I’m sure you’ve seen that viral post going around Facebook begging Dads to take pictures so Moms can actually be in them. I totally agree with why it’s important to be in pictures with your kids but let’s face it: For some of us Dad can’t take the pictures. Whether he’s not around, not interested, or even simply just not photo savvy, there’s another option:
Mommy Swap Shoots!
Find a Mama friend who gets it and take pictures for each other. Trust me. If you have a friend with kids she wants pictures too. We all do. Deep down, no matter how much we might dislike our bodies, we still want those memories captured.
Consider this: Every mom has practice taking pictures. She’s logged hundreds of hours practicing on her kids. (And herself for FB selfies!) Face it ladies. We do it ALL. THE. TIME. We need to step up and start doing it for each other.
The best part of a Mommy Swap Shoot? Your friend knows your insecurities. She knows your chin fat sags too much at the wrong angle, or that your muffin top needs to stay behind the oven (if you know what I mean). She cares enough to tell you to twist or turn or do whatever you need to do so you look as pretty as you want to feel.
My girlfriend and I recently did a super quick, stress-free Mommy Swap Shoot. We went behind Wal-Mart in a patch of weeds sharing an old Halloween tutu – about as low-key as you can get! I’m sure we looked ridiculous, but we had so much fun enjoying the time together with our boys. Before I share our tips and tricks for how to do your own, here are a few favorite pictures we got that night:
Tips for doing your own Mommy Swap Shoot:
1. Take turns! Kids get bored fast. We swapped back and forth every 5 minutes so both our boys got plenty of play breaks and didn’t feel over-stressed.
2. Only one pose per turn. Our boys are five. Ya’ll know how much energy five year old boys have. The last thing they want to do is play model. Pick one pose, knock it out, and then swap kids so they can’t get too tired.
3. Break out the electronics. Gasp! I know, I know. That’s like the worst ever for kids. 99% of the time I’d agree with you. BUT. Since my son almost never gets time with Mommy’s phone, I find that when I have the desperation to whip it out, it’s like a magical mecca of awesome begging his attention. Allowing him phone breaks while I was photographing his buddy kept him happy and occupied and close by.
4. Take pictures doing things you normally do. If you have a million Pinterest pins just forget it. Real kids don’t work like that. We just snuggled and played with our boys like normal. Kisses, hugs, and tickles. That made them really smile and helped the process go much smoother.
5. Shoot after dinner. Nothing ruins picture time more than wails of starvation. Feed them first and save yourself the headache!
6. Shoot before bedtime. The lighting is best right before sunset. By taking pictures right before bedtime your little ones are more likely to be sleepy and cuddly. We actually managed to get sleepy shots of my friend cradling her son who drifted off in the car!
7. Pick a FAST shutter speed. Kids are constantly in motion. Whether you’re tickling, hugging, tossing, or squeezing them, make sure your camera is fast enough to catch it all by upping your shutter speed. Not sure how to work those manuals dials? Most cameras and phones now have a “sports” mode that will ensure you’re snapping as fast as you can say “Mommy loves you!”
8. I’ll close with just a few tips for looking better in pictures:
– Pop your kid on your waist to help make it look more narrow. (Bonus – your kid’s legs can hide a muffin top!)
– Use your hair to cover flabby arms.
– Always have your friend shooting higher then you to avoid that “double chin” effect.
– Bags under your eyes? When you get to your location, hold up your hands and slowly turn in a circle. You’ll notice how shadows move across your hands as your body changes directions. Pick the spot where you see the least amount of shadows on your hands and put your friend and her kids there. Then the dark circles under her eyes won’t show so much. When it’s your turn, hop in that same spot.
– Stand as far away from your background (what’s behind you) as possible. The further away it is, the softer it will appear on camera and the more you and your little one will stand out.
If you do a Mommy Swap Shoot be sure to come back and post a picture or link in the comments so we can check you out! And if you want to follow us, my lovely friend is Lauren from Lauren & Chris Studios and I’m Kathryn from LittleB Memories.
Share this idea with a friend and have fun with it; we’d love to hear how your Mommy Swap Shoot goes!