Special Guest Blogger: Deanna Dieudonné

02/19/2010 at 12:20 pm | Posted in guest blogger, technique | 11 Comments
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Happy Friday everyone! My name is Deanna Dieudonné, and I am very excited to be the guest blogger—yeah!

I have been scrapbooking for about five years and make a lot of handmade cards. I attended my first CKU convention a few years ago. Not only did I meet a wonderful group of people there, but I returned with a passion for all things related to photography.

I’m also a mother of two active little boys who are full of energy and always on the move. If they’re not running, jumping, or climbing outside, then it must be bedtime! But photographing kids on the move isn’t always easy. So in honor of the Olympics, I want to share tips on how you can capture some gold-medal moments on camera while your “little athletes” play outside.

Zoom In. Long gone are the times when my boys sat still and posed for a picture. Lately, my boys have a tendency to make a silly face if they think I’m taking their picture. My solution: use a zoom lens to get close-up shots from a distance. I like to use my zoom lens because I can take my boys’ pictures without feeling like I’m intruding in their playtime. This approach also allows me the ability to zoom in and out without having to switch lenses.

Shoot Continuously. If your camera allows for it, shoot using the “burst” function. I love using this function with the Sports mode (the running-man icon). This continuous mode allows me to take multiple pictures in rapid succession, and it’s perfect for taking candid photos. (It’s also perfect for capturing the movement of two active little boys.)

For the set of photos below, I caught my boys trying to walk on the balance beam. I positioned myself to the side and in front of my boys as they played. I had so much fun watching them laugh and fall off.

Think Ahead. Taking pictures is like scrapbooking: a little upfront thought and planning can produce a very creative and eye-appealing result. When taking your photos, think about what elements you want to capture. Are you trying to capture a laugh, a smile, or a whole scene? Also, position yourself either in the direction that your subjects will be moving toward or away from. For example, when I took the first photo below, my son was running around the track and chasing after a remote-control car. I could have zoomed in on just his face, but that wouldn’t capture the entire scene with the rest of my family in the background. And in the photo of the monkey bars, I wanted to capture the essence of the playground fun.

Snap Away. One wonderful aspect of digital cameras is that there’s no film and virtually no cost (except storage cost, which is pretty inexpensive). I never delete a photo unless I find it absolutely unusable. Just because it’s blurry doesn’t mean it’s not a good photo. Keep those blurry shots—sometimes they add a creative effect. 😉 I like to compile a bunch of my favorite action shots into collages. I made these collages using Picasa, the free software from Google.

Have Fun. Let your children do what comes naturally. During fall, as soon as my boys saw a big pile of leaves they attacked it—jumping, kicking, and laughing (see the collage above). Some of my favorite shots are those that were taken in the moment.

Taking candid shots gives my boys a chance to be spontaneous and silly.

Now it’s your turn. Go out and have fun and see what shots you can come up with. For more ideas, check out my blog.


P.S. Don’t miss this week’s free font download as part of Free Font Friday! You can download the CK font for free here!



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  1. Awesome photos and tips!! Love how all the colors pop!


  3. Great tips! My wife and I recently got a new camera and can’t wait to try out some of these techniques on our kids. If our photos turn out half as nice as yours, we’d be happy!!!

    As a novice photographer (if I even qualify as a novice!) I also appreciate how clear the techniques were described – even I could understand them!

    Great job Deanna…looking forward to reading more of your advice in the future. Thank you for the encouragement!

  4. WOW! Your pictures are crystal clear and wonderful! Thanks for sharing all the tips and Picasa – I will have to check it out!

  5. Thanks for the tips – your pictures are always so fantastic! It’s inspiring to see what you are able to capture – especially since your guys seem to never stop moving! Going to have to try the collage feature on Picasa – that’s probably a lot easier/quicker than the way i curently do it in PhotoShop…

    More please!

  6. Love this post Deanna! Great tips and photos!

  7. Fantastic photos! Thanks for the tips 🙂

  8. I was happy to see that think like you!!!! Although my kids are getting older they don’t like taking pictures so I also keep those bad blurry pictures.

  9. cute, cute, cute! Love the ideas, the pics and the colors!

  10. Thanks for the photo tips! I definitely need them. Can you give any suggestions on editing photos once you have them taken? I love the bright colors, but don’t use Photoshop. My kids are always in action too and I forget about the ‘running man’….and i am going to have to figure out the burst setting. So much good information! Thanks Deanna!

  11. Thanks for the tips Deanna, your photos are gorgeous! They will definitely come in handy with my busy 5yr old :o)

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