Not too long ago I found myself sharing my pumpkin patch memories with a few of my new-parent friends. So I thought I would share with the world the few things I have learned as an amateur mom-tographer. I am far from being an extraordinary photographer, but I am a very persistent mom with a camera. I am grateful that my kid is such a good sport about my taking photos of him all the time though. He has even asked me to take photos of him on occasion, which made my heart blow up in excitement of course!
We have changed how we do things as the years go by, but before we leave the house, the kid and I get to a compromise. He will get his fun and whatever he wants to eat, as long as I get my photos taken. It is hard to keep his attention when there are hundreds of pumpkins and hay rides and all these activities and all these kids running around, so patience is the next thing on my list. Lots of it! I’m sure that it’s easier if you have another adult with you, but it’s been just me for the last 6 years, so lots of patience.
We have a nursery nearby that gets all dolled up every fall with a pumpkin patch and Halloween decorations, so that has been a mandatory stop every year since the kid was a baby. We have gone more than once during the week at different times, so we get different lighting, sometimes less people in the background and the kid cooperates a lot more on the second round. Even when the kid is familiar with the place, he notices something different every fall, and capturing his discoveries makes this mama happy.
The next couple things on my list are a fully charged battery and a memory card with lots of storage. Why? I usually take a lot of photos in one visit and only a handful of those will make it to my social media pages or become the one photograph we send to the grandparents. There will be photos where the kid was cranky or forcing a smile or was crying or was mad or looking away while his face faces me or something else. These photos will be the wonderful memories that will make us smile or even laugh at some point in life after the kid grows older.
I usually end up with lots of candid photos. I take photos while he’s playing or doing an activity or just eating. My kid is a talker just like me (and his dad and his grandmothers on both sides), and his facial expressions when he’s talking are just adorable. I take pictures of his back, front or side. It really doesn’t matter. Capturing my kid discovering the world or telling me about it, is what makes my heart happy. Sometimes I bring my camera down to my waist and just shoot, sometimes I get down on my knee to capture the kid at his level. Capturing the world the way he sees it make some really nice photos sometimes.
Some of the best photos are early in the morning or right before sunset, the golden hour as they call it. We live in Texas, so it’s challenging sometimes because it’s too hot or too humid. It is so much better when the sun is not too harsh because the kid is not squinting with the sun or complaining about it. The light on cloudy days or mornings or late afternoons is great though for great or magical photos.
Something to consider is what the kid will wear, I don’t want him blending in with the hundreds of pumpkins and hay stacks. Wearing white will bring a lot of light to his face compared to dark colors. Sometimes we go after church, sometimes we go right after the after school program. Sometimes I get him all dressed up just for the pumpkin patch. I am a happy camper as long as he is comfortable and he doesn’t look like another pumpkin.
I am usually the one taking photos, but handing over the camera and getting myself in the photo is always great. I sometimes bring a tripod and a camera remote, but if it’s too crowded I just get it done and over with and have fun with the kid as we go. I thought about letting my kid take photos of me next time, but we’ll see about that later. I’ll let you know how it goes.
At the end of the day, my goal is to have fun and enjoy the day with the kid at the pumpkin patch, do the hay rides and the corn maze, pet the goats, ride the pony, eat corn, paint some pumpkins, and make lots of memories for years to come.