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My #1 Photo Taking Frustration

As mamas, I think it’s pretty common that we’re the default historians of the family. Even more so if you’re a single mama like me. I’m great at lining up my four kiddos for photos or keeping an eye out for the perfect candid shot. But there are times that I look back through the dozens of photos I’ve taken during a special event or outing, only to realize that I am nowhere to be seen. As mamas, we’re often the ‘behind-the-scenes’ person orchestrating our family lives, but it’s SO important for us to get in the family photos, too. Here’s how.

1. Ask Someone to Take the Photo for You

To get the best photo with your kids, it’s best to avoid the selfie camera. The camera facing you from the screen usually takes lower quality pictures. So for the rare times that you do get in front of the camera, you want the best picture possible, right?

The best way to use the main camera on your phone and get in the picture with your kids is to pass it off to someone else. This can be a friend or family member who’s at the event you want to commemorate, or a stranger walking by on your family outing. I usually try to pick someone who looks a little more tech-savvy–especially if it’s someone I don’t know. And don’t be afraid to give a couple pointers on how you’d like the photo set up (vertically, horizontally, can you get that giant T-Rex statue in the background?, etc.).

Oftentimes when it’s just me and the kids, I’ll pass the camera off to my 13-year-old. He’s become quite adept at his photo-taking skills after watching me (and listening to all my annoying pointers) all these years!

Hiring a professional to take yearly family photos is a worthy investment, too. I didn’t make family photos a priority for a chunk of time and I regret it–but I’ve never regretted it when I did.

Now there may be times when passing the camera off to someone else isn’t an option. Like when you’re vacationing on a private island while your kiddos fan you with palm leaves (in my dreams!), you’re out for a quiet walk in the woods, or you just need to get a quick shot with everyone in their group Halloween costume.

2. Prepare Ahead and Use a Tripod

If it’s something you can anticipate, come prepared with a tripod. A tripod allows you to use the outward facing camera on your phone (or your DSLR) for better quality photos. Most phone cameras have a timer–I set mine to 10 seconds, run back in for the shot, and it takes a burst of photos which I can select from later (one of them is bound to catch everyone with their eyes open/not staring off into space).

3. Selfie Sticks are a Good Alternative

If you’re more of a selfie person, then come prepared with a selfie stick. It gives you more stability than holding your phone awkwardly in your hand, and can extend the camera further than your arm so you don’t have to squeeze in quite as close (this is key for big families like mine). I don’t actually own a selfie stick myself as I prefer using the other ways listed, but most of them are super compact and easy to carry in your purse.


4. Use Your Own Arm

As a last resort, just hold your camera phone for a selfie shot. It may not always be the best quality or angle, but hey, it’s better than never being in the photo at all!

Weary of how you’ll look in the photo, moms? Chatbooks made this hilarious video to debunk our excuses!

Want more tips for how you can improve your iPhone photos today? Click the banner below to download my free iPhone Tips & Tricks tip sheet.