Sheryl Bjorn | Blog

Monterey County Family Photographer | 3 Tips for Getting Better Photos of Your Kids!

January 27, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

How Many Photos do you take of your kids in a day?? If you are anything like me, the answer is a TON! Do you have to beg them to sit still? How long does it take you to get them to look at the camera? Do you have a child like I do, that lets you take one photo then turns around and runs away?!? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this blog post is for you!! Check out these Tips! 

First, Get down on their level! 

Most of us tend to take photos from our 'vantage point.' I am 5'3", not terribly tall, but how boring would it be to have all of my photos taken from 5 feet off the ground. This is especially true if you are taking photos of young children, who are shorter than you. Let's switch things up, and instead of photographing your child looking down at them, Have a Seat! Or take a knee! 2 things happen when you change your view. The first is that you get to see the world from your child's perspective. The trees look huge, and the little things, you never would have noticed, on the ground have a better chance of catching your attention! The second, is that you become more relatable! I use this practice everyday for work. The children I photograph are more open and willing to communicate with me if I put myself in their world. And I can hold their attention longer! 

Second, Let them Chatter! 

With you, with each other, with a toy, it doesn't matter! Talking about things they like, and things they are good at, or having them tell you stories, is an amazing DISTRACTION! (and as parents we know how handy a distraction can be) This works very well with pre-school aged children. They get so excited to tell you about the bike they are learning to ride, or their favorite princess, that they forget they are in the middle of a photoshoot! When you engage them in something they love or something they are interested in, you will also see more genuine smiles. And boys LOVE to tell me jokes! They can crack themselves up for a solid 10 minutes on fart jokes alone! Use that to your advantage!! 

Third, Get out and PLAY! 

It is so hard for little ones to sit still! You know this from the Doctor's office, the line at the grocery store, and church! This need to fidget gets even worse when little ones are nervous or anxious. The first thing to remember is to make sure you are calm. Kids will sense your mood and will feed off that energy, so we start with a deep breath.  Now, I know you are saying ... "Wait, Sheryl, you have lots of portraits of kids sitting or posed. What's the deal?"  I will share with you my magic method.  Ready ....  Break it up!  Let me explain. We start by checking out our environment, when we find a cool spot we stop for a portrait. Then we might see how many smooth stones we can fit into one hand, counting as we go (all the while taking pictures)  and once we have saved our favorite rock in our pocket, (yes, I might tell you child that they can take home rocks or a stick, sorry!)  I have earned another posed Portrait. Then we see how fast we can run! (toward the camera) and when we have completed a couple rounds of racing, we pause for another posed photo.  When you mix in the Portraits with the fun candid shots, they will be much more willing to work with you. 

OR ...  bring a chicken to your photo shoot! 

But if you don't have any chickens handy, maybe these ideas can help you out! And, I would love to hear how these work out for you! Are you ready to get out from behind the camera and Join those precious little ones?! I am ready and happy to help you with that! Request more information here!

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Monterey Family Photographer | The Jensen Kids at the beach, Carmel CA

January 23, 2017  •  4 Comments

While we sit here in the middle of one of the biggest storms we Californians have seen in many years, I stare out the window and WISH it was already Summer again!!  I am a huge fan of warm nights, bare feet, and golden sunsets, just not the 4:30pm ones! So while mother nature does her thing, I thought we should take a look back at the adorable Jensen's playing in the warm weather at the beach! 

I first met these kiddos when Little Sister E turned 1. She was so little, with the tiniest little red curls behind her ears. They have Both grown so much! I just adore those stunning blue eyes, and the adorable dusting of freckles on those little noses. 

Do you feel just a little bit warmer? I know I do! These kiddos were such a joy to work with. We ran on the beach, we laughed, told jokes, and rolled down the sandy hills! I may have had a lot of sand in my pockets and boots when I got home, but it was so worth it! 

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November 28, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

You have booked your appointment, and the next question you have is "What do we wear?!" This is a tough one that even I struggle with so in this post we are going to explore some different looks and ways to coordinate! 

I love to save ideas for color combos, and since the invention of Pinterest, I have to say that I may have become a little obsessed. Some may go so far as to say I am a Cyber Hoarder .... But what a perfect place to save and organize all your ideas! Even the ones I know I will never try (like the cupcakes in an ice cream come ... I am not even going to pretend that I am coordinated enough for that one!) 

First on the list, You DON'T MATCH! You want to COORDINATE!  When you all wear the same outfit it has a tendency to make your photos look dated. Just imagine looking through your old photo albums, I bet you can pretty accurately pinpoint the decade the photos were taken. When you invest in family photos you will want to ensure they are timeless. Let's go over some examples! 

There are websites like Polyvore that can show you what is popular right now and help you find where you can buy it! Just be sure to stay away from items that are too trendy.  The above look is a great example, we have 2 fun patterns on the kids that we can pull colors from, but do not distract from each other, and we are using Demin as a neutral.  We are also able to see some great textures! The cable knit sweater for sister, the cardigan for dad, and mom's scarf choices make for great contrast and give depth to your look. And let's not forget those Shoes!!  When you go through so much work to pull everything together, it is a shame to throw on your dirty running shoes and have it end up ruining the overall look you are going for. 

You don't all have to wear every color in your palette either!  This Yellow and Navy theme is fun, but notice how dad doesn't wear the navy, and brother has not yellow, BUT! everyone still coordinates nicely! 

Here we incorporate a fun POP of color with Mom's red Dress! We tie that pop of color together with the rest of the look with sister's skirt and the pattern on brother's sweater. 

In this example, we have the plaid shirt that has multiple colors in it that we can pull from. This gives you a little more freedom with colors and accessories. The blues and the greens that you may not have put together otherwise look right at home when photographer with this Plaid shirt in the mix!

For more examples and color palette examples check out my Pinterest board What To Wear For Your Photos 


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