September 30, 2010
You Capture: Togetherness
Photographing children is not easy…especially if you want more than one child in the frame.
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If you’re lucky, they’ll place nice…maybe even read together, but there are no guarantees.
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This past weekend, we “hoped” to get a decent Christmas photo…this was clearly easier said than done.
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Emma was the ultimate team player…Frances and Caroline needed a little convincing.
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So, after a little Doritos negotiation, Emma had a little play fight with Frances.
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Then, we decided to give our Christmas photo another go. Everyone ready? 1…2…3…
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MERRY CHRISTMAS! I don’t know about you, but I think this last one is a winner. 

For more “togetherness,” go to: 

By the way, several people have asked me if I was using my flash during this portrait session. The short answer is yes. Being inside with limited lighting, I didn’t want to risk missing a moment due to incorrect settings. I did not use my on-board flash (in fact, I don’t recommend it), but I did use this.  

Now that you know WHAT I was using, now you’re wanting to know how I used it…right? For you my friend, I offer two links that you NEED to read: 
  • Dragging the Shutter (Becoming Mom – check out her website….she was one of my first blogging inspirations and writes incredible tutorials). 
  • Dragging the Shutter (Neil van Niekerk – I just found Neil’s site and he explains lighting really well…in particular, he breaks down natural lighting, natural looking flash, ambient lighting, dragging the shutter, bounce lighting, etc). I’ll be adding his site to my Inspiration page as a reference. 
So read those and let me know if that makes any sense. Have a great day!

    i love this! family/children shots are always so adorable.
    that last one is so cute! haha. the two older ones acting silly while that little baby has the doe eyes on.

    wonderful shots :)

    I think you did a wonderful job capturing the moment(s)! I love how game Emma was… and yes, the last one IS a winner. :)

    you did a great job! i’m excited to go read the tutorials :)

    THe last is a wnner… But they are all great!!!!

    How stinkin’ cute!!!! The last one is definitely a winner!

    Yes, you nailed it with the last one for sure!

    You did a great job, and yes, children are not easy to capture when there are several. I really need a speedlight.

    The last one is definitely Christmas card worthy – it cracked me up! I especially like Caroline’s expression in the picture, as if she’s saying, “I’m with crazies.” Classic.

    What a fun group of pictures. I love the last one. The baby looks so perplexed by all the silliness around her.

    Oh my……you said it! Children are HARD!!!! But I think you nailed it! I LOVE the Christmas photo!!! And the top two are also favorites of mine!!!!! You did such an amazing job inside, I’m definitely going to have to save up for a flash….and then read all those tutorials (and see if I can get any cooperation in my own home!).

    Bribery, works as well for dogs as it does for kids and adults – :-)

    Ashley.. I have so busy job hunting that I have not done many photo challenges but yours.. but today I went to visit in a yellow house.. and it’s blocked and private now.. could you email her or give me her email and let me know… if she will approve me….I miss her stuff… love your togetherness

    I am getting one of those for christmas! Seriously. I need it.

    Children’s sessions are so insane, yet you portrayed this in such a fun a lighthearted way.

    Love all of them! I think you did an awesome job at using your speedlite. I’ve had that on my “wishlist” for a long time now. Looking at how beautiful your photos came, I think I will definitely ask Santa for it this year. :-)

    That last pic is awesome!! The look on the baby’s face is priceless. :D

    how cute are these? and so candid too!


    How great! The last one would def be my pic.. actually I would prob do a collage card because they are all precious. Love the one of them all reading together as well!!

    great photos, and great tips!

    I honestly don’t even like taking pictures indoors unless I am by a nice open window or front door so I am impressed that you tackled your first kids session with flash lighting. That would intimidate the heck out of me!! I love candid shots. Great job capturing them being silly and in the moment!

    They are all wonderful, and the last one is such a happy shot, but I think my favorite is the first one. So adorable!

    Your photos are just beautiful! Yes, I’m already thinking about a Christmas picture with my kids… do I dare try to wrangle them all (3) myself or do I do the usual fallback and take them to JC Penney???? Great job!

    Beautiful photos!

    I think you did great getting all of them together, especially since it was your first time!! Looking forward to seeing more of your beautiful photos!

    I love the one where they are all reading. So sweet and definitely a togetherness picture! Wonderful job on your 1st children’s shoot. Can’t wait to see the next!

    YES – the last one for sure!!! It has personality! Much better than boring ol’ posed shots :D

    For sure!!! My very favorite is the last one!! Priceless!! You do amazing work!

    #2 is my favorite – great captures!

