Photo Shoot Ideas For Dads

November 15, 2010 in Dad Tips  

Photo Shoot Ideas For Dads

One of the things I’ve heard lots of experienced dads say is, “take lots of pictures!” I think all of us dads want to take great pictures of our kids.

I recently stumbled across some killer and inspiring dad/kid pictures that I think will help us all think a little more creatively about snapping photos. (source).

Jason Lee is a wedding photographer guy with two daughters and a lil’ dude… and he sets up little photo shoots for his kids. The photos tell something about what’s going on in the kids’ lives, like first day of school, or first tooth to come out, etc. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves…

Some Of My Favorite:

My First Project

A while back I tried doing something similar and had a GREAT time of it. Aiden was real young and it was just him and I hanging out one night so I setup some cheap lights and went shutter-crazy. Here are some of the best ones with some captions.

Some Tips On How To Do This

First & Foremost: Subject Matter. I love the idea of “staging” a shoot about some current everyday element — like the laundry pic above. When you really dress up an everyday moment it can be extra special. So, you want to actually see your day/life with fresh eyes, noticing the stuff that’s going on, because that’s the subject matter of your photography. We all have things like teeth brushing, diaper changing, pajama dawning, bath timing, etc… there could be some great little setups for that stuff.

Lighting: You’d be surprised how simple this stuff is. Get creative with lights you already have and use paper towels and/or tin foil to make the lights more mellow or more directional to taste. The most important thing is looking through the camera and being aware of the light — is it fading out in the background? Should it be lighter back there? Are there shadows on the face? etc.

Least Possible Time With Kids: You know your kids; you know they’ll be good to go and having fun with this for about 1.3 minutes. So you’ll want to try to get it all setup before hand — dial in your camera settings, setup the lighting and props, channel your inner Don Draper with a stiff cocktail all before bringing the “talent” on stage.

Give It A Shot

You know you want to do this. I know you’re creative enough to capture something killer… Because it’s not about how in-focus the photo is, or the composition, or the lighting; it could be much more awesome to have a picture of your kid full-on snot faced and screaming as you try to get her to smile and the camera shakes with some blur and everything’s over exposed, including your visible rage. It’s about capturing a moment that you look at 10 years from now and go, “Oh sh!t, that’s right! I forgot about that,” and then you chuckle.

Do you know any kid-photo tips? Tell us about them! Have some photos where you did something like this? Show us!!

Please Comment & Add Your Voice!

Andy November 15, 2010 at 9:31 am

Why not just photograph them doing something THEY like to do. That sounds more like a fatherly photoshoot. Instead of them having fun for 1.3 minutes your photoshoot could last 1.3 hours and be alot of fun for everyone.


Chase November 15, 2010 at 9:34 am

Sure thing, turkeylips! This is just something I tried out and liked cuz the images are so unique!

And you raise a good point: there really isn’t anything about doing a photoshoot that negates it being fun for the kid(s)… Those girls in Jason Lee’s photos look like their having a pretty great time. Maybe there’s some tricks to that…

John November 15, 2010 at 11:55 am

One tip I’d have for new dads. When our daughter was born, I committed to taking a picture a day for the first year of her life. The change in that year is so dramatic, and to get it all on “film” really was amazing. Combined with the products available in iPhoto, also made for some easy yet very well-received presents to the family throughout the year. It sounds daunting, and there were a few days that were challenges, but so glad I did it.


Chase November 15, 2010 at 12:21 pm

oh that’s awesome John! What a cool thing to do! Was it hard to keep up with it everyday?

John November 16, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Chase – it was. There were more than an anticipated amount taken with my iPhone camera vs. my Rebel. But overall, it just didn’t matter. As long as I got something, the intent and evolution holds true.


Chase November 17, 2010 at 9:42 am

Yea, iphone is absolutely killer for pics all the time… My flickr is full of pics from the iPhone – which is why I love the idea of these photoshoots: they give me an excuse to pull out the DSLR!

stefan November 19, 2010 at 7:44 pm

If you shoot with an SLR or DSLR, get yourself a cheap fast lens. My choice is Canon’s 50mm f1.8. $90 and delightful for snapping quick shots around the house, even in minimal light. If you’re using a point-n-shoot, turn the flash off and brace the camera against something, or leave the flash on but deflect it at the ceiling with a paper plate.


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