guest posts, photos

Guest Post: Getting in Front of the Camera

We are out on our two week camping road trip, enjoying the summer sun in the Utah, Arizona, Colorado and New Mexico. I have lined up some fun guest posts for you all.

Today Courtney from Click It Up a Notch is here. We first met a little over a year ago online when we both took a content building class. Then we are lucky enough to meet in person at the Bloggy Boot Camp Chicago in November. Courtney is an amazing photographer and an inspiring mom. She brought her youngest daughter to the conference and was still able to concentrate.


clip_image002Capturing our children’s lives is why many of us pick up our camera everyday. We want them to remember all these wonderful small moments that our memories will forget. Well, one thing you don’t want to forget to include in the pictures is YOU. Yes, you need to get in front of the camera.

Please don’t stop reading because you are thinking, I still have a few pounds of baby weight to lose, I live in my PJs till 4pm so that isn’t happening or any of the other excuses you have running through your head.

If you don’t remember anything else from this post please remember, your children DO NOT care what you look like. All they care about is having photos of them with their mom from when they were kids. I cherish the few photos I have where my mom hoped in front of the camera with me as a child. I don’t care if she didn’t have make-up on or didn’t do her hair. She is my fantastic mom and I want to remember who she was when I was a little girl.

1. Get a tripod.

Tripods can range anywhere from $20 – $200 so I’m sure you can find one in your price range. If you don’t have a tripod you can use a flat surface like a counter or bookshelf to hold your camera. Please make sure it is steady.

2. Getting the focus.

If you are shooting in manual mode, you will want to select your focal point prior to clicking the shutter button. If you are using auto mode no worries, have one of your kids stand where you are going to take the photo so you can focus on them.

3. Self timer or remote.

Many DSLRs have a wireless remote you can purchase for as low as $20. Do a Google search to see what wireless remote is compatible with your camera. If you opt not to get a wireless remote use your camera’s self timer option. Set it up to take at least 10 images at a time so you don’t have to run back and forth while begging your kids to stay put.

4. Expect a lot of bloopers.

I have been known to take up to 100 images with me and the kids in them and maybe get about 3-5 that I like. Yup, that is a lot of bloopers. But in this day of digital photography, I’m okay with deleting 95 images to get 5 of me with my kids. Don’t get frustrated if the first 40 don’t come out because they are blurry, no one is looking, or even in the frame.

clip_image0045. Bribe, trick, or sweet talk.

I am not above bribery when it comes to taking photos with my kids. Somedays it is easier than others. You know your child and what they would want to sit still in front of the camera for 10 minutes.

6. Tickle, be silly, laugh, and make faces.

Please don’t expect your child to sit like an angel in front of the camera. Getting everyone to look at the camera and smile may be to ask the first few times of taking self portraits with your kids. Instead, tickle them, let them tickle you, make scary faces, say funny words like “poop” to get them laughing. Think of it as having a photographer capture a candid moment with your child.

7. Capture your routines.

Don’t forget to capture those everyday activities you do with your child. Maybe it is reading, coloring, lego, and swinging. Either way, think of the fun things you like to do together and photograph those moments.


8. Don’t forget your spouse.

Yes, you want to get photos with your kids but don’t forget your spouse. Your children will love looking at photos of you with their dad when they were younger. Probably, just to laugh at your hair style, clothes, or how odd you looked but either way it is fun to remember this time.

Please hop in front of the camera. Try to do it at least once a month so you have at least 12 photos a year of you and your loved one.


clip_image012Courtney Slazinik

Courtney writes Click it Up a Notch, a photography advice blog to help you improve your photos one click at a time which was featured on The Huffington Post as one of the top 5 blogs for momtographers. She is a military wife and mother of 3 girls who love chasing her kids with her camera.

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  1. Kira J. says:

    Great post and advice Courtney. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for letting me guest post 🙂 Enjoy your trip!

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