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creating a photo series...

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

Earlier this year, I shared how I archive my digital photos and memories, and since then, I've been doing my best to continue archiving family photos that we capture throughout the year. One of my favorite series that we've shot for this blog has been my Dressing the Babe series which started at the beginning of this year. It was started as a fun way to share of my favorite stylish pieces for your little ones, but it's also turned into a series of photos of me and my kids that I cherish and will be so happy to have for the future. I recently put together the first six months of our Dressing the Babe photos into a beautiful lay flat photo album by Artifact Uprising and it turned our simple series into a family treasure I'll pass down to my kids.

There's something about a series that feels so meaningful and special when you look back on how all the images connect with some consistency over time. And to see the change in the people within the photos is what makes it truly priceless. Whether you're capturing a monthly baby photo or annual family portraits, here are a few tips for creating a series to capture with your kids or family...

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

1) Look at the camera! Especially when we take photos with our kids—I, too, am guilty of looking at my kids (instead of the camera) when we take photos together because I am concerned with how they are doing and making sure they are happy. But one thing a lot of photographers tell you is not to worry about what the kids are doing (because the photographer will engage them) and make sure to look at the camera yourself. That's the only way that you have a chance of getting the parent's face in the photo, too. And, it's your face that your kids want to see and look back on someday.

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

2) Have someone who knows how to engage kids take the photos. Whether it's your husband, wife, a family member, friend, or professional photographer, kids are happier in photos when the person behind the camera is fun and engaging. I have been on shoots before for work where the photographer treats the kids like an adult and doesn't know how to talk to them in a fun and engaging way. And then it just feels like pulling teeth for everyone. Casey, our staff photographer, knows how to make my kids laugh, smile, and be silly so they always feel comfortable with her when we take photos.

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

3) Shoot both horizontal and vertical photos. When taking photos, shoot both ways so that you have the flexibility to make them for work different formats later—whether a holiday card, baby announcement, framed print, or a bound book. It only takes a few extra minutes to shoot a few more photos in different orientations.

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

4) Take photos during a time of day when your kids are their most energetic. For example, we've realized that late afternoons are the worst for Ruby when she's just ready to crash for the day. And never take photos right before a baby's due for a nap or you'll just have a cranky, unhappy baby on your hands.

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

Oh Joy / Creating a Photo Series

5) Be consistent. While you can certainly stick to some sort of consistent look or theme (like how we shot all these photos behind a cool wall or background)—more than anything, it's important to stick to a consistent frequency in order to have a solid series. We shoot these photos once or twice a month so that we have a representation of each of my kids each month, and it's been so fun to look back and see how much they've grown and changed even since the beginning of the year.

P.S. You can read more about my tips for archiving your photos right here!

{Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy}

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