Get in the Photos, Mom!


I’m right with (some of) you, I do not love being in the photo! And trust me, it makes me cringe to share so many photos of myself here! I have heard it so many times before, “I don’t need to be in this one”, “I’ll take the photo”, “I’ll schedule family photos later when I look better/feel better/get my roots touched up”.  

I am the photographer in the family so I have to make a little extra effort to get in the photos. But some of my very favorite photos are the ones of my mom and I (and the ones of my mom and my kids), especially since she is no longer living. Whether you use a smartphone or a DSLR, I’m here to give you a few ideas on how to make it easier to get in the photos!

1. Get a selfie stick, get a tripod (or a stack of books!), or hand the camera off. 

I know selfie sticks are kinda cheesy but I finally broke down and got one, just because sometimes it is so much easier! We always have our phones with us so if you can remember the selfie stick too, you are all set.

TIP* The part of you that is closest to the camera with look the biggest, so keep that in mind when you are posing. Try raising the camera up above eye level for a flattering angle (but making sure to still get the pretty background in there too!) Try different angles and some close-ups too.

I often put my camera on a tripod, a stack of books or the kitchen counter so that I can get in the scene. I did this one several years ago by setting my camera on a stack of books:

My very favorite photo of my boys and I is one I have done a couple of times, and need to do again soon. I did this by putting a comforter on the floor and my camera on a tripod facing down at the ground, but you could also do this by handing off the camera or using a selfie stick. Pillows under the comforter can make things more comfortable and flattering!




Ok you guys motived me to get 2017!!!:

2. Always ask to get those photos sent to you!

If you are out with friends and they snap a photo of you with their camera, have them text it to you right away.

TIP* Lighting is everything! If you are outside, find some even lighting by photographing yourselves in open shade (like by a building, or at sunset when the sun is not shining in your face and giving you raccoon eyes!). If you are inside, get yourselves by a window and since you are doing a selfie with a selfie stick, move around watch how the light falls on your face until it is bright but soft, without harsh shadows!

3. Hire a professional photographer!

This is probably my favorite since it’s a passion of mine, but it is so worth it! A few tips on picking a photographer are to ask your friends for recommendations and search online. It is an investment but one of the most important out there, in my opinion. Make sure they have a style that you are drawn to! There are so many talented photographers out there. 

TIP* Watch the background – try to avoid weird objects appearing to grow out of your head, like a tree or a light post. The sun behind you can be pretty too, creating some beautiful backlight.

And my final best tip! If you are still worried how you will look in the photos, just look at your kids, the love will shine through and they will cherish those photos the very most.


Previous articleNew Year, New Focus: Who do you want to “be” this year?
Next articleA Letter to All the Pregnant Ladies
Katie Woodard
Katie has lived in Flagstaff for 22 years and grew up in North Carolina. She has 10 and 12 year old boys who are certainly an adventure! Her family is by far the most rewarding part of her life. Katie loves hiking and running in our beautiful hills, skiing, river rafting, traveling, health and clean eating (thanks to a whacky thyroid). She is also always taking small steps to clean up our environment, and she is currently learning meditation and just loves learning in general! Katie and her college roommate drove to AZ from VA after college and Katie has only left briefly but Flagstaff is her home for sure! She met her wonderful husband while river guiding in the Grand Canyon. Katie is a family photographer at, here in Flagstaff and loves capturing the natural love and beauty in families. Her newest fun adventure is co-founding Women Empowering Northern Arizona.