Domestic Felicity

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Better picture tips for the mommas out there!

DIY, Motherhood, PhotographyChristina GavendaComment

{Disclaimer: I am NOT a professional. I do hire out my services occasionally but I am very much still learning under the training of videographers and artists. These are just basic pointers! My portfolio can be found at}There are lots of mommas out there like me with babies they take pictures of. Have you ever taken several pictures of your children and wondered why they were blurry, grainy, or (to be blunt) just not good? Ya, me too. My pictures have ranged from awesome to pooptacular.

Look familiar? Tiny kid, huge bush, totally uninteresting picture. I wanted to give a couple of pointers for the person who isn’t looking to win any awards but wouldn’t mind not cringing every time they downloaded their pictures to the family computer.


It’s not as complicated as you might think. Maybe you’re not an artsy person- that’s ok! Here are a few factors to consider:

Subject- When you take a picture of someone or something you want the subject to be the star, not tons of grass or the whole blanket they’re sitting on. Change your position to get closer. Even if you have the option to zoom it’s better not to IF you have the choice. When zooming on your phone you’re quickly losing any sort of clarity you might have had. If you’re zooming on your point and shoot, depending on the quality, the further you zoom the less light gets in to the lens and the worse the image quality. Be sure to leave enough room around the person for cropping if you’re going to print it. Most prints are on a different scale than digital images.

Light: Unless you’re using a flash or half way decent DSLR your camera needs a lot of light to take a clear picture. Turn on the lights, get beside a lamp, window, or go outside. Overhead, whether light bulbs, fluorescent or the sun is very harsh. Step back away from the overheads, get in the shade or go outdoors before 11 or after 3. Remember those pictures with funny colored skin, squinty eyes, or weird shadows over the face? Overhead light strikes again.

Composition: This is how you’re framing your subject. Sorry to say it but no one cares to see up your child’s nose. As you’re looking through the lens or at the image think about what you’re seeing and how you can make it better. Maybe move so you’re in front of them, bend down to see their faces straight on, or give them an object to help focus their attention.

Better? In both of these situations I made sure there was plenty of light available. That gives your camera the ability to take the picture fast enough that there isn't much blur if someone is moving and then you also don't have to turn on the flash (talk about funky skin colors!)! In the top picture they'er outside around 11 am and in the bottom is taken infront of a window. While they can't be described as a revelation, they're also not worthy of the trash can!

You can even play with the manual settings on your point and shoot if you’re really interested. If you’re not an artsy person I’d encourage you to stick to the basics and hire a professional for special occasions.

Have FUN and don't worry- everyone has different skills and talents. I'm terrified of future high school math homework. Thankfully (Lord willing) I have several years to take another stab at Algebra and Geometry and I plan to be plenty rich to hire out calculus!