Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Photo Shoot & Black Swamps.

I love to do a photo shoot with my kids especially since I've learned how to shoot on manual modes.
 
These are with my Canon S95, not a DSLR. 
 
Here are some of the tricks of a good photo shoot with kids that I've learned from plenty of bad ones & using a "regular" camera & not being a fancy photographer & not having kids who will sit still and "cheese" beautifully 100 times to get a great shot.
 
1. Wait until the weather is overcast, no one likes the sun in their eyes, or negotiating shadows.
 
2. Take the kids out individually (the other kids stayed in the car) so they don't distract each other.
 
3. Get your settings right before you bring them out (and if you don't know how to shoot in manual mode on your camera, just at least think of positions that they can't move in (thinking sitting positions) cause slightly blurry pictures was my #1 problem before I shot in manual mode. I realize now this is because auto mode is usually about a 60 shutter speed which is only ideal for things standing pretty still.
 
4. Have props they really like to use as something to make them look at the camera while you take the picture, then let them hold them in a few of the pics as a reward (for the boys it was their football, for Vivi it was her favorite bunny)
 
5. Engage older kids in conversation about something absurd so they laugh a lot or about one of their favorite friends or activities. Take pics while they're talking. (we mostly talk about poops, farts, or Quinn's "wife" Charlotte).
 
6. For toddlers, have them say "Happy" rather than "cheese", it's a more natural smile and everyone tends to smile while saying HAPPY! :)
 
7. Edit, edit, edit. This is something you need to do a little bit of research, or you can just pay for a software, there might be free ones online, but that's how they turn out the best. I edit my photo shoot pictures in publisher & then a software that I paid for.
 
I know a REAL photographer with really nice equipment would do a much better job, but I'm always thankful for the pics I can get even with a less expensive camera and without fancy editing software like Photoshop or Lightroom.
 














 
 
The last week of winter vacation we went to Cypress Gardens. It was so much fun & we look forward to going back when it warms up.

 
I think these boys could LIVE outside.

 
The black swamps & boy was the swamp black. Gross. Although there were probably a million alligator in the swamps I think they were down low in the mud staying warm. Thank God.

 
They have a surprisingly big aquarium house with lots of critters from swamps from around the world. Every single creature in that place gave me the heebee jeebies, but the kids loved them!

 
My favorite thing was this adorable gingerbread house that was still out! That naughty monkey Vivi tore down that strand of life saver looking garland, so Judah is corralling her in the picture (which she wasn't a fan of as you can tell).
 

 
This picture made me laugh. We were in their butterfly green house and I realized after looking at the photos that my hair bow-feather thing looked like the worlds biggest butterfly on my head & I bet everyone was looking at me thinking, does that lady know she has a giant butterfly on her head?

 
They had a great picnic/playground area with an outhouse. It'd be fun to come & spend the day here when it warms up, pack a lunch & ride in their boats. I may need Xanax to get in a boat with a million alligators in a black swamp though....


 
This one wants to do Everything her brothers do!

 
Quinn's new thing is  wanting to dress "handsome" and apparently handsome is with a tucked in shirt and a tie.  Now Judah on the other hand only wants to wear one of 3 Batman shirts Julie & Firoze bought him one year. Gotta love it.

 
Everyone in our house was happy by a recent Clemson bowl game win! Go tigers!

 
Every. Day. Costumes.

 
& the boys finally earned (after more than a year) their giant Millennium Falcon ship I've had under the bed for 2  years with all the figurines because they are now both consistently saying yes & no ma'am or sir. Judah did great right from the start, but it's taken Quinn a lot longer to remember. They were SO excited!

 
And Viviana, my sweet girly girl/tomboy mix. I love that in her purse/baby diaper bag is a baby doll, hair brush & old fashioned handcuffs, which despite about to break her back she refused to let me take out!

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