• Kristi Bayerlein

Tips to Photographing your Family While Safe at Home

Updated: Aug 14

We've made it through one whole week of social distancing--kiddos at home, no play dates or outings, no school, just us--yay! These are strange times we are living right now and if you're anything like me, you could use all the distraction in the world to keep from focusing on the negatives happening out there. For me, distraction comes in the form of photography and other creative outlets. Let me be clear--while all of this is going on, I am not photographing other families. I want to do my part in flattening the curve by simply staying away from anyone outside of my immediate family, so that is exactly what I am doing.

With that said, I am focusing on photographing my kids and our lives during this time. We are literally living history in the making, and I think it is so important--now more than ever--to document this time, not just for our sakes, but for our kids and the generations after them. Because of this belief, I want to share some tips on photographing your own family while weathering this pandemic, so that we can all work to document the story of this time in history and show our kids just how resilient and strong we all are.

So, without further adieu, tips to photographing your own family while stuck at home:

1. Show the big picture

We are stuck at home. It's just a fact. Show your surroundings--is it clean? Toys everywhere? More screentime than you care to admit? It doesn't matter what your home looks like in this moment, or how you occupy your kids to maintain sanity, it matters that we document the reality of time with our kiddos and the difficulty of staying at home 24/7.

2. Capture the details

The details are just as important and interesting as the whole scene. Use this time to show the bedhead, the chubby hands, the tiny toes.

3. Document the chaos and boredom

Let's be real, taking away all structure and outings from our kids is bound to create a lot of fun and creativity, but there will also be yelling, crying, and good old fashioned boredom. Capture all of it. Photos are not just for the happy, unique moments--they all matter, and all shape our stories.

4. Get yourself in a frame or two

This time is part of your story as well. We want our kids to see how we were involved in this chaos too! It doesn't matter if you are still in your pajamas (see example below), hair a mess (also pictured below), with no makeup (again...), that may be your reality, and that's ok--document it!

5. Don't forget about "school"!

Many of us are having to homeschool right now...for us, that looks like drawing pictures, tracing letters, and singing songs, but it may look totally different for you!

6. Try different angles and framing

While we are focused on documenting, we also want to make our photos interesting! While photographing, try different angles and framing, play with shadows, and bend some rules! When this is all calmed down, I plan to make a book for my kids to show this special and crazy time in their lives, so I don't want all of my photos to look the same--think outside the box!

7. Try creating a series

Use this time to capture a whole day in your lives. Something I plan to do is take one day to capture one photo each hour we are awake to document our daily quarantine routines. This time has been quite repetitive for us, too, so shown below is a (not finished) series of block building day after day. Get creative! There are plenty of ways to create a compelling series, and now is your chance to try!

So, there you have it! Some tips to photographing your own family while we are all cooped up away from friends and family. I hope that you are able to use these tips to create some awesome memories for yourself and your family!

If you are wanting to use the time at home to finally learn how to use your DSLR, next week, I will be announcing details for Virtual Photography Crash Courses, so keep an eye out for that!

Stay safe and healthy, friends!


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