Four Kids and a Camera

Photography and Blogging on the Go with Triplets and a Baby!

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Photos of the cousins in Huddersfield!

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family photos - photography courses by Rosie Parsons

On my way back home to Devon from visiting Jen at Mum in the MadHouse in North Yorkshire I was really pleased to see we’d be passing through Huddersfield where my cousin Sarah lives! We hardly ever get to see each other due to the distance, so this was the first time the children had all met!

We had a lovely time just chilling in the house letting the children meet each other for the first time and I snapped a few shots of them in the garden before we left. I love these girls! What a fab treat to get to spend time with them! xx

family photos - photography courses by Rosie Parsons

family photos - photography courses by Rosie Parsons

family photos - photography courses by Rosie Parsons

family photos - photography courses by Rosie Parsons

family photos - photography courses by Rosie Parsons

family photos - photography courses by Rosie Parsons

sisters

family photos - photography courses by Rosie Parsons

family photos - photography courses by Rosie Parsons

family photos - photography courses by Rosie Parsons

family photos - photography courses by Rosie Parsons

family photos - photography courses by Rosie Parsons

family photos - photography courses by Rosie Parsons

Discover How My Online Photography Course Can Help You Take Stunning Photos of Your Family!

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photography for mums course

So if you’ve already read a couple of my articles filled with photography tips you’ll know that there is actually a huge amount of thought that goes into taking a beautiful photo!

It looks like a quick process from the outside, but photography is a skill where you put everything you’ve learned into practise in a split second.

Jen from the Uk's number 1 mummy blog 'Mum in the Madhouse' and her lovely family!
Jen from the Uk’s number 1 mummy blog ‘Mum in the Madhouse’ and her lovely family!

I can give you tips galore, but what makes the biggest difference to improving your photography is actually seeing it in action.

Having a concept explained step by step on video and then getting to watch a photographer put it into practise is so helpful! And of course then getting to have a go at the technique yourself (and share your results!) is such a great way to learn and improve!

For an example, watch this lesson below taken from the course – this session is all about how to take great photos indoors, I hope you’ll enjoy it! 🙂

I wish I had that kind of guidance when I started out in photography! It would have saved me years of trial and error (and heartache when my photos didn’t come out!).

The good news is though that every time I made a mistake I learned from it. And now because of those years of trial and error I am super confident with my camera. I know I can go into any situation and get great photos! That is a skill that is so valuable to have!

A photo of my cousin Sarah being loved by her beautiful girls :)
A photo of my cousin Sarah being loved by her beautiful girls 🙂 I literally just snapped this quickly as we were leaving her house in the front garden.

Do you want to have spent your children’s formative years learning from your mistakes?!

I don’t think you should have to go through the frustration of getting things wrong and tweaking and testing to finally know how to get things right! There are so many great photos of your family that you could be taking already!

photography course - Zach's first birthday with him watching a lit ice candle
Zach’s first birthday!

That is why I created my online photography course for families – for people who want to start taking stunning photos of their children ASAP! Photography for Mums (and Dads!) is a really fun, accessible and easy to implement guide to taking beautiful shots of all aspects of family life (but particularly your little ones) with your camera.

“The course is aimed at total beginners and IS suitable for any camera”.

The course is aimed at total beginners and is suitable for any camera. In this initial beginner course we cover mainly the artistic elements of photography such as composition, light, posing and how to get the best from your (cheeky and often uncooperative in my case anyway!) subjects 🙂

photography course - boy having fun on the beach in winter with shell on his nose!
Having fun with friends at the beach, even in winter!

If you are thinking about the course but haven’t quite made up your mind yet, let me walk you through the main areas I cover…

photography courses - pregnancy portrait
A pregnancy portrait of my friends on the beach

Fundamentals of Photography: Understanding Light

Light can make or break a photo. Understanding it is the essential element of beautiful photography.

But, you can’t just turn on the flash and expect everything to be perfect. In order to get the kind of photos I take, natural light is the key to soft, beautiful pictures. This module will teach you how to harness that light and use it to your advantage. Here’s a handful of the many strategies covered:

  • Where to stand on sunny days to avoid squinting and washed out faces
  • How to find beautiful light on cloudy days
  • How to position your shot when taking pictures inside
photography for beginners course - black and white photo of board game
I love the expressions of my friend Steph’s family in this shot!

Creating Artistic Photos through Composition

Have you ever seen a photo that just drew your eyes in? That guided you on where to look? Those photographers used composition to accomplish that.

You can learn to do the same thing! It’s all about organising the objects in your picture, and learning to arrange everything in your camera’s viewfinder. In my course you’ll learn to:

  • How to think through the composition of your photo before taking your shot
  • How to avoid common mistakes  
  • How to take photos that are pleasing to look at
photography course online - boys being silly in the bath
It’s important to make the viewer feel like they are right there, welcomed into the moment – like with this fun shot of my boys in the bath!

The Heart of a Photo: How to Create Connection

You can’t just tell your kids to say cheese and expect to capture a heart-felt, real smile. Even if they are willing, you just know when you look at the photo that it is not really ‘them’.

That’s not the precious memory you wanted to capture, but to get something really special you have to create a connection in your photo. Because of the connection they naturally share, mums are already at a huge advantage to professional photographers that you might call in who have to build that rapport from scratch. Module three is all about taking stunning pictures of your kids that really let their personality shine through. You’ll learn to utilise this connection, and we’ll cover:  

  • Shortcuts to genuine smiles
  • Capturing beauty in everyday life
  • How to make a real connection when you’re taking pictures
Rosie Parsons Photography Courses
Me at work!

