259. 5 Secrets to Taking Great Family Photos at Home

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It’s mid-December and that means the holiday cards are finally outnumbering the bills each day in the mail. They’re also reminding me that, if I want to send a photo card of our kids this year, it’s now or never. The problem is that most of the photos I’ve taken have toys and clutter in the background and I only found one or two where they’re both smiling at the camera. So I decided to turn to Barrington photographer, Susan McConnell, for a little advice. I brought my son and daughter to her Main Street studio and asked her to share a few of her secrets to capturing kids on camera.

Tips to Photograph Kids During the Holidays

If you want to get great shots at home during the holidays or for next year’s Christmas card, here are Susan’s five tips to take photos you’ll be proud to share.

  1. What to Wear“Some parents like to photograph their kids as they are at home.  Others prefer fancy dresses and some prefer blue jeans and tee shirts.  Anything goes.  If there must be a rule, it probably would be no shirts with writing.  Otherwise, whatever suits your mood and shows your favorite child’s personality is perfect.”
  2. Create a Series“In your kitchen, make a cooking station for your children.  Stock each station with holiday cookie making materials and let each child do his or her thing.  Take photographs of each child from the same vantage point.  Using similar images of each of your favorite children would make for an adorable holiday card or be the perfect addition to your family photo album.”
  3. Use Perspective“Stand on a chair and look down while you tell your favorite child to look up.  Want to make it even cooler?  Have her sit on something like a patterned rug.  That makes for a majestic backdrop.  Next, try your wedding dress that’s sitting in the attic.”
  4. Move in and KEEP MOVING IN“All of the peripheral things in photographs are often what we call “noise.”  Legs, shoes, the dinner dishes.  Move in so that your favorite child’s shoulders fill the frame.”
  5. Music, Music, Music“When music is on your child’s mood changes, it’s as simple as that.  And the pictures are better, it’s as simple as that.”

So there you go…A few secrets shared by a local expert!  But, of course, there are those times when you want to leave the photography to a professional.  Susan’s tips will help, but I still don’t trust myself for milestone photos like my son’s first birthday next month.  Susan specializes in photographing children.  She’ll come to your home or a special location of your choice.  Or you can come to her studio on Main Street where she’ll have the music playing for you when you walk in the door and the lighting is perfect for portraits!

Photographer Susan McConnell Shares Tips to Take Great Holiday Photos
Photo Courtesy of Susan McConnell

For more information about Susan McConnell and to view her portfolio, visit her website at SusanMcConnellPhotography.com. Her studio is located at 110 E. Main Street in Barrington.  You’ll find her on Facebook by clicking HERE. She also loves photographing Barrington scenery and events and her work is frequently featured in Quintessential Barrington Magazine.  To reach Susan by phone, give her a call at 847-381-2588.

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