Photo Tip {getting in the pictures}

**The For the Love of Joy giveaway is still going on, see Monday’s post to enter.**

First, let me say ‘thank you’ to those of you that left comments here and on Evie’s blog yesterday. Next time I am having a rough day I am so going to pull up those comments and feel encouraged. By the way…the picture Evie used, my friend Shannon took that. I never look that put together!



It is a very rare occasion that all my boys are sitting with me. Monumentally rare, in fact. So rare that it seems completely obvious that a picture should be taken. After a long, active day outside all the boys cuddled on the couch with me. I said to Chris, “You know my camera is on the table.”

Chris: “Okay.”

Me: “Could you pick it up and take a picture of this?”

Chris: “Oh…sure.”

What seems obvious to me is not always obvious to Chris. I have learned not to wait and expect him to ‘capture’ a moment. If I want a picture of something, I specifically ask. It used to frustrate me, but I have learned to get over that. (why do my children feel the need to always have a hand/finger/lego in their mouths?)

Littlest Brother wasn’t feeling so good so I carried him to my bed and just held him. The room was dark and he fell asleep in my arms….another VERY rare occasion. I kept waiting and hoping Chris would come in…and I did the loud whisper thing trying to get his attention. He came in and I had him open all the windows. Then I told him what angles I wanted…”stand on the bed over us, get a close up of his head in my hand, get a shot to show his length in comparison to me”. I had my eyes open at first, but it looked corny. I like this better. He did a GREAT job and these are moments captured I will always treasure.

I have learned to be very specific about what I want Chris to take a picture of. If I am not specfic he just takes a picture and is done with it and I am usually frustrated it wasn’t what I was wanting.Β  If I am specific he is usually more than willing to capture what I am wanting and we both leave happy. “Will you take a picture of us?” doesn’t work. “Will you stand on the bed and take a close up picture of his head in my hand?” Usually works much better.

*I let Chris read this before I posted it and he would like it noted that he thinks I am using too much creative license in my retelling of these events. He would also like me to give him more credit for the creativity in these pictures…he feels like I am not doing him justice. So I would like you all to know CHRIS IS AN AMAZINGLY CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHER πŸ™‚ (he really did get some great shots…as you can obviously see)

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  • raychel - beautiful pictures!! What precious moments! Way to help capture them Chris!

  • Mariah - Good job Daddy! I am not in any of our family’s pictures either. I’m phantom Mom… I think I need to delegate!

  • Katy O - First, I love this post because it’s a good lesson in how to communicate to my husband. Also, I just love your “My Lovelies” tab. It’s very exciting to see what you put on there. Thank you!

  • Andy - they really are great
    love them all but especaially love the first with you and all the boys.

  • Kim - You are right! Chris is also quite talented. You guys are a double whammy!

    Thanks for the tip. Just this week I was getting frustrated because I am never in photos. When I am, well … they just aren’t what I am wanting to capture (remember).

    I’m inspired by your photography every time I look at your site. Thanks for that.

  • Sophie - Such wonderful pictures Ashley, and I must say that Chris is becoming quite the photographer himself!

    It’s great to see you in some photos for once (:

  • Anna Marie - Fabulous job Chris! She has taught you well πŸ˜‰

  • amanda torres - My heart is melting! All the boys just curled up on you. However, I have assessed the situation and concluded that you need to gain around 50 lbs so the kids all fit on your lap. There are far too many to sit on that itty-bitty space. Yep, 50 lbs should do it. Er-Baby Sister isn’t there…try 75 lbs…Big girls need love too.

  • Kelly - Those are the moments that make up our days as moms that will be gone so fast! I’m sending a link to this post to my husband. πŸ™‚

  • Gevay - Good job Daddy Chris! A beautiful subject always helps!

  • Shannon - What a precious set of moments captured in time! I, too, am learning that I can’t get my husband to read my mind, haha! After 8 1/2 years of marriage I still forget that sometimes I just have to TELL him what I want, instead of hoping my Jedi mind tricks will be enough ;). Chris did a wonderful job!

  • Elena - So emotional and sweet photos… Great Work and so cute family!