Photography in Action: Case Studies

I don’t want you to feel information overload from modules 1-3. That’s why module 4 focuses on bringing all the elements together. I’ll walk you through plenty of real life photo shoots with my own family and friends, and I’ll explain step by step what I’m doing. You’ll learn:

  • How to use the most important settings on your camera
  • How to take beautiful pictures of special moments like birthdays
  • How photo shoots in a variety of locations actually work

 

Benefits of Taking the Course

Photography for Mums (and Dads!) will help you take better pictures of the most important people in your life. You’ll learn lots of quick and easy ways to capture stunning pictures of your kids and their important milestones, as well as beautiful everyday moments. As you practice the skills from each video, you’ll gain confidence with your camera skills and your abilities.

But, the video lessons aren’t the only thing included in this course. I want to provide extra support and encouragement to help you grow as a photographer. That’s why everyone who enrols in my course will have access to an exclusive VIP student community.

In the community, you can post any questions that pop up as you go through the material or practice it with your own camera. You can share your own images for feedback, and participate in weekly challenges. You’ll also have access to behind the scenes videos as I do photo shoots with my own friends and family.

I want you to have all the support you need to succeed. I want you to become a better photographer! To join me on the course sign up here!

Rosie Parsons Photography - Rosie and her family on the beach in Devon
Me and the kids on the beach – photo taken by my mum on my camera :)

Any Concerns?

Will I have time for this?

The great thing about doing my online course is that you can start and stop it at any time that is convenient to you. If you have a spare moment once the kids are in bed then you can curl up on the sofa with your iPad or laptop and quickly watch a module!

The course is also ongoing, so you can start it when you are ready and take it at your own pace.

Is it going to be overly complicated?

Not at all! I created this course specifically aimed at time strapped parents who need to know easy to implement tips in a straightforward step by step process. I don’t use any technical language – everything we cover in this course is accessible and understandable. And there’s no waffle either – I get straight to the point so you can learn the most useful techniques for improving your photography in the quickest time!

What if I don’t like it after I’ve bought it?

Whaaat?! Haha, although this is highly unlikely – if you did decide that actually you don’t have the time to delve into this right now after all, or you’re not getting on with the course, then I offer a 100% refund guarantee if you email me to request one within the first 30 days after purchase. I want you to be thrilled you bought the course and find it really useful. 🙂

What if I have questions during the course? Would an evening course be better so I can ask questions if I get stuck?

Evening classes are cool! But from the feedback I’ve had, a lot of people find that everyone has different cameras and there actually isn’t any time to get personalised one to one help from your tutor. It tends to be led from the front and the tutor will address the group as a whole.

On my online course, you get to watch the video as if I were sitting down with you and a cup of tea, and under each lecture there is a discussion area so you can leave me a question if you have one. I also have a fab Facebook community that you get access to if you take the course where everyone shares their challenge assignments and asks questions. It’s a really lovely way to get to know other parents who love photography – and to help each other out as well as talking to me!

If you’re convinced, then you can sign up over here!

photography course- our friend Seb on the beach
Our little friend Seb on the beach!

Why Am I Qualified to Teach You Photography?

I’m an award winning professional photographer with 11 years of experience.  

My work has been featured on the cover of Professional Photographer Magazine. I’ve photographed tremendous people, including the wedding of ITV This Morning’s Sharon Marshall. That shoot was featured in OK! Magazine, and over the years I’ve claimed three national awards for my work (yay!).

There is nothing more special to me than being able to capture beautiful photographs of the people I love. 

Rosie Parsons Photography - Rosie and her children
Me and my motley crew!

Don’t Just Take My Word for It!

Here’s what other mums have to say about the course:

“As a mum who is obsessed with photographing my baby daily – without fail, it’s such a delight to have someone share with me and teach me what works and what doesn’t – I’m more likely to get THE shot first or second time now rather than ten attempts later! Rosie’s course is relaxed, you get to try out what you’ve learnt and the guidance is superb, I’d highly recommend this to genuine beginners. It’s perfect if you want to better yourself and appreciate and love YOUR photos of YOUR children.”Danielle Wedgery

“Fabulous course, full of really simple to follow instructions and tips to help you produce great photographic results. Love the way the videos explained everything visually , showing the different results that can be achieved. Would recommend to others.”Adele Purser

“The course is fantastic! Rosie’s tutorials are so warm and friendly, constructive without being patronising! Rosie can really relate and that’s what makes it great! Such a fantastic course for people who want gorgeous photos without having to take an evening course!” – Corrie Furzer

photography course - photos on the beach
Some quick shots down at the beach of Jacob and Sienna after nursery one evening

Are You Ready to Take Better Pictures of Your Kids?

If you’d like to start taking beautiful photos right now then head on over here and sign up for instant access! I can’t wait to see you in the course! x

Photography for Mums: Best of the Web 29-07-16

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movie night with kids

Happy Friday!!

I survived (just) the car trip I mentioned last week. Woohoo! We all had a fabulous time meeting Jen at Mum in the Madhouse (and popping in on cousin Sarah afterwards), and the photos turned out brilliantly. Can’t wait to share those with you next week!

I’ve also been slowly chipping away at the pictures from the triplets’ birthday party, and am so glad to finally get those up on the blog for you to see! Hope you like them 😀

How has your first week of the summer holidays been? Any exciting trips or fun photo sessions? I’d love to hear all about what you’ve been up to in the comments section below.

Here are my latest fave finds from around the web. As always, you can click through to read the original post and see all the photos!

How to Be a Role Model for Girls

As a mum to two daughters, this post was fascinating. I’ll be rereading this again as the girls get older, so I can make sure I give them confidence in their girlhood and beyond. Running my own business is one way I can help my girls see that women can take their skills and talents and go for it.

The photos on this post are from Getty Images for their Lean In collection, and they portray beautiful, confident women and girls. I love it!

An Amazing Woman in Leadership

Speaking of confident, amazing women, a post on Inhabitots, parts of the Inhabitat network went right along with this topic. They asked that I not link directly to the post, so here is a link to the HuffPo post that inspired the one I first read.

