As a photojournalist-style photographer, I am enamored with real moments in time. I love photographing kids because they’re so spontaneous! We adults can learn a lot from their free-spiritedness. I see a lot of moms who want their kids’ hair to be brushed just so, for their clothes to be perfect, and for their smiles to be practiced. However, none of those things speak to me of childhood. So, I encourage the kids to giggle, to run, and to explore. Yes, I have to chase them around a lot. But when they stop and catch their breath, I am ready with my camera. And, they’re usually beaming.
If you want to take better photos of your family (and set your child up to be more photogenic for life), think of yourself as a documentarian. Document what you want, yes. But don’t manipulate. Don’t ask for poses. And, don’t fuss! Let the kids enjoy themselves, and what you hold dear about this time in your life will show through in the moments you capture.
The iPhone is an incredible tool for moms, dads, and business owners alike. I recommend you turn the flash off, and pay attention to natural light sources in the environment you’re shooting in. Make sure to arrange yourself so that light is falling on your subject. In other words, if you’re facing a lamp and the baby is silhouetted in between you and it, don’t expect the camera to give you a good exposure. And, be sure you get low to the ground – you want to be on your subject’s level.
Plus, the iPhone is something you already take everywhere you go, so using it for social networking and marketing is a no-brainer. It’s an invaluable tool for giving your audience that coveted glimpse behind the scenes.
iPhonegraphy tips for documenting your family and business marketing:
1. Get on Instagram! If you haven’t already, sign up for an Instagram account. It’s free! Just go to the app store and install. If you want to use it for marketing, select a username that corresponds with your brand. For instance, my Instagram name is sloboda.
2. Apply filters to your images before you share them. If you also install other photography apps, you’ll have a whole bunch of one-click PhotoShop-like settings at your fingertips. My favorites include Hipstamatic, Snapseed, Camera+, Iris, and Filterstorm. They range from $1.99 to $5.99, and can seriously enhance just about any image you take.
3. Mix and match multiple filters from various programs by saving to your photo library and then opening in a new program. When you’re pleased with your flashy new picture, open Instagram and click on “share,” to upload.
4. Get tagging! Hashtags are a great way to get followers of similar interests on Instgram. Use @[username] tags to respond to someone who has commented on yours or another’s photo. Link your profile to twitter and automatically tweet your photo (with capture and hashtags – up to 140 characters, of course). To be really savvy, use twitter tags in Instagram so your intended audience sees your image across platforms.
5. Be yourself. Share your interests, and your day-to-day. Document moments with your family. Get involved in an activity! Frame your shot and be ready to snap when natural smiles (and all kinds of expressions) occur.
Sharing photos of genuine moments goes a long way towards communicating your values to your audience. A picture’s worth a thousand words, right? That’s like 41 tweets!