  • Margie - Great pictures! I MUST have my husband read this post…I do the same thing to him, he will be amused to know it’s not just his wife who directs photo opps!

  • ashlee - the part about Chris at the end made me laugh:) I never think to tell my hubby to grab the camera…thanks for that!

  • christy - Awesome shots, love the b&w ones

  • Ellen - This post addresses an issue in my family. I get frustrated at my husband because he never thinks to pick up the camera. I am going to take your advice and make photo capturing a better experience for the whole family.

  • KellyK - GREAT job Chris!!

  • evie s. - Haha! My husband and I have the same discussions (I’m always the one behind the camera), he’s gotten better at taking photos of my son and I though so I have to give him credit!

  • karen davis - these are great shots!! My husband is the same way!!

  • chantelle - that is so cute, the pics are fab!- I bought a red camera bag just so my hubby could find my camera upon request! I like how you described just what you wanted-that is a great hubby photo tip!

  • Casey - Those are really great pictures! I think I should do like you just said because my hubs does pretty much the same thing, takes the picture and is done. I don’t usually get what I want.

  • Anna Joy - These are great!!!!!!! Ben is the same way…when I ask for a picture, it’s usually very blurry or someone’s head is cut off. Maybe I should ask for specifically…but then he might be annoyed. He’s not big on pictures πŸ™ I’m glad your husband is willing to at least try to capture those special moments!!!

  • Yanet - Kidos to Chris for following your instructions to a T!!! He did do a great job. Of course it helps he had too good models to work with. πŸ™‚ I can completely relate to capturing moments and having to instruct husband to capture them. The picture of yall on the couch captures a terrific day-to-day kind of perfectness. Make sense?

  • Yanet - Oops! I meant KUDOS to Chris. Not kIdos. Just that kids are always in the brain. Forgive a tired mother, will ya?!

  • Lisa Johnson - those pictures are treasures! Coming from a mom whose babies are almost all taller than she is, you will absolutely treasure these someday! In my mind, one of the greatest things about photography is that it keeps you mindful of those precious moments in everyday life. When I had a houseful of little ones, I was often so busy meeting needs that I sometimes neglected the intention of enjoying those treasured moments. I know I had them and soaked them up at the time, but I would love to have some images beyond my own memory to treasure. Enjoying your photography brings back lots of fond memories for me. It makes me wish I could go back in time for just a little while (can you tell my oldest is graduating this week and I’m just a tad bit emotional and sentimental πŸ˜‰

  • Sarah - This is so precious. You have such a beautiful family.

  • Kristi - Those pictures are priceless! How do you not want to print and hang EVERY picture you take up in your house? Do you make all the pillows on your couch and the bed? They are so pretty!

  • the inadvertent farmer - Lol…my hubby takes my re-telling of the stories on my blog are not quite the way he remembers either!

    Tell him he did a bang-up job on those photos! Kim

  • rachel denbow - THese are so sweet and I think your brood of little men is such a treasure. Oh, to have such tender moments with our boys while they are willing to allow them!

    Good job, Chris!

  • Liene - Beautiful pictures! Littlest brother is still so tiny ….

  • Kayla - I feel the same way with my husband!! I’m glad I’m not the only one that has to remind myself to be patient and explain better. πŸ™‚

  • June P - oh, so it’s okay to be be specific when asking to be photographed by your husband? πŸ™‚ i’ll do that from this day forward!

    great blog, Ashley. what a wonderful way to share yourself.

  • lifeologia - Oh I’m so glad you posted this. I thought I was the only one in the world that had to do the loud whisper and say grab the camera. My husband never ‘sees the moment’ but then when he looks through our photos he appreciates the extra effort that goes into making an ok shot better – or so I think πŸ˜‰
    Chris you did very well! Looks like your Mother’s day gift is all done… no wait… where’s the shoot with little sister?

  • Linda - So true! I can identify; I have these same types of moments.

  • meg duerksen - i am glad to know that i am not the only photo/mom who does this. πŸ™‚
    good job chris.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Great pictures! So special!

  • Beth - LOVE the photos! I have two boys, so boys just melt my heart, no matter who they belong to! πŸ™‚

    And I must ask, WHERE did those pillows on your bed come from? I LOVE the fabric! Did you make them? Do you have a post that features your bedroom somewhere?