Theresa Kachindamoto, a senior chief in Malawi, is taking a stand against child marriages. She’s broken up more than 850 of them during her three year reign, sending the kids back to school. We definitely need more women like this in the world! What a woman – strong, powerful, respected and not afraid to stand up to what is right. Totally inspiring!

Make Movie Night a Blast

The lovely Jen over at Mum in the Madhouse wrote this post on making your next movie night more memorable. I thought the tips were brilliant, especially getting outside to play a game based on the movie. A fun way to mix active play into movie night! My lot don’t quite have the attention span to sit down for a movie yet, but I can’t wait to make it a weekly end of week tradition as soon as they can!

If you’re looking for ideas for your next movie night, definitely check out her post!

Movie night

Are Toys Cluttering Up Your House?

With four young children, I’m definitely feeling the toy clutter (and every other variation). This post shared genius solutions to keeping the toys picked up.

Giving everything a home should help the kids get better at putting their playthings away. It is my dream to have an organised clean house – maybe when they are 18?! Ha!

Well, that wraps up another edition of Photography for Mums: Best of the Web for this week. Did you spot any good links this week? Share a link in the comments section so I can check them out! x

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5 Top Tips for Taking Gorgeous Photos at Your Child’s Next Birthday Party!

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Tips for photographing birthday parties!

This weekend the triplets turned 3 – it’s amazing how fast that time has gone!

Birthday parties are such a special part of childhood. It’s when you really get to reflect your child’s current interests and capture their young, wild and carefree spirit! Taking great photos of their birthday parties is a total must, but with all the other hosting responsibilities you inevitably have on the day, it can be really tough!

To help you if you’re not able to stretch to booking in a professional photographer, I thought I’d put together my top tips for capturing the best possible photos for your child’s next celebration. Hope you find them useful! 🙂

A tropical rainforest jungle party for my triplets!
A jungle rainforest party for my triplets! Summer was a tropical bird :)
Flamingo plates and cups from Party pieces
Flamingo plates and cups from Party Pieces
children's bird fancy dress ideal for a jungle party!
Summer as a tropical bird (cape and mask from Wild Things)
elephant with small party hat
Party animals! Literally :D
Zach dressed up in his tiger fancy dress costume from Wild Things
Zach dressed up in his tiger fancy dress costume from Wild Things
Jacob dressed up in his lion fancy dress outfit from Wild Things
Jacob as a lion!
Sienna as a butterfly (cape and mask from Wild Things)
Sienna as a butterfly (cape and mask from Wild Things)
Summer as a tropical bird
Summer as a tropical bird

 

number 3 helium balloon from Party Pieces
Number 3 helium balloon from Party Pieces
  1. HIRE SOMEONE TO HELP WITH THE WORKLOAD

One of my biggest tips for getting better photos is freeing up more time for you to actually take them! As a party host you have a million and one jobs to do to make sure all goes swimmingly and that your guests (and birthday boy or girl!) have a great time. Therefore, if everything is left down to you, inevitably under the pressure of the day, photos will be pushed right down the list of priorities – even if you had best of intentions from the start!

“If you can stretch to it, book in additional help”

Having help from friends and family is essential, but if you can stretch to it, I would also recommend actually paying someone to help with setting up, serving guests drinks/food and helping with clearing up afterwards. I paid the lovely Justine who works at the triplets’ nursery to come and help for about 4 hours and it made such a difference. It meant I could take 20 minutes to go around and take photos while I knew she was making sure people had drinks.

The extra help I got from friends, family and booking time from Justine really helped!
The extra help I got from friends, family and booking time from Justine made a huge difference!

If you don’t know anyone like this off the top of your head, then ask around on local mums groups on Facebook for recommendations.

I asked guests to come in fancy dress and they all looked fabulous!
I asked guests to come in fancy dress and they all looked fabulous!
Zach with my dad
Zach with my Dad
Some other triplet friends of ours getting into the tropical spirit!
Some other triplet friends of ours getting into the tropical spirit!
yummy food made by my mum and Waitrose!
Yummy food made by my mum and Waitrose!

2. MAKE IT COLOURFUL!

Whatever theme you choose, colour will make a huge difference to your photos. Try to cram in colour everywhere! You can do this for your children’s outfits and add a splash of colour across their faces by hiring a face painter (we had the fab Laura Avery).

I teamed up with the lovely Kirsty from luxury children’s clothing brand Wild Things on Not on the High Street so that Sienna could go as a butterfly, Summer could be a tropical bird, Jacob was a lion and Zach a tiger. They looked sooooo cute!!

“I GOT THE CHILDREN’S BEAUTIFUL OUTFITS FROM KIRSTY AT wild things, WHO I DISCOVERED VIA NOTONTHEHIGHSTREET.COM.”

All the outfits worked so well for a jungle party and to me really sum up the freedom and joy of childhood!

“Cram in colour everywhere!”

You also want to flood your background with colour, which you can do through your decorations. I did this with items from Party Pieces like bamboo straws with flamingos on, colourful balloons, bright tablecloths and flowers. This means that whenever you take a photo of your child or a party guest, you’ll have beautiful colour out of focus in the background which will look gorgeous!

photography courses jungle birthday party-196
Our little friend Soph was having a great time, honest! Haha
Zach having a good old chuckle!
Zach having a good old chuckle!
facepainting was a hit!
Faceprinting by Laura Avery was a hit!
colourful party flowers
colourful flowers add a pop of zing!
Crocodile piñata from Party Pieces
Alligator piñata from Party Pieces
Jungle birthday cake by Faye Davey
Jungle birthday cake by Faye Davey
Pink tassel garland by Party Pieces
Pink tassel garland by Party Pieces
Tropical drinks for a jungle party. Flamingo straws by Party Pieces and drinks by J2O
Tropical drinks for a jungle party. Flamingo straws by Party Pieces and drinks by J2O

3. SET UP EVERYTHING WELL AHEAD OF TIME

This tip is a lot easier to implement if you are having your party at home and not limited to hall hire times, but ideally you want everything set up and ready to go at least an hour before guests arrive.