    Great shots! I do love that last one! Thanks for those links too, I will definitely check those out! :)

    I LOVE the last shot! So sweet!

    I have a flash very similar to this (mine’s a Nikon). I love it and use it all the time indoors. However, it’s been corroding the batteries recently which is annoying because I have to take them out after each session.

    I’ll have to check out those links! Thanks!

    Yes, definitely a winner! They’re all great tho!

    That baby’s eyes kill me, the contrast is great between those shiny dark pools and her porcelain skin. Great captures :)

    Beautiful as always! I do love that last shot. I never think to do black and white with my kids, I need to try that. Thanks for the tips on lighting/flash etc. I find it impossible to get my kids in focus, in frame and the lighting right! Maybe your tips will help us get a Christmas photo too!

    Gorgeous shots! I love the idea of a collage card, they are just so precious.

    taking photos of one is hard enough, but three you have to be good and as we can see you are good, they are great photos, and that last one might be the winner, but I love all all of them!

    I love the silly ones the best.

    I discovered you over at You Capture and wanted to tell you about The Happiness Project. It’s a carnival that I host every Tuesday and all you have to do is post a photo of something that makes you happy. I am trying to take over the blogosphere with happiness.

    Here is a link to last week’s post if you want to check it out.

    I’d love to have you join in the fun next week.

    Love it! Definatly some winners in there!

    I love all of these photos Ashley especially in B&W.

    Great job!! I love the first and the last photos!!! Love the B&W!

    You did a great job! Love the black and white. Thanks for the flash info. I’m going to go check out all the information!

    I got a speedlight for Mothers’ Day and have yet to even put it on my camera. If there’s not enough natural light I just don’t take the picture. You’ve inspired me to read those tutorials and give it a shot! Thanks!

    Hey, I thought it was just my kids who do this, so glad to know that mine are normal!!

    I love the one of them reading and the last shot. Great job. It is so difficult. Thanks for sharing the links.

    Love the last one!!! I think it would look perfect on a xmas card ;)

    Hey ! Just stumbled upon your blog and I love it! Love your photos!

    Traci @ Ordinary Inspirations

    You are right; children are so hard! But you got the job done and these photos are beautiful. That last one is great! Saw this on You Capture.

    These are awesome! I love the one of them reading, adorable! You really captured them in their own element. Also, your conversions are beautiful :) Oh and thanks for the links.

    What sweet little girls! I like the outtakes a lot too! Maybe you could use one of the “do-overs” for the Christmas card as well.

    Thanks for the link on the lighting with an external flash. I have the hardest time with my speedlite because it’s so trial and error. But I love that it lets me get shots I would have missed without it.

    children are so difficult to photograph!! my fav one is the one they are reading together! that’s adorable!!

    Thanks for visiting my blog! Your photos are beautiful… I love the candid shots – they showcase such personality!
    Beneath the Acacia Tree

    ALL of these images are stunning & i have to agree that in the last image babes face is quite priceless :)

    And I just want to say thanks for being such a fabulous blogger & woman, you are encouraging me in every direction, love it!

    Very nicely done. I love using on and off camera flash. Fill, backlighting and dragging the shutter. Thanks for the share.

    Darn cute. Love that they are in B & W.

    I think they are all wonderful! It is never an easy task to photograph kids!

    Ashley, these shots too are BEYOND. I’m in awe, I really am. They just get better and better! I would have written sooner, but I’m working on the tips you gave me this morning…hope to have a post up soon. I couldn’t be HAPPIER with the results…and I’ll email you when the post is ready. You’re the best!

    LOVE the last one! All these photos are absolutely great memories that were captured!

    OMG…these are sooo cute…Beautiful photos !!

    Best Regards

    Oh, I love the baby’s expression in the last one…kinda like, “Get me out of here!” Way cute!

    Thanks for the links! You are so helpful to us amatuers! :-)

    I LOVE the expression on the baby’s face…she’s like, “I don’t know them!”. That would be my keeper!

    great job and I love the black and whit effect.

    The book shot is priceless. I would kill for a shot like that of the girls.

    These are too cute. :) Great shots!

    I love the last one, they’re all beautiful but you captured laughter and happiness in the last one. Love it! Cute kiddos :)

    Cute photos. We also always seem to have such a time getting our Christmas photo too and we only have two. :)

    Thanks for those tutorial links! Since I don’t own a flash, obviously, the whole idea has me baffled. But it’s on my holiday wish list, as you have me inspired!

    I love, love, love these! Love the black and white!

    They are adorable, you really captured their personality.