• these first few smiles are literally the best thing ever. when you realize how happy you make a tiny person. when you see their face light up because they love you so much. then you fast forward 2.5 years and they’re demanding brownies and cheetos for lunch. 😬😬😬 #sixweeksold #happilytrista
  • (sponsored) When you become a parent, there are so many new things to learn about and I feel like each person latches on to something they’re passionate about / can’t stop reading and learning about. For me? That’s car seats! Thankfully some states are finally updating their laws to conform to recommendations from the APA. We have tried quite a few different seats and this 3-in-1 Pria seat from @maxicosiusa is the nicest! The chest clip is magnetic, making it easy to clip and unclip with one hand. The straps stay in place thanks to their out-of-the-way spring assist, so no more twisted up straps. And the cushions are both washer AND dryer safe! Yay for no more hang-drying! On top of that, it’s rear-facing up to 40lbs, forward-facing up to 65lbs and then a booster up to 100lbs. #ParentYourWay #PriaMax3in1 #happilytrista
  • 6 weeks of this angel girl ✨
She is still waking up once over night most nights. She just started smiling at us these past few days. She loves tummy time but rolls herself over all of the time so we have to roll her back. She loves to be worn and snuggled. And we have to restrain her brother from kissing her 193739 times per day. 🤪 #happilytrista #newborn #sixweeksold #fourthtrimester
  • We are currently paying the price for last week’s easy bedtimes. I’m trying to get Ben to sleep in his own room. So you can guess how happy he is about that. His yelling has Blaire awake still, she’s been out of her room about 25 times. And Sloane is passed out on the couch. At least someone is asleep. They’re lucky they’re adorable because holy moly I’m tired and just want to veg out on the couch. #gotheftosleep #blairebenandsloane #happilytrista
  • Yesterday was almost 60° and today it “feels like” 21°. We had a handful of fall days and it’s not fair because I’m not ready to skip right to winter. There’s nothing better to get us all out of the house than a walk, especially because wearing Sloane puts her right to sleep. Anywho, trying to squeeze in a nap before we get Blaire from school because once we get home it’ll be a mad dash for me to shower and get everyone ready for Blaire’s first kindergarten parent/teacher conference. AND it’s book fair at her school. Who still gets excited for the book fair? 🤭🙋🏼‍♀️ #happilytrista
  • someone changed out of their pajamas today. it wasn’t me.
#happilytrista #rainbowbaby
  • daylight savings vibes... casually pouring coffee in my eyes today. what time were your kiddos awake? 
#dst #daylightsavingssucks #happilytrista #targetstyle
  • Sorry if this made you yawn. 🤭 I just love that Sloane feels the sleep dust when I’m wearing her, just like Benny did! 💕 Hope you’re having a weekend as great as this girl. She is one month old today! Still waking just at 1:30am most nights to eat... occasionally around 5am, too. When she’s awake she likes to look at lights and stare at mama. Whenever she does tummy time she rolls right over to her back. 🥰 #happilytrista
  • Tried some Pinterest-y nail art while the two older kids were at school this morning... and I’m ready to remove and do something a little less crazy when they’re all in bed tonight. 🤪 Real wild Friday night plans, am I right?
#nailsofinstagram #nailsoftheday #essie #manimonday #happilytrista
  • Sloane’s first Halloween... the one where it snowed 3 inches and was 20° outside. Woody and Jessie lasted about 30 mins trick-or-treating, then they wanted to head home to hand out candy. What was the weather like where you live? And how many pieces of candy do people give out where you trick-or-treat? Here, it’s a tie between “choose two pieces” and “grab a handful.” #blairebenandsloane #halloween #halloween2019 #happilytrista
  • ...when your mom takes too long in @target. Realized when we got out to the car that his binky was lost somewhere in the store. 20 mins into bedtime tonight I FINALLY found one in a diaper bag. 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 #tristalovestarget #happilytrista #terribletwos
December 14, 2017

10 tips for the best photos of your kids


Tips for Photographing ChildrenThe question I probably get the most often when it comes to blogging is how I take photos of my kids. From the type of camera/lens I use, to the settings, to just how the heck to get them to cooperate. And, oh boy, some of those are easier than others. Since there are so many ins and outs, I thought it was time to document them all here. Of course, if you still have questions after, please leave me a comment, send an email, etc. This is just a good starting point. Also keep in mind I’m not a professional! I’ve invested in a nice camera, I’ve read a lot of articles online, but I am not professional and really only have experience photographing my own crazy kiddos.

