Incredible family photography tips from an amazing New Zealander photographer

November 29, 2017

I’m not the most skilled photographer, though I have fantasies of going on courses and upskilling, which are yet to happen. To make my blog look pretty, I rely on Shutterstock images, who kindly let me use pictures from their massive stock library, and therefore prevent this blog from looking sparse, or ugly.

I’ve often been curious about the photographers behind the beautiful images, so I sent some through to New Zealander photographer Julia Crim, to get some insight, and photography tips.

Julia is a photographer based in New Zealand, and says she is passionate about capturing her family’s many adventures near their home in the Hawke’s Bay region of New Zealand and on their travels around the world. She spends as much time as possible travelling, playing at the beach, camping, hiking, and exploring outdoors with her husband and four kids (you can follow her on Instagram).

She says her approach to her photography is from a lifestyle/storytelling perspective. She says: “My goal is to capture authentic moments and genuine emotions, and I lean toward clean, natural edits. This is also what stock agencies look for, so my style of photography works well for stock.”

How do you decide what photos to use for stock? 

When choosing images to submit for consideration for my stock portfolio, I look for strong storytelling photos that are sharp, composed well and are without noise. I am also careful to remove any logos or trademarks before I submit.

Where do most of the shoots take place? 

The photos I submit for stock are images that authentically record my family’s adventures at home and on our travels. Because we are an outdoorsy family this means I’m often shooting outdoors. When distractions pop up in the background, I use creative compositions, angles and depth of field to hide anything undesirable.

How do you get children to feel comfortable in front of the camera?

I seek genuine emotions and authentic moments in my images. I find playing with my children, exploring and actively participating in our adventures is important to keep everyone relaxed and not focused on the camera.

What is the most challenging age group for you to photograph? 

Teenagers! This age group tends to be more aware of the camera, and for me this means they are more challenging to photograph in an authentic way. With this age group it is particularly important to get them engaged in something they are interested in. It is much easier for me to capture my oldest son’s personality when he is in his element – surfing, at the skate park, hiking to the highest point on our adventures, hanging out with his dog, helping his younger siblings or sending selfies to friends.

Do you have any photography tips for amateur photographers or parents wanting to get great pics of their kids? 

Focus on capturing the moments, stories and the intricacies of your child’s personality, and do not get stuck trying to achieve eye contact and smiles! Make it fun by playing and interacting while taking a few photos. I have also found that kids enjoy seeing the photos on the back of the camera as we are playing.

My youngest son loves to see himself in action and will often ask to see how high he jumped or how big the splash was. After viewing the pic he wants to repeat the process as he challenges himself to jump higher or splash more!

How do you get the perfect pic when there is more than one child?

Encourage games and activities they all enjoy. Move around and capture the interactions from different angles. For me, the perfect pic is one that shows natural connections and tells a story, so I focus on capturing these fleeting childhood moments.

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