8 TIPS to becoming a Successful Momtographer

The word "momtographer" sometimes gets a bad rap...

It CAN mean a hobbyist trying to charge a lot of money to take pictures that aren't all that frame worthy to begin with...

and as a professional photographer, I understand the laments...

but, my heart is in a different place and therefore, my definition of a MOMTOGRAPHER may be a bit different...



Here's what I know...

When I set out to take family pictures, my goal is LIFESTYLE photography...it's my job to find those personalities and capture them in the 30-45 minutes that I have...to create EMOTION and IMAGERY...Because I tend to "think in story", I envision that I'm shooting the cover shot for the story of their life...I need to wrap the essence of who they are, all the love, all the relationship into images that become the cover shots...

And while I take pride in my work and I love it and I have my OWN family portraits taken each year to document our "cover story"...

it's the 24/7 that makes the actual narrative...this is called DOCUMENTARY photography.

It's the insignificant, mundane moments that make up the everyday...
It's in THOSE pages that character is built, memories are made, and authenticity shines...

And since I don't live with all of my clients...duh...
I'm not there to capture THOSE things...

So to all the MOMS out there...the ones that long to DOCUMENT life...to hang onto every fleeting moment...to those that are realizing that graduation is just around the corner...to those that are already having a hard time remembering what your oldest sounded like as a 3 year old...

this is for you!!!

Here are some TIPS to start your OWN journey to becoming an amazing MOMtographer...a Mom to captures those everyday moments in beautiful and inspiring ways...that make your children beg to see the back of your camera and they get excited when a new family album is delivered...to the moms that want their images to stand out from all the same old obligatory albums from every vacation or choir concert...

And after you read these tips, I can promise you that by scheduling a Snapshop Mentoring Session, you'll have gotten 7 of the 8 already well on your way!


1. Keep Learning: I understand that TIME is a commodity. I never feel like I have enough of it, but I do find that I somehow am able to MAKE time for the things that really matter.  For me, that is making sure that I'm doing all I can to continue to improve my abilities, to stretch myself, to allow failure, but strive for success!

2. Carve out Time to Shoot: Sometimes this may mean focusing on composition with just your iPhone at the ready instead of the "big" camera...and THAT'S OKAY!  Because, truly, a HUGE part of taking incredible pictures, is being able to SEE them around AND practicing correctly using the light that is available AND having a handful of framing tools in your mind's eye to make sure you are capturing a moment just the right way! The goal is to keep doing it...

CRAZY tidbit about yours truly: When I had my first typing class as a freshman in highschool, like on a REAL typewriter...I used to "practice" on my fingers...tapping my fingers to my thumbs to "type" out sentences or conversations that I was having with others...YES, I looked ridiculous as a 14 year old "typing" on my fingers, but by golly, I became a FAST typist because I was always aware of words and how they needed to be typed out...TRANSFER TO PHOTOGRAPHY: be mindful and practice as much as you can and you WILL see a change!

3. Learn LIGHT: This is a BIGGIE because light can make or break an image...it makes a picture look dark, dull and flat OR it can cause eyes to twinkle...it can make skin look green, or make an entire image POP...Knowing light laws and understanding how it coincides with where to stand in relation to your subject is half the battle.

4. Understand Composition and have framing tools in your stockpile: There are some basic "frame up" tools that you can always have in your back pocket, but it's also great to really learn what & how the eye is drawn to a photo...understand focal points & negative space and how those aspects affect the "emotion" of a photo.

5.Always think in terms of STORY and elements for capturing the CHAPTERS of your child's life. You can't execute a PLAN if you don't have a plan to begin with...If you are just haphazardly throwing your camera up at the last second to get shots, then you will only get "lucky" once in awhile with your images...IF you want your images to make a statement...to make those Facebook Albums "tell a story" and get your families & friends to ooooh and ahhh over your pictures, then you must have a plan in mind...photo albums are mundane & boring if it's basically the same shot over and over again with just a change of scenery...be purposeful in your mindset of how to capture the story elements of your life!

6. Embrace your Style & have FUN: If you go onto Instagram and follow just 3 photographers, each one's grid will be significantly different from the other...because we ALL have our own set of glasses through which we see life...be sure to embrace YOURS!

7. Make your "know how" match your camera's capabilities so that you get the MOST out of your investment. This is why I developed Mentoring Snapshops in the first place! I see so many people with those big DSLR cameras and they are using a pop up flash and their dial is still on Auto...YES, the prints will be a tad better than an iPhone print, but, for the amount of money you invested in that camera, don't you want to use it to its fullest capacity to the get the shots it's actually capable of taking?  I'm not saying that you have to become a mathematician and know how to take apart and put back together your camera...HOWEVER, once you understand the Exposure Triangle and how to control your focal points and how to maneuver your lighting & settings, it changes everything about your photography and the images that you can capture!

8. Learn to EDIT and PRINT, PRINT, PRINT: Once you sign up for a Mentoring Snapshop Session you get to join the private Facebook Group: Snapshop Grads I offer tutorials and Q & A videos which help with editing and what to do with your images once you capture them...It's a community of Momtographers that all want the same thing: to take GREAT pictures of their KIDS!

Contact me at ctphotomemories@gmail.com to set up a time for Snapshop Mentor Session today!

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