1| Research. You’re probably not going to have an hour to snap pictures of your kids. If you’re like me you probably will get 10 minutes out of them. So go into it knowing what you want. Get on Pinterest, pin examples of what you want. Knowing how you want them to pose will help you when it comes to setting your camera to the proper settings.

2| Pick outfits. This is probably the part that’s the most fun. Pick pieces that coordinate, they don’t necessarily have to match (although they can!) but just be sure to pick colors that compliment each other. If they’re wearing the same color, but not the exact same style/print, they may blend together. 

3| Scout locations. My goal is always to find a versatile location. I want to be able to shoot a few different backgrounds without having to do more than walk a few feet away. You don’t want your location to be in direct sun, make sure it’s completely covered. If it’s not, you’ll end up with some shaded and some sunny spots on your adorable little models. You want the sun behind your subjects. So keep in mind your location when picking what time of day to take photos and vice versa. If you’re inside, get as close to a window or door as possible. If you have to lug your bedding into the kitchen so you get all of the light from your sliding glass door, do it! 

4| Have realistic expectations. Sure, you’re going to want one with them both smiling at the camera. But even getting just one is tough! My goal is always to get pictures that are actually in focus (lol) and capture their personalities. You know those expressions your children always give you, give each other, give their friends? You want to capture those! 

Okay, so those are all things to keep in mind and work on before you actually take photos, these next tips are for actually taking the photos. 

5| You can’t edit away bad quality. If your subjects aren’t in focus, you can’t fix that with Photoshop. If they’re blow out (blown out means an area is so white that all details of are gone) you can’t fix that in Photoshop either. So just remember, there are a million ways to edit a photo, but make sure you get focus on the quality while you’re shooting and the editing comes later.

6| Take some test shots. You don’t want to snap 30 pictures and then look through them and realize the lighting isn’t what you thought, or the focus is off, etc. Ideally I have Jason with me and he can sit where the kids will be. If not, I use Ben’s carseat (or Ben in his car seat) or will ask Blaire just to sit there and let her look at her iPad. My goal is not to use up their attention span or their patience while I’m testing everything.

7| Try not to shoot in manual. For my DSLR I typically shoot in AV mode because my goal is to have a blurred background. I use a 50MM 1.4 lens, so I like to shoot as close to 1.4 aperture as possible, because I love a good boken background. With the 50MM, to really get a good boken background, I find I have to be fairly close up to the subject. So, typically no full body images. It’s usually their faces and maybe shoulders. For example, these photos where they’re sitting or standing, my aperture is 1.6, but the photos where they’re laying down on the blanket, it’s a 9.0 because I didn’t have to worry about wanting to blur the background. I just wanted to have the best chances of both of their faces being in focus as possible. In addition to aperture, make sure you pay attention to the ISO. The higher the number, the grainer your photo can be, which is something that happens to me when I leave it in AUTO mode. If I’m shooting outdoors and it’s overcast, usually 200 or 400 are the best settings. 

8| Using your phone? If you’re using your phone, there are still steps you can take aside from making adjustments to the settings of your camera. DO. NOT. USE. THE. FLASH. Don’t do it. Still use natural light. Still have the sun behind you, with your subjects out of direct light. I like to turn on the grid because I feel it helps me. If you’re using Portrait mode, just know you’ll need to stay rather close but you’ll end up with gorgeous photos that have the blurred background you can get from a fancier camera. I prefer the Natural Light mode in Portrait, but that’s just what has worked best for me.

