capturing my family {Mpix guest post}

Recently, I wrote a guest post for Mpix with a few tips on taking your own family photos, click on the photo below to view the post.


A couple other things I would note regarding taking your own family photo are:

Use a tripod or something steady – Since you are taking the photo yourself, you will need somewhere to rest and stabilize your camera. A tripod comes in handy for this, but you can also use your MacGuyver skills to stack objects or form your own version of a tripod. Just be sure your camera is steady and level. If you have family members that will not look at the camera on their own, consider a flashing/musical toy or something similar propped on top of your camera to get their attention.

Use your timer and run! – Nearly every camera comes with a self timer. There are also options to purchase wireless remotes and even use your smartphone as a remote. A remote is much easier than a timer since it gives you the ability to take several shots quickly. I lost my remote and have not set up my iPhone as a remote, so the self timer works for me. After everyone is in place, leaving room for you to jump into the shot, engage the timers and run as fast as you can to jump into your spot.
For the post, I just needed a couple shots of our family. I wanted to keep the post as simple as possible – no new outfits, no big plan, just us. We haven’t taken family pictures in quite a while, so it was surprising how willing my kids were this round. I had no expectations other than a family shot with all of us in focus. The kids were in such willing moods and were asking for photos. Little One wanted some just with her daddy and the football.

11.14mpix-0111.14mpix-02This guy wanted one with just Chris and meI. He is seeming so old lately…11.14mpix-03Then he had a couple pose ideas he wanted with his dad. I never realized he got his arch eyebrow face from his dad.11.14mpix-04We moved to a second location. The older boys were patiently waiting on everyone to join them at the table while I was messing with my camera settings. Somehow my three little boys are all young men.11.14mpix-06When Little One is asked to smile for the camera, she squints and closes her eyes. She thinks it is so funny. I tell SnapShop students to celebrate things like that because one day it will probably change. I have to remind myself of my own words. Either one day she will stop closing her eyes for pictures and I’ll look back fondly at this time. OR it will be something she still does in the future and I’ll laugh when I look at pictures from this season knowing it is just what she’s always done. Either way – she closes her eyes and thinks she is hilarious. She kinda is.11.14mpix-0711.14mpix-08My youngest son was in a great mood. He would smile up until I snapped the picture – and then he would frown. He, too, thought he was hilarious. He is using all his effort to not laugh with his siblings. If you know him well, it is especially funny the effort he went to make sure and not smile for this picture. Kids are so much fun.11.14mpix-09I bet you’ll never guess which of my 5 kids loves being photographed.11.14mpix-1011.14mpix-1111.14mpix-1211.14mpix-13While she was standing on that table, she wanted to take a picture of Chris and I. I set up everything on the camera and then handed it to her. This is the first shot she got.11.14mpix-14

Then Chris helped her adjust her angle and she did a pretty great job (I cropped the photo).11.14mpix-15

The Mpix post is “How To Shoot A Family Holiday Card” – because hiring a professional photographer isn’t always an option. I provides a bit of help to those of you tackling a more posed shot of your family!

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  • danielle - These are great shots! My boys went through a lift one foot for pictures phase…

  • Angela - Little girls and their daddies. Little boys and their daddies. I love both! So precious!

  • Michelle Hill - Your family is stunning!
    Looking forward to the guest post link!

  • Kari - I’ve followed your blog since Firecracker first earned her name. Sorry I rarely comment but that picture with the two boys made my heart skip a beat. They look so grown up!

  • krista - love this! we did this just a few weeks ago… with 3 under 4! i’m so glad one of the family turned out and we got some with the baby. looking forward to reading your post!

  • Cassie - I’m so impressed with that last shot your girl took! I just bought my first DSLR this weekend and I’m so excited to learn how to use it! I’ve been following your blog for a while now and I love how you post the settings for your photos sometimes. I love your tips and can’t wait to learn more! My goal is to capture real life in my future family (we don’t have kids yet), and I feel like your tips are so helpful in capturing real life instead of always staged photos. So thank you!

  • Kristin - Your family pics always make me smile & I always love how effortlessly natural and polished they look at the same time.

  • Christin - Love this!!! This is going on the list of thing to get done this month!

  • Jenna - Adorable pictures of everyone! I’m loving your outfit, particularly the shoes 🙂

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - I love that last picture of you and Chris! You look amazing!

  • Alisa - You’re wearing fancy shoes!

  • Martha - My funny little oldest little one learned to wink at age 2 and every photograph for a year showed him with one eye squeezed shut. I love to look at those old photos and remember

  • Brittney k - Ashley, because of your recommendation, we just made our first mpix purchase this week. Super happy with their product! Thx for highlighting them!

  • Gazco Studio 2 - precious pictures…..

  • Jessica Matthews - I can see the love and passion between this couple.. Greet shot!