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My friend Alyson from Unruly Things posts family photos on Instagram, and every shot she takes of her son Wolf is utterly adorable. Luckily for us, Alyson agreed to share five tips to taking great family photos…

Hi, this is Alyson from Unruly Things. Photography isn’t hard – it’s actually quite simple. And you don’t need a fancy camera. Recently, I’ve been taking all of my photos with my iPhone. It fits in my back pocket, and often I’m taking pictures on the fly so as not to miss a single thing in my son’s life. Here are my five best tips to taking great photos of kids…

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1. Take multiple photos. Kids and babies are notorious for wiggling or sneezing at the last second. When taking photos of my son, I take lots because he’s so busy. Most of the photos turn out blurry but I’ll still end up with a winner. Bonus tip: Sometimes I’ll use the video feature on my iPhone, then take a screen shot from the video!

2. Try really hard NOT to use the flash. The flash creates harsh, fake lighting situations which can be rough on new skin. Try taking photos outside or inside by a bright window. And if you must use the flash, edit the photo to black and white to eliminate harsh lighting.

3. Take pictures from different angles. Don’t be afraid to take a photo of your little one from the side or from behind. You don’t have to see their face in every photo. I’ve caught some of the most precious moments of my son while he’s quietly playing by himself. The photos feel more natural and less posed.

4. Get down on their level. That way, you capture not only what your child’s life looks like but also what it feels like.

5. Take moments from everyday life. Not every photo needs to be styled or look like a professional photo shoot. The most beautiful photos are those that highlight moments in your real life, messy playroom and all! Capture everything, from fingers, toes, cheeks, bellies, ears and chubby legs to first giggles, first foods, hugs with the kitty, clapping, playtime, etc. It’s amazing how life seems to go by in warp speed. Each moment is special, and I want to have plenty of photos to look back on.

P.S. More Motherhood Monday posts, including 8 Confessions of a New Dad and How to Talk to Little Girls

(All photos by Alyson Brown)