9| Think through your poses. I love to look at Pinterest for ideas! When posing your children, make sure they’re both at the same depth of field. For me, this one is sometimes the toughest. It wasn’t something I ever had to worry about as a mom of one. But now with two kids who are young and are constantly moving around, it makes me crazy. In the photo below, you can see Blaire is in focus and Ben is blurry. She is closer to the camera, because of that angle I was standing at. OF COURSE it’s the only photo I have where they’re smiling. So, don’t be like me! Don’t let one child be blurry. Haha! 

Tips for Photographing Children10| Check your photos often. Take a break, give your kids some fruit snacks (or their binky!) and check the photos you’ve taken and see if you can move on to another pose. Sometimes, I’ve found it easier to move to a different pose to give the kids a change of scene or a change in what I’m asking them to do and then going back to the pose where I want some better shots, hoping they’ll be more content the second time around. It doesn’t always work, but hey, you win some, you lose some, right?

So while these photos aren’t THE BEST I’ve ever taken, I still love them. It was a freakishly warm day in November, it was seriously 70 degrees. So they were both excited to be outside. Ben was newly mobile so he was trying to roll over and escape from his big sister the whole time. But I definitely feel like I captured some of their typical expressions, Blaire always with the sass, Ben always chewing on something or smiling. 

Tips for Photographing Children Tips for Photographing Children Tips for Photographing Children Tips for Photographing Children Tips for Photographing Children Tips for Photographing Children

Blaire’s Dress | Blaire’s Necklace, Sold Out, similar here | Blaire’s Booties, Sold Out, similar here | Blaire’s headband, Sold Out, similar here

Ben’s Sweater (Size up, the neck hole runs small!) available in other colors here | Ben’s Pants

You know we love Osh Kosh! They definitely come to mind a classic staple in a child’s wardrobe. They make it as easy to dress your child for the holidays as it is any other time of year. I love that we were able to find pieces they can incorporate into their everyday wardrobe, yet are still dressy enough to wear for our festive holiday celebrations. Don’t worry, there’s still time to order your children’s holiday outfits. AND you can get 20% off your order of $40 or more with the coupon below. Use code OKBG3418 when shopping online at OR you can find a store near you with their Store Locator

Okay, so what are your tips for taking pictures of your children? I know I’m not a pro and definitely have room for improvement. I know how much I cherish photos of them right now, I can’t imagine how much that will intensify over the years as they keep growing up. I’m going to be the crazy lady with photos covering every surface of her home some day. ;)

Osh Kosh 20% off Coupon December 2017

10 tips to take the best photos of your kids

  • Reply
    Carol Davis
    December 14, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    Great photography lesson and awesome photos ! ??