“Give yourself plenty of time to capture the details before the chaos ensues!”

It gives you the perfect opportunity to photograph all your fab details and your children looking beautiful before the rabble descends and chaos ensues!

Jungle juice - I think I may have been the only person to drink this though as it did look a bit suspect! It was just mango juice, lemonade and a bit of food colouring, honest!
Jungle juice – I think I may have been the only person to drink this though as it did look a bit suspect! It was just mango juice, lemonade and a bit of food colouring, honest!
party table set up before everyone arrived
Party table set up before everyone arrived
Cheeky monkey!
Cheeky monkey!
Tropical cups from Party Pieces
Tropical cups from Party Pieces
Bird honeycomb decoration by Party Pieces
Bird honeycomb decoration by Party Pieces

It’s really nice to have detail shots of things like drinks and flowers, and a shot of the cake to put in the photo album alongside pictures of the children and adults who attend the party. It’s really nice to be able to share all the love, care and effort you made for their birthday with the children once they are older and want to look back through the photos!

4. BOOK ENTERTAINMENT

It was such a relief when Professor Bumble started his show – it meant all the children were gathered in one place and enjoying themselves and gave me some breathing space!

“DURING THE ENTERTAINMENT IT’S MUCH EASIER TO GET SHOTS OF THE CHILDREN SMILING!”

Professor Bumble wowing the children!
Professor Bumble wowing the children!
happy children!
happy children!
and happy adults!
and happy adults!
Professor Bumble
Professor Bumble
Sweet face painting by Laura Avery
Sweet face painting by Laura Avery

It also meant it was really easy to get some fab shots of the kids sitting still and with smiling faces, which throughout the rest of the party can be really tricky if your subjects are camera shy!

5. TAKE ADDITIONAL PHOTOS THE DAY AFTER

My girls were such monkeys. Despite practising with facepaint and their costumes all week and appearing to be fully on board with the idea, upon arrival at the party both girls utterly refused to cooperate in either facepainting or wearing their outfits. I think this can be pretty common for younger children who get overwhelmed with such an exciting event.

Zach as a tiger the day after the party
Zach as a tiger the day after the party

“Don’t get stressed out if the children won’t wear their costumes. Just try to do some extra shots at home after the party when they are less overwhelmed”.

Sienna as a butterfly - outfit from Wild Things
Sienna as a butterfly – outfit from Wild Things
The triplets all dressed up in their outfits from Wild Things
The triplets all dressed up in their outfits from Wild Things
Summer's tropical bird mask from Wild Things
Summer’s tropical bird mask from Wild Things
Jacob in his lion costume
Jacob in his lion costume

Don’t let it stress you out. Enjoy the party as it is, and then once you are home again either later that day or the next then suggest getting dressed up again and heading into the garden. That’s what I did to get the shots of them in their costumes and I will just pop all the shots together into their photo album so it really won’t matter.

It also meant I had a lot longer to get some fun shots of them in their beautiful outfits and it made the experience a lot less pressurised!

Hope you enjoyed seeing their 3rd birthday photos and my little tips for your next shindig! If you enjoyed it, please leave me a comment – I love hearing from you! x

Photography: Rosie Parsons 

Party decor: Party Pieces

Outfits: Wild Things, Not on the High Street

Cake: Faye Davey (Honiton)

Facepainting: Laura Avery (near Exeter)

Entertainment: Professor Bumble 

If you love taking photos of your children and have some special family moments coming up, then you’ll love my Photography for Mums (and Dads!) online course! Find out more by clicking here!

14 Secrets to Stunning Photos of Your Children!

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My children - triplets L-R Summer, Sienna, Jacob and their younger brother Zach

“Smile, please just smile… smile while also looking at the camera… well at me then… no not pulling that face!!”… Argh!!

If those kind of frustrating conversations with your kids sound familiar then you are in the right place!! 😀

Perhaps sometimes you do manage to get a gorgeous photograph but are not actually sure how you managed it?! And when you try and take something similar again you have no idea why it doesn’t turn out the same way!

As an award winning professional photographer who also juggles being a single mum to 3 year old triplets and an 18 month old (yes our life is every bit as crazy as you imagine), I understand how tricky yet also rewarding getting a beautiful shot can be!

If you love photography, just a quick note to let you know I also run an online photography course for Mums (and Dads) and have a massive 70% off promotion running for the next two days (ends Saturday 20 August ’16!) Just use the promo code 70OFFNOW to get your discount when you sign up! To find out more details, click here!

14 secrets to stunning photos of your children
14 secrets to stunning photos of your children!

Even though it can be very stressful to take the camera out with your kids, it is breathtaking how fast children grow. Like hello, just stop growing already!! My little guys seriously wake up looking older just overnight sometimes!

Because they grow so fast, I am incredibly grateful to have beautiful pictures to look back on from the last three years. Can you imagine sharing all their childhood photos with them and the fun you had together when they are 18?! It’s going to be awesome!

So although it sometimes feels like a huge faff to get the camera out, being willing to learn the skills to take beautiful photos of the kids really is so worth it!

“although it sometimes feels like a huge faff to get the camera out, being able to take beautiful photos of the kids really is worth it!”

With this in mind, I have come up with 14 secrets to getting great photos of your children (with any camera, not just the big fancy ones) that should help you on your way. I hope you enjoy them and find them useful! Do let me know in the comments!!

1. Find (and Utilise) Natural Lighting

You need light to take a great picture. While you can use artificial light, there’s nothing quite like natural light for photography. That means your goal as a photographer is to find it, and get your children close to it.

If you’re indoors, look for sunlight coming in through a window or sliding door. And if you’re outside, make use of shade on hot sunny days!

