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Photographing Kids: A book review and GIVEAWAY!

My love of family photographs runs deep. We have thousands of family photos that mean the world to me. My dad is not only a professional photographer, but he also loves taking pictures just for fun. He hired me at a young age to hang backgrounds, arrange props and get kids to smile in his portrait studio.

You know what I never learned, though? How to take beautiful pictures. Now, I’m desperately seeking that knowledge and, apparently, I am not alone.

Digital photography has made photography more available to us than it’s ever been. You don’t have to be a pro to take gorgeous photos, and Cathy Mores is an advocate for the non-pro.

Cathy is visually talented in a way the rest of us can only dream of. We met while on a project together for work – she on design and me on planning. Our friendship grew as we learned we shared a love of the outdoors, wine, yoga and more. She is one of those people you just love being around because she is so kind, smart, funny and thoughtful. And, you sorta wish you could have an ounce of her creativity.

Cathy’s mentor, Me Ra Koh, recently published a book called Your Child in Pictures: The Parents’ Guide to Photographing Your Toddler and Child from Age One to Ten 

Cathy was kind enough to let us share her review of the book. And, she scored us a copy to give away to one lucky winner! To enter, tell us:

What is your biggest photography challenge?

This book review first appeared owww.cathymoresphotography.com and is reprinted with permission.

Your Child in Pictures :: Book Review

by Cathy Mores

I’ve been waiting a little (ok, not-so-) patiently for our lovely UPS driver to show up on my doorstep with an advance copy of Your Child in Pictures! So imagine my excitement when a beautiful brown envelope arrived the other day from the publisher…

your child in pictures

Your Child in Pictures is the follow up to Me Ra Koh’s first book, Your Baby in Pictures (which is the PERFECT new-mama’s handbook for capturing the best moments of a baby’s first year). It happens all too often that we photograph all those sweet moments that happen in our child’s life for the first time — first steps, first tooth, first foods — and then, as our kiddos grow, somehow the magic of documenting those daily stories falls by the wayside. This book will spark your creativity for capturing all of the magic of childhood, well beyond those firsts!

Even as I was flipping through the satiny pages of beautiful images, I was inspired to go out this weekend and photograph Parker with some of these ideas in mind. Especially the pictures of kids and their pets — which, in our house, is an amazing story of tolerance and acceptance. Our cat, Cooper, used to be incredibly afraid of the tiny human running around our house and making crazy noises at all hours of the day (and night!). Now, as Parker has grown older, Cooper has taken a true liking to him. She sits with him as they watch cartoons after school, she begs him to be fed, and he lovingly takes care of her. The story in this spread totally reminded me of a photograph I’ve been envisioning of the two of them:

your child in pictures

The photo recipes and tips throughout the book are easy to understand if you’re photographing with a point-and-shoot or a DSLR camera. And nearly each inspiration has easy how-to steps for how to make your photograph successful, from the right time of day and how to compose the image. Imagine the stories you could tell about your little ones with some of these ideas!

And then… there’s the photographs. :)

You might recognize a face or two —like this little guy, who you might already know: (insert proud mama moment here)

your child in pictures

Parker’s beloved Blue Bear has been part of our family since day one. He’s been on airplanes, stuffed into suitcases, dangling out of a backpack a time or two. So when Parker begged to have Bear as part of our family portraits with Me Ra, it was really (really!) hard to say no. I blogged about our session, with some of the pictures, here. I’m beyond thrilled that she included one of the special stories about Parker and his incredible imagination. (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again… I love his photo ideas!)


Cathy Mores

Based in Manhattan, Kansas, Cathy Mores is an wedding and portrait photographer, where she’s known for her energetic and playful spirit behind the lens. Her work seeks to document a family’s visual legacy, honoring their unique story through custom home decor and heirloom products for future generations. She is also a Me Ra Koh Confidence teacher, holding beginner and intermediate photography workshops for women in the Midwest. In between photographing, she’s often found training for half-marathons and cheering for her seven year old son on the soccer field. See more of Cathy’s work and learn about her upcoming workshops at cathymoresphotography.com.

To enter to win a free copy of Your Child in Pictures, comment below and tell us:

What is your biggest photography challenge?

10 Responses to “Photographing Kids: A book review and GIVEAWAY!”

  1. Christina carpenter

    Getting both kids to cooperate at one time is the thing I really struggle with.

  2. Jenny M

    The biggest trick in photography is capturing that split second that a soul shares with the camera that captures a spark of their personality. I don’t always see that in photos, but when I see one with that”spark”, I am totally caught mesmerized.

  3. Anna G

    My biggest photography challenge has to be just having the camera on me, with a charged battery! But an even bigger photography challenge for me is what in the world to do with all of the super cute pics of my kiddos (other than keeping them on hard drives). 🙂 Congrats on your blog Mary! I love reading it. 🙂

  4. Beth Aldridge

    My biggest challenge is knowing the correct settings on my camera for the kind of shot I’m trying to get. I revert to the automatic setting, and then they don’t turn out as I would like. I end up using my iPhone more for pictures, but I’d love to get better with my Canon so I can use it more often.

    • marylemonwater

      Beth – thanks for your comment! The settings are so tricky. Cathy makes everything look spectacular, so I think we can look forward to some great ideas!

  5. marylemonwater

    Amber & Nadine – I completely agree with both of those challenges! It’s really hard to engage your kids, or get them to hold still, when you’re trying to get all of the settings right on the camera! Thank you so much for your comments! 🙂

  6. Nadine Banks

    I think my biggest challenge is that I think I have a great idea or see something the kids are doing that will be a great photo….and then I take the pics and it doesn’t come out anything like I had thought it would! So I guess I need help actually being able to capture with the camera, what I am seeing! -Nadine

  7. Amber

    I can’t wait to get one of Cathy’s workshops on my calendar! Until then, this book might help me out. One of my biggest challenges in taking pictures of my family is showing the emotions and telling the story of the moment. I’d love to improve on that.


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