leave a comment


  • How many kids do you have? Which transition was the hardest? It may not be the traditional answer, but for me, becoming a mama to one was the hardest. I had NO CLUE what I was in for.
The mom guilt.
How long it would take to leave the house.
The sleepless nights.
Losing myself in motherhood — feeling like I had to be with Blaire 24/7.
Adding Ben and now Sloane to our crew has been so much easier for me. It’s like they just fall in line with the crazy. 🤪 And I think being so much more confident in myself as a mom doesn’t hurt either. 💁🏼‍♀️ #motherhoodishard
#motherhood #momofthree #momof3 #clickinmoms #momtog #thelovelysquares #happilytrista #blaireandben #blairebenandsloane
  • ice cream outside with two of my favorite people. when it’s only 70° outside you can actually eat your ice cream without it melting all over us... and by us I mean them. 👆🏻👆🏻 #blaireandben
#2yearsold #5yearsold #momof3 #motherhoodintheraw #lifegivingsquares #petitejoy #motherhoodrising #ourcandidlife #uniteinmotherhood #mymamahood #seekthesimplicity #sharegood #joyfulmamas #documentlife #dailyparenting #momblogger #honestlymothering #therealparenthood  #thehappycapture #momsofinstagram #mytinymoments #thecreativecollective #realmotherhood #lifestyleblogger #stopdropandmom
  • Prepping for our third baby has been pretty easy so far. I guess when you have an older sister and brother, plus a mama who likes to hold on to everything from her babies, there isn’t a ton of shopping to do. The kids are having fun picking out little gifts to give baby sister in the hospital (something Blaire still talks about from when Ben was born), little toys here and there, PJs, and this @babyeinstein 4-in-1 Kickin Tunes Music & Language Discovery Gym at @target. I wasn’t joking when I said they wanted to test it out! #babyeinstein #ignitecuriosity #socialspotters #blaireandben #happilytrista
  • #ad I can’t believe this girl is heading off to kindergarten! With afternoon pre-k last year, we were lucky to not have to worry about the morning rush. So this year, our go-to is a waffle and a chocolate milk for the ride to school. Horizon® Shelf Stable Chocolate Milk is our favorite since we can easily grab it and go! Spoiler alert: she takes one in her lunch, too. Blaire is so excited, but little brother and I are sad to see her spend so much time away from us. But I am excited to be able to walk her to school and avoid the CRAZY drop-off and pick-up lines while the weather’s still nice, anyways. 
You can find @HorizonOrganic Chocolate Milk at @KrogerCo and you can even save $1 with this digital coupon (7/24/19 – 8/6/19). And you can stock up because Horizon Organic milk boxes are shelf-stable, meaning you can safely store them in the pantry. Shop now through the link in my bio. #blaireandben
  • Well we don’t have a Nordstrom near us, but we do have an Aldi. Most of their summer items are on clearance and we scored this sweet pool for $7. Winner, winner. 🦄☀️ #blaireandben
#summer #momentsiwanttoremember #aldifinds #motherhood
  • This summer hasn’t really felt like summer yet. 🤨 So when we have an 85° day we make the most out of it with a trip to the pool! How’d you spend your Sunday Funday? #blaireandben
  • another day, another doctors appointment for someone in our crew. today it’s Ben. he was up overnight saying his ear hurt — a double ear infection for him. luckily the kid loves taking medicine and hasn’t let his ears get him down! as long as he’s up moving around they’re fine, but the second he lays down... 😭😭😭. hoping our poor buddy is feeling better tomorrow. do you feel like you need a frequent flier card for your pediatrician? just me? okay. #blaireandben #itsfinewerefine
#uniteinmotherhood #motherhoodintheraw #momentsiwanttoremember #mybabies
  • When your brother is getting big but you still want to hold him... you gotta pinch his butt because he’s so wiggly. 😂😬😍 #blaireandben •
#petitejoys  #childhoodunplugged #letthembelittle #ohheymama #tagtheqc #mybeautifulmess #thehappynow  #thepursuitofjoyproject #thatsdarling #livethelittlethings #momentsiwanttoremember #everydaymoments #nothingisordinary #motherhoodrising
  • It is definitely bittersweet to leave the house where we brought both of these babies home. But we are excited for our next chapter as a family of five! #rainbowbaby #blaireandben
#pregnancyannouncement #rainbowbabyannouncement #firsttrimester
  • Last night was our first night in the new house. 👏🏻 We still have lots of stuff to bring from the old house and then lots of cleaning over there before the final walk through and closing next Monday. Then we can focus on getting this house unpacked and organized. But first, I would like a nap. 😴 #blaireandben #happilytristahome
  • The snow that never ends. 🙄🥶 Walked out into the snow this afternoon and one kid loved it, the other not so much. “Wowwww! It’s like a wizard out here.” —Blaire 😂
“Yuck!” —Ben #blaireandben
#bestofmom #momlifestyle #momlifeisthebestlife #motherhoodunplugged #mymotherhood #honestmotherhood #slowmotherhood #mymamahood #midwestblogger #eternalmotherhood #motherhoodintheraw #unitedinmotherhood #motherhoodrising #polarvortex