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DIY Tips for beautiful, everyday family photos

A huge concern I hear from my families often seem to revolve around the possible behavior of their children during our photoshoots. So often I hear:

“His attention span just won’t make it through the session”

“She gets hyper in new spaces, hopefully she sits still for at least ONE picture.”

“He is very shy and may not cooperate." or "He takes time to warm up”

“I really hope we can at least get one good smile!!”

While all of these are valid concerns by well meaning parents who are about to invest in my services, it puts unnecessary pressure on the whole family when striving for the “perfectly planned” moment. As any parent with young kids knows, “planned” tends to be a fluid term. Plans almost always adapt in some form and can change quickly when littles are involved!

The real advice I always pass on to my families is let kids be kids! Real smiles happen during authentic family play and interactions. My job is to help you capture and live in these fleeting family moments.

With all of that in mind, I want to give you some DIY tips for capturing your own authentic moments, since you can’t always have your favorite family photographer (ME 😊) in your back pocket, but usually keep your camera phone there!

As I mom, I know how often that convenient device gets pulled out to snap a quick pic! Sometimes it's a quick snap of my son running through the backyard towards our chickens, or our little princess adoring the family dog in the kitchen. These small moments seem so ordinary that we forget that some of our favorite pictures from our own childhoods are those candid, everyday moments. Like Daddy carrying you around the house piggy back after getting home from work, pretending to be a bucking bronco in a rodeo, or Mama spreading that dawn dish soap down the backyard slip n slide right before you come diving in for a fast glide to the grass. In our recent case, it was a tradition of tackling family chores, like washing the “mom mobile” in the driveway, which always seems to end up being a splash battle with the hose and a lesson on proper soaping techniques! Haha!

So here are some foolproof tips to bring your every day snapshots to a higher level of quality!

Step 1: SETUP Recommended, but definitely not required.

If you can plan your chores or activities, do yourself a huge favor and get everything set out before you release the wild ones! That way you can start snapping pics right away without the distraction of “mom duties” and before their attention spans start moving in new (and possibly separate) directions.


Once they are out for the fun, crouch down for lower angles. Capture life from their perspective! Not only are they more likely to interact with you because you are on their level and in their playing field, but you will capture more emotion and your images will feel so much more inclusive to the scene. You are not simply an onlooker, you are there. You are having fun with your kids and you are part of the action! When your children look back at these moments when they are older, they will remember that too and the emotions will fill those memories. You were there! We had such a fun day together! And YOU made it happen!


In order to truly catch the fun without missing some of the best, and quick moments, shoot in burst mode! Don’t sit and wait to snap the perfect pic or distract from the fun being had. Simply follow your littles around, let them play, and hold down that shutter button to catch bursts of action. Sort through them later and pick out your favorites. I guarantee you will be smiling ear to ear at the magic moments you have frozen!

When you're ready to let me document the fun for you and capture the whole family (yes, even you mama!), reach out to me and we can make plans for a beautifully documented, memorable adventure!

Follow me to capture and live-in life’s best moments ♥

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