Finding Time for Photography

For a blog about photographing your children, this blog has been seriously lacking in any new pictures of my own child! For some inexplicable reason I seem to have been incredibly busy of late and have been complaining (to myself, no-one else listens) about not having enough time to practice my photography, never mind take any decent pictures! However, about a week ago I had an epiphany - the only thing stopping me taking pictures is me. So this last week I've challenged myself to pick up my camera for at least ten minutes every day, and you know what? I've found that I have captured moments and expressions that I love, managed to practice some things I didn't think I had time for and I've enjoyed it! If you too sometimes find yourself struggling to get some time to take photos, this post is for you!

Make 15 minutes a habit 
The same as brushing your teeth in morning, if you set aside some time each day for photographing your children, shooting them will become second nature to you. The last few days I've literally spent ten or fifteen minutes a day with my camera in hand, and I've ended up with some great shots of Callum and I wasn't even trying! It really doesn't take up a lot of time in your day and you'll be amazed at what you can capture within a short period of time.

Seize the opportunities
There are so many opportunities to photograph our children throughout the day, most of which we let pass us by.  Some examples are playtime, bath-time, watching TV, out on the swings - all of these are perfect moments for you to capture.  Use these times when your child is at play and involved in something else as an excuse to get the camera out - at the very least you will get some photography practice under your belt but I bet you'll also get some great natural shots of them at play!   

Keep your camera close by 
Yes, an easy one, but if your camera is upstairs with the memory card removed, and your child suddenly decides to do something adorable /silly (or worst yet, do something for the very first time EVER) - you'll have missed the moment. Move your camera from room to room with you or leave it in a quickly accessible place.  Apart from allowing you to photograph an opportunity when it arises, the sight of your camera will prompt you to take some snaps during the day.

Stop making excuses 
We can all makes several excuses about why we are not going to photograph anything today - "the sun is just too bright", or "that background is not very nice", "I want to wait till Golden Hour" or better yet  "I'll wait until I get my new camera".....the reality is, these are all just excuses! I do this a LOT.  You can take pictures in all conditions and with any type of camera - part of being a good photographer is learning to make the best out of what you've got. Too sunny? Make this the ten minutes you practice with your reflector.  Not a good background? Try shooting from above or from below.  You might up pleasantly surprised by what you get!  

Photograph for pleasure 

One of my main issues these days is that I find myself photographing for improvement, to try out something new, or to go along with a blog post.  Sometimes I forget just to photograph for the sake of it. It's good to be reminded occasionally that when it comes to photographing our children, it's not always about being technically perfect or having the right background, but about capturing a moment or expression. It doesn't always need to be the best portrait shot ever - sometimes we should simply strive to capture the moment as best we can. 

Change your Subject 
Sometimes the problem is not that you don't have time, but rather that, dare I say it, as a mom too you are getting a teensy bit bored of photographing your children! One way to get out of a slump is not to stop shooting - just  take some shots of something else instead! This can be a great way to practice something that is difficult to do with your child - for example taking photos with extremely shallow depths of field.

Set aside some time
Although I have been talking here mainly about shooting everyday moments, as moms I'm sure we all also want to capture some great portrait shots of our kids. To do this you need to plan ahead for it. Planning is essentially what differentiates a snapshot from a portrait shot.Think of a professional photographer. They will set aside aside at least an hour to focus exclusively on photographing your family - not try to grab some shots in the ten minutes before they need to make lunch. So for "special" shots I suggest you do the same and schedule in the time required -  mark it in the calender and just make sure you stick to it! (Remember - no excuses!)

Don't wait for a special occasion  
Instead aim to capture all the moments that make up your child's life.  Take some time each day, or every couple of days, to photograph your child. You don't have to wait until your child is doing something exciting - "real" everyday moments of your child watching TV, eating dinner,or putting their socks on will be just as special to you when you come to look at them in twenty years time. Another plus point is that if you are practicing with your camera each day, you'll take much better shots when it is a special occasion!  

Practice, Practice, Practice
You can read your camera manual from cover to cover but it won't mean a thing to you until you start to get your camera out and start shooting! If you are serious about wanting to improve your photography, don't feel guilty about allocating a little "me" time to work on your photography skills.  Again, the key is to schedule the time in exactly the same as you would anything else. You can allocate time when you are with your kids or after they have gone to bed - for example I shoot during the day with Callum, but my editing /blog time is between 6.30 and 7.30pm when my husband comes home from work and does the bath and bed routine. (and I'm officially off-duty!)

All of the photos in this post have been taken in the last week during my self-imposed ten minute a day challenge.  Are they perfect? No, nowhere near it. But I love them anyway. x


~Summer~ said...

Oh wow, your photos are gorgeous. I will to achieve the 15mins a day too! =) Thanks for sharing all the tips, they sure will come in handy. Stopping by from the Sept Blog Hop.

Summer @ A Happy Mum

Nicole Buckingham said...

I love, love, love the tips here and this whole darn site you are creating. I'm so very glad I found ya.

Following ya now from the Bloggy Mom's September link up. If you're up for a bit of a ride I'd love it if you'd join me at localsugarhawaii.com where we're riding the wave of life one little adventure at a time.


Audrey said...

Hey Summer, hope you manage the 15 minutes a day! Let me know how you get on! X

Audrey said...

Thanks Nicole, glad I found you too - love the etsy shop!

Post a Comment