My friend and I went back yesterday to our new fave location. I am finding that is is increasingly difficult to take pictures of my OWN kids. Let's just say my patience with them FAR lacks the patience I have for other people's children when it comes to photography.
I think she had the same problem. She tried to shoot a few of her own kids as well. She claimed her kids did better with me. I guess next time, we just need to trade kids.
Some tips when shooting your own kids:
1. Bribery. Yes. I am not too ashamed to admit it. I bribe my kids on occasion. After the shoot, the kids were rewarded with a trip to Target and $5 each.
2. Come prepared. M & M's really work. They really do.
3. Don't get frustrated. My kids react to my moods. When I am tense, they are tense. If I keep it casual, they tend to follow. I am not a huge fan of posed photography. It is hard not to pose them a little when you want a group type shot though. Try to keep it as natural as possible. Let them interact and just keep shooting.
4. Bring help! I made sure my husband could be there with me. He was able to distract the kids and make them smile so I could focus on actually taking the pictures. They are always better for their dad anyway.
5. Don't be afraid to try a few different times. It is okay if you don't get it perfect the first time. I had a few difficulties yesterday with my camera settings. My pictures didn't come out as tack sharp as I wanted them to be and Ryan has his "forced fake 6 year old" smile thing going on. I may just have to try again. But, I am happy I captured the moments I did. The black and white ones are being printed today! Wanna know something? I have NEVER printed any of my pictures for personal use in my home. That chanages today.