Photographer’s child syndrome… the struggle is real! It’s all fun and games when we first start taking photos of our own kids, but they grow weary of our camera way too quickly!
But there is a way around it… documentary photography.
I love this style for capturing children for a few reasons.
It ensures we record those small, everyday moments that are more easily forgotten in time than the big milestone events. It pushes us to get creative in trying to make an artful image from an unposed moment. And of course, it offers the added benefit of not needing to pose our kids, or beg them to let us take their photos… again.
We can capture them at play, and record every day moments authentically without interrupting them, so the kids are happy. Everybody wins!
She has a passionate drive to ensure her daughters have strong memories of their every day childhood through photos, and that drive led her to embrace this style.
But it does present some challenges:
You want to snap the action where it happens… but you want pretty light.
You want to capture the moments as they happen… but how do you ensure strong compositions without interfering?
You want to photograph your subjects authentically… but they might still need some direction.
And how do you direct subjects who don’t want to be directed?
Morvern does it beautifully, and she has some tips and tricks to combat all of the above and more.
\Step One… Don’t Waste Your Fancy DSLR
“I got my first camera a short while after my first child was born and played about with it in aperture priority for a few years. I just couldn’t get my head around manual mode no matter how much I tried. I had also started to see shots that I would like to take but they never came out how I had envisaged and I simply didn’t know how to make the camera take what I wanted it to.
When I discovered the Click Love Grow photography courses I knew it was what I needed, so I enrolled in the Enthusiast Photography Course, and later the Advanced Photography Course.
It was one of the best things I have ever done for myself.
I now have the ability to document my girls growing up in a way that I could never have done by myself, and a hobby that gives me an escape from the stress of running my own small business whilst looking after two wee people.
DIY Photo Opportunities
I shoot for fun and to give the girls something tangible from their childhood to look back on. Growing up, my mum had so many photo albums that we all looked through regularly, and I am certain that is the reason I have such vivid childhood memories cemented in my mind.
I want my girls to have that too, and that’s what drives me to pick up the camera. My preferred approach is lifestyle/documentary, so I can tell the story of their childhoods and our day to day lives.
I regularly plan outings specifically with the intention of photographing it.
This is one of the things that I love most about my photography… it encourages us to explore new places and do things as a family that we might not otherwise think to do.
I often have an idea of what might look nice in photos, and then search for a location or activity that fits with my vision.
This shoot was exactly that… I had seen a lot of apple picking shots from American photographers so I googled to see if there was an apple orchard nearby.
I discovered our local fruit picking place that we visit regularly for their strawberries, park and farm animals also had an apple orchard and sunflowers!
I had no idea until I went searching for it.
The sunflowers were a bonus as I love a pop of yellow in my photos.
Working With The Available Light
Create Interesting Compositions
The Perfect Documentary Lens
I prefer to shoot wide open and most of these shots were taken between f/1.8 and f/2.8.
If I could get away with using that lens inside then it would literally never come off my camera but on my crop sensor that is just a bit too tight. So my 35mm is my go to lens for indoors, and times when I want to catch more of the scene but can’t step back far enough.
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