Juli Asks about Taking Photos with Kids

Welcome to Juli Asks, a series where Juli, one of our Awesome Ladies members, who’s just getting into scrapbooking, asks rukristin for advice. Learn from this series and ask questions of your own.

Photo by Omar Lopez on Unsplash

I’m trying to make sure I’m in more photos. I have no problem taking selfies, but I feel awkward when it comes to someone else taking a photo of me. I guess I’m just used to being the one behind the camera taking photos and having control of how they look. Any advice to make this less awkward?

Great question! It’s a great start that you are making an effort to be in more photos — that’s absolutely the first step. My second step is always yay selfies! So now we’re on the third step — letting other people take the pictures. Yeah, this is where the anxiety comes in. Giving up control. Letting other people be in charge of the way the photo comes out is a whole separate level of letting go.

A few things to remember:  

  1. Some people just aren’t going to be good photographers and that’s not something you can control. If they want your help becoming a better photographer, you can tell them what you know. Otherwise, it’s literally not your problem, and there’s not much you can do about it. 
  2. If you’re not going to do anything with these photographs that other people are taking, don’t worry about it too much. Just hang along for the ride and smile. 
  3. If you are going to use these photos for your scrapbooks, and you do want to try to ‘look your best’ and feel less awkward in these photos. Think about what you do with your body and your face when you’re taking your selfies, and do that in these photos too. That’s been the best thing I’ve been able to do when other people are taking photos of me. I just imagine I’m taking the selfie, and I put myself in that position. 
Photo by Simon Hajducki on Unsplash

I like having candid photos, but I also like nice photos where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling. I have two nephews(2.5 years old and almost 1 year old), and it is a STRUGGLE trying to get them both to pose for photos. I just want to capture all of our fun moments together, but I also don’t want to spend all my time trying to get the best photo of them. All this to say, any advice for just being in the moment vs. trying to get good photos?

I think one of the things that you’re going to have to come to terms with is that capturing photos of little kids is going to be super difficult when you’re just trying to get them to sit still. You say that you want to capture all your fun moments together, but your fun moments together is not them sitting still.  So you’re gonna have to decide whether you want to get pictures of their cute faces sitting still like a professional photographer or if you want to literally capture your fun moments together. 

I think my best piece of advice to you is going to be similar to my other advice for capturing good photos when you go places. Get the photos done early. Capture photos with them early in your time with them because the longer you’re with them, the more tired they are going to get. Which will make them even harder to wrangle for good pictures. 
Kids are also going to be so much more receptive when you’re trying to take fun photos instead of the more static, posed photos. Selfies are always really good because those are super fun and you’ll be able to see what the photo looks like while you’re taking it. The kids also love seeing themselves in the camera too.

If you can make it fun and turn it into a game for them, they are going to love it every single time. 

When you get the photos out of the way early, the pressure is off and you can just enjoy your time with them. You know that you have the photos you want and you don’t have to worry about “am I going to get good photos this time?”; you already have them on your camera ready for the next step; you can enjoy your time with the kids and the entire process will be so much better.

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