Ideally, you’ll be standing between the light source and your child (unless it’s the blazing sun – do not do that, they will squint and look terrible!!). But for any other situation, standing between the light and your subject will usually cast a lovely glow on their faces.

My triplets Sienna, Jacob and Summer in granny’s garden

2. Get Down to Their Level

When you are taking photos of children (who are notoriously unpredictable for actually looking at the camera!) it can be very difficult to get a nice shot if you are standing up and pointing the camera down at them. Often you won’t be able to see much of their faces, especially their eyes which is important for a nice image.

Instead, get down to your child’s level. Get on your hands and knees, or even flat out on your tummy and propped up on your elbows. Heck yes it’s undignified trying to get up again but you’ll get a gorgeous photo.

Taking a picture from these lower angles will help capture a perspective that you just can’t get from above. You’ll be looking at the world more through the eyes of your child. The difference in your shots will be huge!

My youngest, Zach, looking very autumnal! It's great to capture the seasons changing along with your child growing!
My youngest, Zach, looking very autumnal! It’s great to capture the seasons changing along with your child growing!

3. Capture Your Child at Play

Don’t wait to snap the picture until your child is perfectly posed. You’ll be waiting all day, and the photoshoot won’t be a pleasant experience for either of you.

Rather, be prepared to take a series of impromptu shots of your children playing and talk to them while popping out from behind the camera to make eye contact with them.

“Talk to your children while popping out from behind the camera to make eye contact”

The best thing to do is to give them a little direction while playing, so you get to choose the background and then try to connect with them by asking questions and being silly while also taking photos. This is how you’ll get their genuine laughter, and find pictures that really capture your child’s personality.

My friend Bea's daughter playing with chalk in the garden
My friend Bea’s daughter playing with chalk in the garden

 

4. Don’t Say Cheese!

Asking your child to look at you and say cheese or even asking them to smile pauses the natural beauty of the moment you wanted to capture. It adds pressure, and usually ends up in a not very convincing smile anyway!

The beauty of digital photography is that you don’t have to spend money developing film for pictures that didn’t turn out. That means instead of asking your child to give you a smile, you can simply take several pictures in a row and try and make them laugh while taking them. This series of shots will allow you to capture a variety of natural movements and facial expressions.

Sienna enjoying watermelon in Granny’s garden. Bright colours make such a difference to photos!

5. Have Fun with your Kids!

You don’t want your children to feel dread each time you bring out the camera. Instead, you want to take pictures when they’re relaxed and enjoying themselves so that you can all enjoy real authentic memories in your photos.

The best way to make that happen is to have fun with them. Take silly pictures, join in their games, and let having fun be the main goal of your picture taking. Your pictures will be cheeky and you’ll have less stress – and they will be more likely to want to take more photos again in future!

I loved this shot I got of Jacob and Summer holding hands while on holiday in Wales! It captures a totally genuine moment and I’m sure will be very precious to them when they are older!

A completely non staged moment of shared joy between Jacob and Summer. So precious to be able to capture this spontaneously!
A completely non staged moment of shared joy between Jacob and Summer. So precious to be able to capture this spontaneously!

6. Be Patient

Photographing kids isn’t an instantaneous event. They move around, a lot! They wiggle, run away when you call (I know this one too well!!), and hold back their genuine smiles.

Be patient and don’t try to force your shot. You’ll just end up with a bunch of fake smiles instead of the beautiful picture you were dreaming of. Try not to have your ideal picture in your mind in advance – it’s best to be flexible and just see what you manage to get otherwise you’ll end up very frustrated!

My friend's triplet girls on a walk in the forest - aren't they adorable!?
My friend’s triplet girls on a walk in the forest – aren’t they adorable!?

8. Don’t Try for the Perfect Shot

Perfection shouldn’t be your goal. You want to capture the heart of your children—their true selves. Perfect clothes, perfect hair, and spotless faces won’t give you much emotion.

Keep it real, and capture the love of your children. These kind of authentic shots will truly be ones you’ll cherish forever – like this super fun one of my gang in the bath! They don’t stay little for long, so capturing these kind of moments is really important. Well I hope they won’t be bathing like this when they’re 15 anyway, could be awkward!

These are the kinds of moments I want to remember and to look back on with them when they are older!
These are the kinds of moments I want to remember and to look back on with them when they are older!

8. Have Photo Friendly Distractions Handy

If your little one is losing interest, have one or more of these distractions handy. Not only will these items take your child’s mind off the current situation, but they’ll also add an extra layer of interest and fun to your photos:

      • Bubbles
      • Their favourite teddy
      • A favourite food
      • Anything they can hold and do something with – like this watering can which went down really well with Sienna!
Sienna is totally up for being a child model! She loves having a prop and smiling for the camera!
Sienna is totally up for being a child model! She loves having a prop and smiling for the camera!

9. Let Your Child See the Pictures

As you’re taking pictures, take time to let your children see some of them. Seeing pictures of themselves on the back of the camera is really fun for kids. They’ll want you to take even more!

“Show your children the back of the camera as you take a shot”

Also take time occasionally to go through old pictures, especially if you put them in albums (seeing your photos in albums really is so special – so much nicer than just on Facebook or the computer!). Talk about the memories with your children. See what they remember about what was happening. It’s a fab way to connect as a family!

I look back at this picture and all the memories of the fun and the warmth of the sun, and the first time they paddled in the sea and the resulting shrieks of joy all come back in an instant. That is why I love photography!!
I look back at this picture and all the memories of the fun and the warmth of the sun, and the first time they paddled in the sea and the resulting shrieks of joy all come back in an instant. That is why I love photography!!

10. Capture Memories as They Happen

Being prepared is essential to capture memories. If you’re heading out to the garden for playtime, grab your camera. Even if it’s just your smart phone, you can take great shots of your kids. It can feel a pain to always take your camera and be thinking about photos, but if you don’t then so many moments will be lost and you’ll regret it after the event!

“Always bring your camera with you!”