  • Susanne - I laughed out loud because most of the time I have to ask my husband to take pictures of me with my son too when it’s just hanging around the house shots.

  • jessica h - i love it πŸ™‚ thanks for the advice…I am always frustrated for the same reasons, b/c I truly treasure special moments and seem to always want a photo to “document” them. Chris’ pics are super sweet–great job!

  • katherinemarie - I have to agree that your hubs is an AMAZINGLY creative photographer!!!! And he has some amazingly beautiful subjects!

  • AshleyG - Oh my gosh, this could have been my husband and I in this scenario. Thanks for this, as I too, get so frustrated sometimes wanting my husband to capture the moment, I don’t even care if it’s perfect, I just want it capured!!! lol. Thanks for this “realness” it really helped me see some perspective in myself!

  • alison - Hi! I just found your blog and I love it! I too have 3 boys and always enjoy seeing other mothers with their boys! I am usually the one taking all the pics too and not always in them. Good idea on being specific to the hubs!

  • Melissa - Ok, can I just say I almost started lactating looking at these precious photos???? Every mommy hormone and vibe went bezerk in me!!! My 2 yr old wasn’t feeling well either last weekend and she actually took a nap on my lap in a rocking chair for an hour!! She hasn’t done that since she was a newborn. Of course, my husand did take a pic, upon my request, and of course, it was the standard point shoot. Oh well. I’ll be more specific next time. πŸ™‚ LOVE those treasured, “capture in your heart” moments that last a lifetime. πŸ™‚

  • Shannon - I just discovered your blog in the last couple weeks and have been just soaking it in. I feel like I can relate to so much of what you post, being a mom of almost 4 (next month), photographer, creative person. You have really encouraged me in your perspective on the whole mom/photographer thing. The bigger family we have the less photography I find myself able to do and after reading your blog, it dawned on me that it’s OK to quit if I need to. I am still mulling that one over. This post so hits the nail on the head – while Rich (my hus) is a photographer as well, most of the time we have 2 totally different pictures in mind when I ask him to take a picture – ending up with me being annoyed that i didn’t get what I wanted. I guess I just need to be more detailed in my requests. Great post!

  • Sarah - 1st, I had to laugh at how funny your hubby is in wanting more credit for the creative photos. That is sooo like my dear hubby too. πŸ™‚

    2nd, beautiful photos! & Finally, thank you for this post. I do try to ask for others to take our pictures, however, I rarely if ever ask for something specific. I think I always think, well, at least I have a picture. But, I really do want to have those more beautiful moments/creative type photos of me with my kids. I’ve always been a little afraid to ask! So, I’m going to be braver next time around, thanks to reading this. Thank you!


  • susan - Beautiful pictures! I love the light. I am impressed that Chris even knows how to use your camera. If my camera isn’t on automatic, my husband can’t take a picture.

  • Christianne @ Little Page Turners - πŸ™‚ My husband sees any “tips” I give him as bossing him around! So worth it to get pictures of me and my girls, though. He’s actually really pretty good if he gets into it. I just need a brighter house – this 1930’s home is way to dark for natural light photos.

    Thanks again for this post – It’s an inspiration!

  • Kristen Duke - This post is awesome! I was just directed to it because I posted on the same thing here:

    I am a BIG advocate of mom’s getting in pictures, and I am often asking my husband to do the same things! Laughed at you loudly whispering to him, with the specific angles–I do the same thing! Love how you explained it all:)

    Kristen Duke

  • Stephanie - Thanks SO much for this post! On the rare occasions that my husband picks up the camera, he always says, “Everyone look over here! Smile!” I hate that those are the only kinds of pictures I’m in – you’d think I never just hung out with my kids. Thanks for the insight that I can actually tell him what kind of pictures I’d like! (Maybe a funny thing to have to be told, but I feel all liberated and inspired reading this post!!)

  • Clickin Moms Memebership Special | TidyMom - […] *I signed up for a year! While we’re talking photography and mom’s…….PLEASE go read this post and be inspired to include yourself in your pictures with your kids!We as mom’s just don’t do it often enough. Tips for “getting in the picture” […]