jo ann manolis photography

Welcome to the blog of Jo Ann Manolis Photography! I’m a wedding, portrait, and fine art photographer based in Santa Cruz, CA. I’ve created this blog as a means of sharing my work and life with my clients, family, and friends. I’ll be updating it regularly with my latest work, thoughts and ideas regarding photography and art, and links to many fabulous artists and vendors. So, take a look around, enjoy, and leave me a message here if you’re inspired. I can also be reached directly by e-mail via my website: joannmanolisphotography.com, or by phone at: (831)359-7948. Thanks for stopping by!

Photography Tips for Parents

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I was honored to be asked by the folks at Peek…Aren’t You Curious to write in their upcoming mailer. Because Peek is all about relishing the moments of childhood, I thought that it would be fun to share a few of my tried-and-true tips for getting amazing shots of your kids. Whether you’re shooting with a 5D or a point-and-shoot, this list will help you to capture those fabulous little people as they really and truly are. Is there any better way? I’m not sure when the mailer goes out, but I wanted to give my blog readers a sneak peek…

Here it is (enjoy!):

Jo Ann’s Top 5 Tips for Photographing Children

Parents always ask me how I go about capturing my images and how they, too, can take fabulous photographs of their kids. Because you’re a parent, you are already the best person for this job. Nobody else knows your little one better or can anticipate reactions or moments as accurately as you can. Below I’ve listed five tips that I swear by when photographing little ones. I use this list religiously for both my commissioned and personal work. So, grab your camera, tap into your parental intuition, and go out and have some fun!

1. Your child must be napped and fed. Period. It’s my one unbendable rule when it comes to photographing children. Simply put, grumpy kids are no fun to photograph. It’s usually not their fault…I’d be crying too if I were hungry and a stranger was pointing a camera in my face. So, feed them. Make sure they’re rested. I promise you’ll end up with better shots.

2. Change your perspective. Chances are that the action isn’t happening at your eyelevel. If you align your camera with your subject, you’ll end up with a stronger image. Get down on the ground and grab some shots of your daughter kicking the soccer ball. Better yet, lie on the ground and capture just her little legs moving that big ball! Once you begin thinking outside the box, the possibilities are endless.

3. Be on the lookout for photogenic “props”. These don’t have to be expensive or exotic. One of my all time favorite images is of my son with a worm in the palm of his hand. He found it in the compost pile and was bursting with pride. Props help to tell the story. A few of my tried and true ones: just about any food (I adore colorful treats like apples or messy ones like ice cream), oversized hats, mud puddles, dandelions, or an art project.

4. Take the “No Posers” challenge. On your next family outing, vow not to ask anyone to “smile for the camera”. Smiling for the camera isn’t bad, just overdone. I can pretty much guarantee that you will love the photo of your son’s face while he’s observing the monkeys at the zoo much more than the one of him posing for you in front of the monkey cage. Try it exclusively for one day. It feels sneaky. You’ll be shocked at how many smiles actually transpire spontaneously.

5. Say it with me: Reprints! My biggest beef with digital photography is that images don’t get printed. My biggest joy in digital is that we can be selective and trash what we don’t like. So choose your absolute favorites and have prints made at a good photo lab. And please, if it’s fridge-worthy, don’t just make one print…spread the love!

–Jo Ann

**As always, Thanks so much for stopping by. I know that I’ve been slow to blog lately, but good stuff is in store…promise! Have yourselves a wonderful week.

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2 responses to “Photography Tips for Parents

  1. Abby, Scott, and Sawyer April 7, 2009 at 5:34 pm

    Oops. My comment for this one went on the next post. #2 is my favorite!

  2. kc April 15, 2009 at 2:43 pm

    HEY JO- I MISS YOU. GREAT TIPS. YOU ARE SO GOOD AT WHAT YOU DO. I CANT BELIEVE WHAT I SEE WHEN I COME OVER TO YOUR BLOG. I WOULD LOVE TO GO ON A BIKE RIDE SOON, I AM SLOWLY COMING OUT OF MY CAVE AND SEEING THE WORLD AGAIN. I REALLY WOULD LOVE TO GET TOGETHER, KC

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