Are you going on a holiday? Bring the camera. Let your kids experience something new and capture their joy as it happens – like this photo above when I took the children to the seaside and they paddled in the sea for the first time (we have spent the last three years screaming at the sea so this was a major milestone moment for us!).

You can’t recreate these emotions in a staged way, you have to just capture them naturally. Just remember to keep coming out from behind the camera so that you stay connected and involved in what’s happening so genuinely have your own memories from the moment too and don’t fall into the trap of just being a spectator!

11. Let Your Child Add a Costume

Dressing up adds a whole new level of fun to your pictures. Capture their current interests by having your child wear a costume for a photo shoot. Then ask them to act out their character. Capture their action shots and see what great angles you can take. You’ll end up with some really fun shots that capture the essence of childhood!

Zach as a tiger in fancy dress
Zach as a tiger!

12. Experiment with Moving Around

Some shots look best when they’re captured up close. Others can look really arty if you add a bit of distance. Feel free to experiment with your camera’s zooming abilities – or zoom with your feet! Moving about can give you lots of different looks to your picture!

Take the same shot from a couple of different perspectives. Zoom in. Change your angle. You can go through later and delete any shots that just didn’t work. This experimenting will help you get a better natural feel for different types of shots.

This shot of Summer was just taken in the garden with the sun behind her. I love the wild, messy, tangled hair feeling of a child at play, just how it should be!
This shot of Summer was just taken in the garden with the sun behind her. I love the wild, messy, tangled hair feeling of a child at play, just how it should be!
My friend's daughter on a summer's evening
My friend’s daughter on a summer’s evening

13. Know How to Use Your Camera

Knowing how to use the settings on your camera really helps in getting great shots of your kids. Take time to read the owner’s manual, watch YouTube videos, and experiment.

“Practise lots and get to know your camera!”

Try different settings and also watch how the light changes as you move into different situations and how that affects your pictures. Take lots of pictures and learn as you go. Don’t give up—just keep trying and studying and you’ll soon notice an improvement.

My eldest triplet (by 4 minutes!) Jacob
My eldest triplet (by 4 minutes!) Jacob

14. Get Your Child Used to the Camera

If your children aren’t used to you taking pictures, they won’t act naturally for you. That means you need to pull your camera out frequently. Take pictures daily if you have the energy, or at least several times a week. I personally go mad on the weekends when I know we’ll be doing fun things together!

“Whip out your camera often!”

Your kids will get used to you having a camera. They’ll eventually not even think about it, especially if you make it a fun experience. Once they forget to pose and say cheese, that’s when you’ll capture the fabulous pictures that show them loving everyday life.

Chilling in the garden with our friend Eva
Chilling in the garden with our friend Eva

If you enjoyed this article, then I reckon you’ll absolutely love my online photography course for beginners! Photography for Mums (and Dads!) is an easy to follow, step by step course to getting great photos of your children with any camera! And for the next 72 hours I am giving a totally amazing 70% discount when you use the promo code 70OFFNOW – Don’t miss out (offer ends Saturday 20th August 2016)! Find out more here!

 

Photography Roundup! Best of the Web 22 July

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The triplet’s birthday party was fabulous! I can’t wait to tell you all about it and share some pictures with you in a blog post soon. But that’ll have to wait until I have a chance to catch my breath a bit after our whirlwind week!

Until then, it’s Friday! That means it’s time to share another round of fabulous finds with you all. Remember you can click through to the original post to read more.

Conversation Starters for the Car

This post from Rage Against the Minivan shares 25 excellent conversation starters to help pass the time on a road trip. If you’ve got driving plans this summer holiday, definitely take a look!

The kids and I will be traveling five hours each way for a photo shoot this weekend (it will be so worth it! I’m really excited!). One of the things I’m doing to prepare is printing this list! It’ll be fun to chat along the way.

Beautiful Laughter!

I absolutely love the laughter in these shots! These are such gorgeous genuine smiles. You don’t get shots like this by asking your kids to say, “Cheese!” Cheesy smiles just don’t look like this.

Photographer Angela Weedon did a fabulous job connecting with this family, and it shows in her work. Beautiful work Angela!!

 

An Inspiring Family Gap Year

I love the idea of a gap year, but I’m not sure I have the patience to homeschool my crew. Especially since I’m on my own!

This post shows how one inspiring family made it happen though. It sounds like a huge adventure of a lifetime. Can you imagine the amazing memories and photos you’d make along the way? I’m seriously tempted!

Maybe in a few years when the kids are older!! 🙂

Fabulous Composition

I absolutely love these shots by Erin. Her composition is fabulous. She knows how to use space, and we can all learn from her techniques.

For instance, in this shot the huge artwork really emphasises the littleness of her daughter. So cute!! The position of her little girl and being able to see all of her provides a great scale model for the whole shot.

See if you can make use of space in your next photo shoot!

ABC Activities for Three Year Olds

Since I’m now a mum to three three year olds, I found this post from No Time for Flashcards especially useful. There are so many fun ideas, and I can’t wait to try them out. I know the kids will be a lot more engaged in learning if we do it through fun and games. 🙂

Beautiful Biscuits

I love these biscuits from @bakedideas. They’re definitely one to follow on Instagram! Thanks so much to Mum’s Grapevine to introducing me with this blog post. These cookies are seriously almost too cute to eat. Almost. I’m sure the kids and I could manage!

These ones would have been the perfect addition to our jungle party.

For a similar UK version, check out the fabulous Biscuiteers.

 

Loving Your Lines

Mums tend to struggle with acceptance of their bodies. I try not to think about how much mine has changed!! Carrying our kids seems to stretch us all out of shape and change us from how we used to be. Many of us have lines all over from the experience. Just imagine how I look after carrying triplets! No actually please don’t! Lol!

This post from Mum’s Grapevine introduces women to @loveyourlines, an Instagram account dedicated to promoting positive thinking about our bodies. Lines and all. Very inspiring!

