Tuesday, June 5, 2012

"Photographing Childhood Memories" | Guest Post & Photography by Kimberly Pace

Please welcome to the blog my cousin, Kim Pace. She is a stay at home Mom to three wonderful, energetic boys (ages one to five) living near Newport, Oregon, and she is a talented mommy photographer. She loves to take pictures of her kids and put them into digital and traditional photo albums. She's taken the time to share some tips with us on how to capture beautiful pictures of your children (or the children in your life, if you're not a parent), along with a number of the gorgeous and entertaining images she has taken of her own cute and rambunctious boys. Enjoy! And if you love her post as much as I do, be sure to leave her some comment love at the end! *smiles*

Photographing Childhood Memories
Kimberly Pace

Ah, taking pictures of children.  It's easy, right?  They are so cute and they do the cutest and funniest things!  But, tons of blurry pictures later, you realize it's a bit harder than you thought!  Here are some tips I have learned over the years.  While I'm not anywhere near being a professional, these are the things I do to get good pictures of my kids.

Go Digital

Most of you are probably already doing this, but if you haven't, you might want to consider it.  One of the tricks to getting good pictures is to take a lot of them!  Kids are notoriously good at not sitting still and making faces when they are supposed to be smiling.  With digital camera's, you aren't wasting any film at all!  No money thrown into the garbage.  If you don't already have one, be sure to research them before you buy.  Look at reviews both by professionals and the average person.  Look at more than one site for this.  This way, you will find out what flaws they each have (because, honestly, all things have some small flaw!) and also because some cameras are best suited by the semi-professional and others for general use.  I made the mistake of not researching one once and I got one I hated.  Now, I was able to return it and I got a much better one (for me) to replace it, but it wasn't fun to go through that, since I was so excited to get it!

Get To Know Your Camera

One way to get good pictures is to simply get to know how your camera works.  Each one is different.  Start by reading your manual.  There may be some cool features on your camera you don't know about!  Then, go out and try each setting in different lighting.  Try all the things that your manual says you can do.  Then, when an opportunity arises, you know which setting you would like to use for the situation.  Also, you can take classes in some areas which will help you learn more about your specific camera and general photographic skills.  These tend to be at adult learning centers or other places like that.  But maybe you have a community college that offers them or something.  I haven't had this luxury, but my Mom and sister have, and you can see the results.  Plus, they had fun!  Also, search around online.  I found a guy who gives tips on several cameras on a blog and he's also on Facebook.  You can get some great hints out there.

Go Outside

The best pictures I've taken of my kids were outside.  Especially if you can go out on a cloudy day.  You will want to avoid noon hours, though, as there is too much glare.  One trick you can do is hold your hand, a piece of cardboard, a book etc....over your camera lens.  That does help when it is really bright.  Some cameras come with a little shade you can attach to the lens for those situations.   But the colors are so much more vibrant in natural light.  If you are inside, you can find a room with good natural light and that can help.  Otherwise, for inside lighting, you really want to know which setting works best there (practice!).

Hold It

Ok, one trick most cameras have these days is pushing the button half way down.  This secures the focus and it's easier to get a good picture, sometimes even when there is a lot of movement.  I definitely recommend this.  You will have to get a feel for it.  If you push too much, you've taken the picture and not enough, it isn't doing anything.  This has helped me a lot.

Carry It Everywhere

Ok, maybe you aren't the geek I am, always lugging around a bunch of stuff, but I recommend you take your camera everywhere (or get a phone with a good camera).  I got the best one of my middle son one day after a doctors appointment. while he played in a little grassy area.  He was terribly hard to get pictures of and I hadn't gotten a good 1 yr picture of him yet.  But I had my camera with me when he went over to a railing, put is arms on it and laid his head down on his arms.  It was so cute!  I had taken the camera out first and was just taking general pictures of him hoping for a good one, and I got it!  Seize the opportunity!  I've also gotten some great ones at a playground.

The image I mentioned...

Click, Click, Click!

This will be the best way to get good shots - just take a ton!  It's easy enough to delete bad ones.  One good one in the pile of bad ones is worth it!  This is what professionals do too.  They take a lot!  Now, most of the time you only see the good ones, or even just the ok ones.  You probably didn't see the ones where so and so sneezed, or the focus wasn't completely set and it was blurry.   Our wedding photographer tried different settings in several areas and some weren't quite as successful, but it didn't matter.  He just wanted to try that setting in that area.  And we had plenty of great ones of that same picture.  So, there is no harm in just clicking away!

Flash Tips

Now, I still have issues with my flash sometimes.  You need to check the settings for this.  There are often different brightness settings for the flash.  With my camera, even the lowest flash is still pretty bright!  Another thing I've learned helps, is to back up and zoom.  That way, the flash is dispersed over a larger area and doesn't glare off of the people's faces as much.


I love macro.  It is a setting where, if the object is really close to you, you can focus on it better.  I have used this for my kids pictures sometimes too, even if they aren't super close-ups.  It can really help the focus.  I usually try to take one without it, but if it doesn't seem to be focusing the way I'd like, I use this and it seems to work nicely.  A lot of cameras have this too, though not all.

{ Photo by Debbie Johanesen }

Movement Shots

Oh, these are always going to be hard ones.  I haven't perfected these by any means, but what I do to help is to focus somewhere and hold it down and wait.  When you want to take the picture, it will take it instantly.  If you don't do this, the camera may take a quick second to focus and you may have lost the shot.  And this is another time when taking a LOT of pictures is called for.  Some cameras have cool settings for this, and some don't.  But if you don't have a specific setting, this is the best way I know to get them.

I hope these tips can help you!  Here are some more pictures I've taken of my children.  Enjoy!

~ Kimberly Pace

*All photographs are the sole property of Kimberly Pace and may not be copied or reproduced in any way without express written permission*

* Correction:: The first photograph under the subtitle "Macro" was taken by Kim's mother (my aunt), Debbie Johanesen, who won a first place ribbon at her county fair for it a few years ago*

This post is part of our Celebrating Serenity baby event! To read more posts, check out the events page. Be sure to enter our many giveaways, and check back frequently for more great guest posts, and opportunities to win sweet baby and mommy loot!


  1. I love it, Kim! I also love the huge pile of pictures of the goonie heads. :D On the last tip, my camera has that setting. It's called "burst". You hold down and it takes 3-4 pictures in a row. It does help! You can get a pile of blurry ones with one random clear one in the middle. Everyone is them completely impressed with your photography skills. ;)

  2. Excellent tips, Kim! And you're right on! I love the pictures of the boys. I think the one under "macro" is my shot, but I give you permission to use it. ;0)

  3. Is it? I tried to pick my own- by looking at the file name, since our camera's use different names.

  4. I love your post, Kim, and I'm so glad you decided to write it for my blog! :) You take lovely pictures :)

  5. Nice writing Kim! And Great tips....makes me want to go take more pictures! Oh, the boys are soooo cute!

  6. Great blog, Kim! I really enjoyed all the adorable pictures of your boys. My favorites are the action shots, especially the one with the flying child!


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