In June it is Father’s Day, so here are some tips to capture some special moments with or for dad.
Dads have a long-standing reputation for loathing the photography experience. But why? From my experience they either have residual trauma from their family photos when they were kids or they simply feel shy, awkward, stiff or bored in front of the camera! So rather than having dad sit all prim and proper and say “cheese”, let’s focus on capturing the things that dad actually likes to do with his kiddos. Because let’s face it, the relationship your kids have with dad is a very special one and you want to capturing those special moments to be treasured for you and your kids as they grow up.
Now here’s where Fathers Day photographs differ to the soft, feminine ones we focused on for Mother’s Day last month. This doesn’t mean your shots can’t be filled with as much love and connection! You may just have to take a slightly different approach. Use these tips for photographing dad from his best side:
1. Emphasise Activities, Not Poses
Instead of asking dad to pose for the camera, capture real-world interaction like rowdy play, racing, playing sport or reading a book together. You will find that the best images always come from real interactions and not poses. The only prompt you have for them is: “You don’t have to do anything.”
2. Find moments of connection
There are always moments where you can just tell your kids and dad are making a connection. Look for quiet moments like when they are sitting in bed together reading a story, doing a puzzle, or sitting on the couch watching sports. Whatever it is, sometimes the most mundane activities can be the ones where the biggest connection is being made. Find these small moments and capture them in your photos.
3. Capture those silly moments
Make sure to include some silly moments because one of the best things about dads is that they can get pretty silly and like to wind the kids up (mainly right before bedtime [insert eye roll]). for your kids. As dad and child play, get those facial expressions from each one. Move around them as they play so you can photograph each person. Don’t ask them to stop or smile, just take photos as they interact naturally.
4. Capture the size difference
One of the things I love about watching my kids with their dad is the sheer size difference between them. It is amazing to see the just how big dad looks next to our little ones. Photographs where you show this size difference show the dependency of a child and the gentleness of a father. Take a photo from behind as they stand next to each other or show dad holding your child.
5. Focus on dad! Seems obvious, however we are so used to focussing on the kids and have dad be the secondary element of the photograph. Switch this around and make dad the focal point this time around.
Get photos of his face as he looks at the kids. Photograph his hands, his eyes and his body language as he interacts with them
Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas to get you going:
- Tickling matches
- Pulling funny faces
- Swinging around in circles or tossing in the air
- Playing sports
- Building lego or doing a puzzle
- Rough play
- Snuggles and reading in bed
- Teaching or mentoring (e.g. how to fish or solve a math problem)