Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The myth of the "perfect" picture

I have people ask me all the time, "How do you always get such great pictures of your kids?"

Well, because I am an amazing photographer and I snap it at just the right time to capture that perfect photo.  duh.  


On the other side of the world (reality), I rarely get a perfect photo.  That's the good and ugly about social media.  I only have to post what I choose to post.  People live under this false assumption that the pictures we see others post are their constant reality.  Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not staging photos to make my life look any better than it is (well besides maybe pushing aside the rolled up diapers that haven't made their way to the trash yet...).  But what I mean is that the "perfect" shot you see doesn't come without a little work.

This isn't a post about lighting/composition/editing...this is about getting "that" shot. The smiles and the looks that you can't get over.  The little moments that you don't want to forget.  How do I capture those?'s my big secret:
Take way too many pictures.  And just when you think you nailed it, take a couple more.

That's all. :)

For example.  Olive was laying on her boppy this afternoon while Ellis was napping.  Poor second child doesn't get the attention that the first one does, and so I figured instead of working I would spend a little one-on-one time with my sweet girl.  She was happy and her tummy was full so we started singing songs, of course.  Because what else do you do with a 6 week old?

And she started smiling.  Oh those smiles.  She's got this little crooked-one-eyed look that is just the cutest.  Of course I had to capture it.  I just had to.  It would be cruel to not share it with the world.  Something about putting a camera (or phone) in front of a smiley newborn just doesn't elicit the same smiles as mama singing in a funny voice 3 inches from her nose.  But we tried.  And tried.  And tried.

I kid you not, I took 24 pictures.
Yep 24 pictures of the exact same thing.  Not one, not two, twenty-four.  And that's a little on the light side for me.  Here's a bit of the proof...

a few outtakes:
please note:  these are photos of a that can hardly move.  So, the outtakes aren't nearly as awful as they could be. When taking photos of my 19 month old...every other shot is completely blurry and about every third photo he's not even in the frame.

I narrowed it down to a couple keepers:

After a final selection and a little editing, I ended up with this Instagram-worthy shot:

Now, I'm not saying that you need to take 24 pictures every single time you grab your camera.   And this method will require a strong use of the delete button.  Sure, you may get lucky here and there, but when you are going for "that" shot, this is the only way to go.  

So, there you go.  Just start snapping.  

And try your best to remember that 9 out of 10 times
those photos you swoon over on IG are not a mama's first click.

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