Just like a puppy, your tween or teen may not be as cute as they were as a toddler. In between childhood and adulthood, they may be in that awkward stage, with legs too long, hair that is trying to decide if it’s curly or straight, and braces. Thus, taking pictures of your teenagers may have become a challenge to say the least. Maybe it’s because they are feeling self-conscious about the changes going on, or maybe it’s just because they are trying to establish some independence. They know more than you (no way!), they are way cooler than you (yeah, right!) and they have perfected the mommy crushing eye-roll.
Well, as frightening and frustrating as the COVID19 Pandemic is, in a sense we’ve been given a gift. An enforcement to stay at home, only with immediate family members. And while your teenage children might be rebelling at the loss of spending time with friends, sports activities, and other important teenage pastimes, you’ve kind of got a captive audience. There are still ways to capture these moments and make those oh-so-important memories. Here are some pointers on taking pictures of your teenagers:
1) Catch them in a quiet moment when they are working on their schoolwork or distance learning projects.
2) A profile can make just as good of a picture as a straight on portrait. Photograph your child watching TV, reading a book or listening to music.
3) Playing/spending time outdoors. Maybe they hop on that old tire swing in your yard, or join the Chalk the Walk movement on your sidewalk. It’s a great time to pick up that camera and snap a few shots.
4) If you have a trampoline, photograph them jumping and acting silly.
5) Interact with your tween/teen. Put their iPhone in portrait mode, find some pretty light filtering through a tree and have them strike a pose, any pose. Involving them in the decision making of the photos might help to make them more willing participants.
6) Play with light and exposure; use filters; again, get your teenager involved in the creative process and have them make suggestions for fun, funny, pretty or serious photos.
My advice basically is to just try taking pictures of your teenagers being themselves. It’s ok to sneak (a little bit). Crack their bedroom door and take a picture of them sleeping or hanging out in their bedroom. Even if you get a scowl, or that ever-present eye roll, you’ve caught a memory that you can laugh at later in life. A trick that usually works for all ages? Tell them “Don’t you smile!” How can they not crack at least a little grin?
I’ll have some more ideas for fun things to photograph in the near future. But don’t let this unique opportunity pass you by. Sometimes the every day life holds the memories you’ll cherish most. We will all remember that time in 2020 where the world shut down and we were quarantined because of the Coronavirus. Until then please stay safe and healthy my friends!
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