That’s a Wrap!

That wraps up my latest edition of Photography for Mums, Best of the Web. What have you loved online this week? My comments are now open, so I’d love to check out your favourite finds if you leave a link!

Fruit Picking at Pick Your Own

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pick your own fruit devon

Wow, so much has happened this week – I usually do a blog post on Monday but I have such a backlog of images to edit I ended up spending the day mainly in Lightroom instead. So I do have absolutely loads to share with you and now just need to find the time to sit down and actually blog it all!

The children’s birthday party on Saturday went really well – it was a little more hectic than I’d anticipated (I am the queen of optimism and always underestimate how much work almost anything will be!), but everyone had a great time! The girls in particular felt a little overwhelmed with all the guests and attention on them though so totally refused to wear their gorgeous outfits from Wild Things, so I got them dressed up again by themselves on Tuesday evening before bed and we had some fun capturing a few extra shots in the garden. Myself and the children do absolutely love their costumes so there was no way jose that they weren’t going to have some pictures in them! Lol!

Here’s one of my faves – I will post a full birthday party weekend report in the next week or so once I’ve figured out who else will be featuring the photos online 🙂

We also celebrated their birthday weekend by taking a trip to the circus at Darts Farm near Topsham. The children absolutely love the circus and always ask me when are we going again so it was lovely to be able to take them with my mum as a birthday treat! We got great seats right at the front as well which was a bonus for a few cheeky photos!

On Friday which was the triplets actual birthday, we went out on a trip with their nursery to our local pick your own fruit farm.

Royal Oak Farm in Cotleigh is absolutely the best place in Devon (and hey possibly the world, I can’t be sure but I’d say it surely has to be up there!) to pick fruit! It has amazing views and the best garden tea rooms for scones with lashings of homemade jam and cream afterwards! It’s somewhere I think we will be spending quite a bit of time over the summer holidays as a fun and relatively inexpensive activity to do together! Here are some of my favourite photos of us and our friends from nursery!

Hope you enjoyed my photos from this past weekend and that you have a great one coming up! I also have now got comments enabled on the blog so it would be really lovely to hear from some of you beautiful lot! Go on….. ;P xx

Photography roundup : Best of the Web 15 July 2016

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With a lovely holiday to Bluestone in Wales and loads of preparation for the triplet’s third birthday party tomorrow, this week has flown by in a blur. Vines and other jungle decor has taken over the house and the kids are all excited to see everything come together on the big day.

Since it’s Friday, it’s time to share a handful of posts from around the web that I enjoyed this week. As always, you can click through to the original post to read and see more!

14 Ways to Stop Biting and Hitting

This post from Ask Dr. Sears wasn’t published recently, but it was very timely for me and anyone else dealing with a biter! Zach has hit hit the terrible twos six months early, and he is been really cheeky whenever he doesn’t want to do something!

Such is his reputation in the house the triplets sometimes run when they see him coming. Gnash, gnash … Ouch!

This post shared some really useful advice like time outs and modelling non-aggression that have definitely helped. Sometimes you might think kids won’t understand enough to do time out at only 18 months, but Zach certainly seems to back off when I mention it!

If you have a biter or a hitter, definitely give this article a read!

The Sham of Perfect Parenting

Do you ever feel like all the other mums have everything figured out, while you’re still struggling? With so many blogs and beautiful pictures on Pinterest, it’s easy to feel that way. I’m probably guilty of perpetuating that and often it does take a really long time to get a beautiful shot when the behind the scenes images would be absolute mayhem!!

This post by Caroline Bologna on the Huffington Post introduces readers to the Sham of the Perfect photography project. Meant to inspire mums with a look at real parenting, the three founders of Sham of the Perfect want mums to, “embrace the chaos.” Real parenting is messy and that’s what their photos show. Real, everyday life mess and all. It’s very inspiring! I have yet to be brave enough to reveal the real mess of every day life but we’ll see what happens!

Be sure to check out all the pictures in the post. They’re beautiful because they’re real!

Underwater Shoot

Amy of Captured Simplicity took some incredible shots for an underwater photo shoot. It’s really unusual to see shots like these. She did a fabulous job capturing the joy of swimming from a different angle. I love the reflection at the top of the water in this shot.

 

A Post for the Tired, Single Mum

After this week, I’m definitely feeling really run down. I’m tired, and there’s always so much that needs done. This post really spoke to me, reminding me what the kids are going to remember. They will see and remember the love. They’ll see a mum who cared, and was strong enough to do this parenting thing alone. Definitely a read I needed this week!

Picking some Fave Mini Boden Outfits

I enjoyed watching Sarah Clark from Little Spree choose her fave mini boden outfits from the new Autumn/Winter collection over on the Boden Blog. This video post shows some very cute pieces for children. These would all be perfect for photo shoots!

Can you believe that it’s time to think of autumn and winter clothes already? Summer is flying by!

Ways a Mother’s Love Inspires Us

An uplifting article from Britmums, this post shares many ways that mums inspire their kids to do great things. Fabulous athlete Jessica Ennis fronted the Twitter campaign that received numerous responses. The responses show the importance of a mother’s love, from being strong in a challenging situation to teaching us to celebrate our own strengths. Mums are s awesome!

That’s it for this week, but I’ll be back next Friday with some more brilliant finds to share
with you all. See you then! x

Review of our Family Friendly Holiday at Bluestone, Wales!

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You can imagine how I feel about the possibility of taking the triplets and Zach on an aeroplane (Eeek! Maybe in a few years?!). But it was getting to the stage where I was seriously desperate for a holiday!

A lot of mummy bloggers have been raving about Bluestone in Wales, so I was delighted to be offered for us to go and review it for the blog this weekend!

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

You know the saying that if the kids are happy, the parents are happy? Well this is the place where everyone is happy!

