Tips and Tricks for photographing your own kids!

Ok so.. for 2015 I have decided to try something new. I plan to share more… more personal, more info, more “how-to” kind of stuff.  Teaching iPhoneography classes I hear so often “I can’t get shots like you get!” but with a few tips and tricks I think you CAN!

As its New Years week I couldn’t stop brainstorming what kind of photo I wanted to take of my children to share with the world on New Years Eve/ New Years day. While surfing on pinterest I came across this image of a huge white see through balloon filled with confetti. It was as if a light bulb went off…. I LOVE confetti but its a nightmare to photograph with because it is a giant mess. The suggestion on that I found on pinterest was to pop it over your children at midnight.. um… yeah right… BUT I loved the idea of getting a great shot of my kids with confetti and smiles!

I know a thing or two about confetti and my husband would have my head if I let a confetti filled balloon loose in my house. Ok.. so now that they idea was stuck in my head  how was I going to execute this? The best advice I can tell you is that you have to go with the flow. Come up with the idea… figure out how to best execute and if it doesn’t work (which sometimes it won’t), have a back up plan and try your very very best to not get frustrated.

Step 1: Find a location. When you are out and about in your travels as a normal human being pay attention to the side walls of the buildings you frequent. My go-to location is the white brick wall of our local “Staples” store. I have used it so often and periodically checked so much that I know 80% of the day it is the perfect shaded spot!! A white wall is ideal and works for SO many types of shots. I also have a few colored walls I like in town and even in summer spots we visit!

Step 2: Get kids dressed and in car. Call it a bribe but i prefer the word ” incentivize”. To get my children ready quickly we have contests for who can get dressed, get coats on and be ready to get in the car quickest. Whoever wins gets a __ (you fill in the blank). When they are both ready, they both win. When they are buckled in the car I give them their incentive and we are off!


Step 3: Set up before you get your kids out of the car. Here is how I set up my shot. I needed to be able to pour confetti on their heads and take the pic at the same time. This requires a remote shutter. I like the Muku Shuttr best. It is around $30  on amazon and available on prime! I also use my octopus iphone tripod. (under $10 on amazon). I bring my big camera tripod (I have a cheap one under $20 from amazon) and I mount the small tripod on top of it! (Special thanks to Carolyn Mara for teaching me this AMAZING trick!) This gives me more control of the height and complete ease instead of balancing the iPhone tripod on my car mirror or something. I also bring a folding step stool that I usually keep in my trunk. (is that weird? haha).

Here is a pic of my set up, my unedited photos using the shutter and one of my final edits.

Tips and Tricks for taking pics of your kids, audrey blake photography, taking great iphone photos of your kids

Now that the set up was done I was ready to get the kids out of the car. I want to reiterate just hot cold it was yesterday!!! I knew I had to move fast or the kids would be miserable and the smiles would turn to tears. I got Ava out of the car and into the spot I wanted. I went to get Lyla and she simply refused… I am not normally the one to give in so easily but like I said you have to be ready to go with the flow and in this situation I didn’t want tears and tantrums, I wanted just a kid happy to be getting confetti dumped on her head so I let it go and decided I would figure out her photo later.

You can see in the unedited photo in the middle that I am literally IN the shot. I planned to crop myself out later 🙂 We tried this again with her just throwing the confetti herself and to be honest I am not sure what I like better. At the end of the day its so much fun to try and then see what you get!!!! I encourage you in the new year to put your best foot forward and just try!

Remember that part about going with the flow? On the way home we passed a cute church that has some garden grounds. My daughter pointed out that her favorite spot was shady and so we pit stopped and this time, Lyla was compliant! Turns out the poor kid was just trying to poop HA!

Here are the remaining images:

tips and tricks for photographing your kids, audrey blake photography, vsco cam
I used VSCO cam to edit these images in the s3 preset.


I will be teaching a full iPhoneography workshop on February 22nd at the Montclair Art Museum, Yard School of Art. To register for the class click here.

I am also available for private mentoring sessions on iPhone and DSLR photography. For more information email me at

audrey @

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