Gwen- How do you do it? (Photography)

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MommyMish's picture
Joined: 05/30/07
Posts: 1889
Gwen- How do you do it? (Photography)

Seriously, I'm at my wit's end.

I need a picture of Katie to send out with Christmas cards (to go with the school pictures of Caleb and Anna). She is a happy baby, but I can't get it to translate on pictures...or at least in a way I think it should. I can't get her to sit still. I can't get her to even not cover her face with her hands, blanket, or suck her thumb.

This is the best I've managed to get. The happy one (2nd pic) is cute except her eyes are so squinty. The hands over her face is cute (3rd pic) except then that you don't get to see her face. I gave her her blankie, I turned on the tv, I used a bean bag to sort of lock her in a sitting position.... everything short of food bribes cuz she's MESSY.

Should I just work with one of these? Am I over-analyzing it and these are fine? Is there something else I should try? Thanks girl for any insight you can give.

For reference, this is the one of Caleb and Anna that will go out in the cards...

Out of the bazillion pictures I took, these are the only ones that weren't like this





mommys's picture
Joined: 05/08/06
Posts: 6264

I am so not an expert, but the girl that comes to my house sometimes uses a long duster so she can tickle her face then pull it back real fast... might be worth a try.

zoe08's picture
Joined: 09/09/08
Posts: 665

Can your older kids or your husband make her smile?

With Mason I get my husband to stand beside me or over me and do something like jingle his keys or something to get Mason to look and smile.

I'm not sure how old Katie is, my nephew is almost 2 and he has been very difficult to photograph since he started walking because he won't sit still. It helps if he has something to do and to have someone beside me to get his attention. Does she have a favorite toy or a book? Or maybe you could get her something new so that it will hold her attention a little longer. Then have someone stand beside you to get her attention and snap the pic when she looks up.

Also I'm not sure where you live, but if the weather isn't too bad, you might try taking the pics outside so that you have natural light and won't have to use a flash. When you use flash there is a delay, so she may smile and you click, but by the time it takes the picture the smile is gone. If you don't need a flash it will take the picture immediately.

MommyMish's picture
Joined: 05/30/07
Posts: 1889

Those are great ideas. I'll have to try the feather duster especially. Her favorite toy is her blankie. Maybe if I can find the clothes to her dollie, we can try that. Books she'd just keep her head down and refuse to lift it, little stinker.

Unfortunately hubby isn't home a lot with work and class and the weather is hat and mittens weather already so it's a bit too covered up. Maybe if Katie is in a good mood Friday after we go to the kid's conferences, I can have him act as a resituatator and distraction for a bit. I tried using the 4 year old but that didn't go so well.

Katie will be 2 Feb 1st. She's been walking since 8.5 months. She's ALWAYS on the go. Hubby really likes this picture though so we at least have one option.

auret's picture
Joined: 08/23/06
Posts: 1558

I don't do anything fancy, and for portraits we head to Walmart and spend $7/8 for their little package. We just went this week for Christmas pics and it was torture trying to get DD to be still, stand in the needed spot, look at the camera, etc! So I feel your pain!

But I have learned a few tricks -- bribery! I pick out a new toy (I don't spend much) that will go with the theme of the pictures that she doesn't see until picture time. And our best shots are almost always of her "doing" something -- smelling the fake flowers, hugging a bear, putting a hat on.

Natural light is definitely best. Open up all your curtains and blinds. And maybe pick a nice setting or hang up a plain sheet for a backdrop.

Good luck!

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

Oh, I do know the pain. I haven't done our card pictures yet, and I'm actually dreading it. I'm crazy and want all four kids together ... but the reality is that I will probably have to do them separate.

First, here's a tip for your Anna picture ... I did Christmas portraits for another pg.org mama yesterday, and her 16 month old didn't want to sit still for the life of me! I wish I had thought of this sooner, but I gave her a lollipop and life was good. Here's the result of that (and this is natural light)

IMG_0527 web

And here's what I ended up with last year

holiday card 4x6

MommyMish's picture
Joined: 05/30/07
Posts: 1889

Yeah, I want a full family picture but either Katie will have her thumb in her mouth (covering most of her face) or Anna will play shy. Caleb just sits there with an overly cheesy grin.

I wish there was an easier way to capture their sweetness. Smile

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

Give them each a candy cane ... hey, I think I'll try that!

MommyMish's picture
Joined: 05/30/07
Posts: 1889

I can see the slobber now. I tried the sucker but she still wouldn't sit still... silly goose. Then again, she's now screamed whenever I'm in sight in a tantrum for the last 3 and a 1/2 hours and I just put her to bed early... so maybe something else is up.

This shot cracks me up though.

And if only she'd look at the camera. I pull out the camera and she stops being cute and tries to climb on my lap.

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

I feel your pain, I really do.

Is your son strong enough to hold her upside down by her feet? Lol

Here's the photo I did for my friend's Christmas card:
IMG_9402 copy

coolmama72's picture
Joined: 10/20/01
Posts: 8185

And a sandwich that will probably go on their Christmas card

IMG_0130

(just sharing stuff from my recent shoots to inspire you for something different if you can get her to cooperate)

K9Trainer's picture
Joined: 09/25/06
Posts: 4065

I too feel your pain Michelle. For me, doing them outside is the BEST option..and having someone who's a pro and takes a bazillion pics helps too. We just did pics a couple weeks ago and it was one hour of her taking them of the three kids and the only ones that came out any good were the ones that were of them not standing still and looking at the camera. Sad There was only ONE of all three of them!!! UGH!!! But the ones of them playing, laughing, those are AWESOME!!! GL girl!!

MommyMish's picture
Joined: 05/30/07
Posts: 1889

Thanks for the ideas everyone. I'm liking it!

Joined: 03/17/08
Posts: 1391

Gwen, I am SO going to hang my kids upside down in our next family picture!!!! LOL. Thanks for the idea! That is so much more my kiddos' speed than sitting and posing! Wink

Joined: 03/16/15
Posts: 53852

That's one thing that I am worried about attempting this year. I like to try to get them together, but we'll see. I want to do family pics next spring when the baby is here.

Here is what I did last year.

Although this was one of my other ideas, it was the best pic I could get of both of them:)

We kinda did a sandwich in 2006. It went in our Christmas cards

sadieruth's picture
Joined: 06/09/05
Posts: 6175

"kel-02" wrote:

Gwen, I am SO going to hang my kids upside down in our next family picture!!!! LOL. Thanks for the idea! That is so much more my kiddos' speed than sitting and posing! Wink

We tried it this weekend b/c Randy LOVES to be upside down...silly boy. :rolleyes: The kids and Randall look great, but my forehead is SHINING (I have a big forehead and it drives me insane), so we are scratching that pic.