The triplets are only just about to turn three, and Zach is 18 months, so it is really hard to find a holiday where everyone is safe and has fun stuff to do. With so many children, it was a little expensive for us to join in with any of the additional activities at Bluestone (although the shows sounded awesome they are between £5-£6.50 per child which adds up when you have four!)… However there are majorly fun free activities which we absolutely loved!

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

We spent most of our time in the Blue Lagoon water park which is included with your stay. One tip though is that at the weekends it does get opened up to the public from midday, so ideally best to get there from 9am when it opens if you want to enjoy it a bit quieter!

I particularly loved this for the children because every other kids pool we’ve ever been to has just been shallow but had nothing really for the children to do. Which makes it really hard, even when you have three adults, as all the kids want entertaining and spinning round in the water. But at Bluestone it was fantastic because the children’s pool is filled with loads of fun activities, balls and bubbles so the children have a blast and the adults can relax while keeping an eye on them! Total win!! Also it’s really shallow so Zach was able to sit in the nice warm (seriously warm – lovely!) water and play with the watering cans and splash about while the others went further afield in the pool.

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

We also absolutely loved the circus softplay room for under 5s upstairs in the activity centre. You should have seen the children’s faces! Well actually you can – look at the photos! They were all in heaven! And it was lovely and quiet too.

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

The Wildwood cafe in the activity centre was also a fun themed cafe to grab a quick coffee. The tree in the middle and Lord of the Rings music was really fun.

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

Both days we were at Bluestone we had lunch at Camp Smokey. An awesome wood lodge that you can only get to either through a walk through the forest or down a boardwalk. It’s a really fun adventure to get there and fine for little legs and a buggy! And once you arrive there is a fire going and loads of really tasty options like pulled pork burgers or hot dogs. Mmmm, drooling just remembering it!

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

 

And the best bit was getting to try S’mores for the first time! I’ve seen them on Pinterest loads but never tried them (toasted marshmallows, chocolate and biscuit all pressed together). To be honest they were a little extreme even for my majorly sweet tooth, but the children really enjoyed toasting the marshmallows over the fire pit. And it was lovely that they were able to do something like that safely with them being so young. It really is a great setup!

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

Camp Smokey also has an evening event called the Smokey Joe shindig (additional cost) which I’ve read on TripAdvisor is absolutely fantastic with a singsong etc, but when I asked about it apparently it has about a month long waiting list (you need to book before arriving), so if you’re thinking of going to Bluestone definitely ask about that one in advance. It sounded really fun! They also hold a “panning for gold” activity for children there which you can book in advance. It was for older children than my lot, but the ones who were doing it looked like they were having a great time!

bluestone wales reviews photos

There are loads of extra activities for all ages. I’m sure we will return when the children are a bit older and we can do some fun things like the treetop trail which looked brilliant (we saw people zip wiring over us as we had lunch at Camp Smokey!).

bluestone wales reviews photos

bluestone wales reviews photos

What a fabulous weekend filled with lots of lovely new memories made. Really highly recommended!

If you want to find out more, check out their website at http://www.bluestonewales.com/ and for another interesting review with loads more info about Bluestone have a look at this blog post by Alison over at Not Another Mummy Blog http://notanothermummyblog.com/2014/07/14/blueston…

Disclaimer: I did receive this trip in exchange for an honest and fair review. I only recommend places and products that I genuinely love myself. 🙂

 

Photography Roundup : Best of the Web 8 July 2016

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This week has flown by with all sorts of fun, and I’m really excited because we’ve also got a last minute trip to Bluestone in Wales planned soon – finally a holiday, yippee!!

Here are some of my favourite finds from around the web this week. Remember you can click through to the original post and see more from these talented bloggers and photographers.

The Guilt Fairy

Katie at Hurrah for Gin wrote this totally accurate and hilarious post. There’s some eyebrow raising language (just a warning incase you are easily offended!) throughout the post, but it’s a very funny piece on Mummy guilt and how to combat it with logic. We have to stop comparing ourselves to others, and enjoy the life that we have. So go squash your guilt fairy and embrace the fact you’re doing your best! And enjoy this post – I actually cried with laughter reading it! Thanks Katie you are the best!!

Lessons From Fatherhood

Casey Lewis offers a poignant reminder to enjoy the moments because the years go fast in this reflection post. He sums up his first five years of fatherhood in five main lessons learned. Great lessons for all parents to remember.

The post also included this great shot from Jennifer Chaney. She’s a fabulous photographer to follow, so check out more of her work here.

Using Photography Skills to Help Cancer Patients

This heartwarming article above details how Whitney Schloss, a talented photographer, uses her photography skills to gift patients battling cancer with priceless pictures. Whitney donates her time, and challenges others to find a way to pay it forward with their own skills.

You can find more of Whitney’s fab photos on her website.

Cute Pregnancy Announcement

And baby makes three! This pregnancy announcement photo by Erin Farrell Photography is just adorable. Actually, the whole photo shoot is lovely! I’d love to hear what you guys did for your pregnancy announcements! Come and tell me in the Facebook group!

Babies Dressed As Famous People

Speaking of babies, check out these adorable pictures of babies dressed as famous people featured on Good to Know. HelloDenizen is responsible for these hilarious photos, so be sure to check out some more of their work as well!

Beautiful Bath Salts

Look at these beautiful salt water taffy bath salts! I don’t actually know what taffy is but it sounds lovely! Lol! Can you just see one of these on your bathroom counter? I reckon they’d make pretty awesome gifts too. The colours are so kid friendly. The step-by-step directions mean we can all make our own!

Reminder to Keep Your Kids Hydrated

I am so bad at remembering drinks! And as we’re heading out on holiday soon, this post from Jenn was a good reminder of the importance of keeping hydrated. Stay healthy this summer as you’re out and about with your family.

That wraps up another edition of Photography for Mums: Best of the Web. I’ll be back next Friday with another batch of brilliant finds to share with you all. See you then! x

 

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