was happening.
The oldest two are old pros at posing for photos but even then it is hard getting all four of them to be in sync and to have all the elements of a good photo happen at the right time.
Finally, it is important not to drag it on for too long and avoid having them feel like it is a chore. This way they will be excited to participate when we do another impromptu session.