Happy Friday yall! Last night I hosted an “ugly dress” party….I cannot wait to share the pictures. That much belly laughing is so good for the soul!! But for today…I am going to share with you how to capture your kids….and get the most natural pictures.

I recently took my kiddos to a gorgeous national park near us. The colors were perfect…the kids were happy and laughing…and my camera was there too ;)

Here are a few tips to capturing the most natural smiles….

photo tips

Seek out interesting backgrounds. This old brick house had these amazing large old windows. Offsetting the subjects create interest….It makes the photo a whole lot more interesting.

My favorite pictures of my kids are always the ones where they are most candid. They are the most natural looking photos…showing their true colors. To capture them…I usually talk to them…they think I am getting ready to take the picture…when I am actually taking the picture. Something I have done since they were little is to ask them to tell each other a joke. It is the easiest way to get a true smile.

DSC_0184 The picture above…my son is trying to think of a punch line…his sister can’t help but smile. He is quite funny naturally…he doesn’t even have to be telling a joke….lucky kid. I love that they don’t even realize I am there capturing it. I also make them say “spaghetti”….for no real reason…it just works. :)


Another thing I always like to do is have them back to back….rather then just standing next to each other. It creates a more intimate picture and a bit of movement. The same for the picture below. Large trees are great for adding “weight” to a photo and for the person to lean on.


Shade is your friend. Try to avoid harsh sunlight. I took these pictures on a very sunny day…we scouted out the shade of the buildings and trees. Even better is if you have a little assistant to “bounce” the sunlight back on the the subject….it will light up the face and it is always flattering. Unfortunately, I was shooting pictures of my assistance…so I didn’t have any light bouncers available. You can use any large shiny object to bounce light. Foam board covered with foil is great.


Do you have any tips for getting natural smiles out of your kiddos??

(obviously…I’m just an amateur, avid photographer…just sharing what has always worked for me ;)

Be sure to sign up on the side bar to win a pair of your own cowgirl boots! Winner picked on Tuesday.

To learn more about shooting with your DLSR…go see my friends over at ShootFlyShoot….fabulous series that are made for those of us who are visual learners.

Shoot Fly Shoot

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Tracie Stoll is a wife, mom and has a passion for creating new things. On her blog Cleverlyinspired.com she is constantly sharing ways to inspire her readers to be clever in their own home. Since 2010 Tracie has been sharing DIY projects, crafting, remodeling and decorating along with some easy tasty recipes...all on a mindful budget. She is a graduate of the University of Dayton where she studied visual art and communications. Tracie has been featured on popular sites such as Country Living, CNN living, Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, Huffington Post, Apartment Therapy, Seventeen and Design Sponge. She is also a member of the True Value Blog Squad & Martha's Circle of trusted bloggers.

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