2012 In Photos: You Don’t Need A Photographer or An Expensive Camera to Snap Awesome Shots of Your Family

Most people above a certain age don’t have a ton of photos from their childhoods. They likely have a string of stiffly posed family photos taken by a professional photographer that feature them smiling awkwardly in their fancy duds, basically looking nothing like they did on the other 364 days of the year. And seriously, when was the last time a school photo accurately portrayed the true spirit of any kid?

I’ve never had professional photos taken of my kids. In fact, there have been no professional photos ever. Not even on our wedding day. And I like it like that. Posing on a couch in some orchard, or strolling down train tracks somewhere just doesn’t seem like the right fit. I prefer to photograph my kids in action, doing what they do, occasionally trying to capture special moments with “staged” shoots around the house or yard.

So far, so good. When I look back at my favorite photos from this year, the moments come rushing back. Visiting the cow down the street, swimming in the backyard, Henry in his chicken costume, building a fort in the dining room. Emotions and memories that no professional photo shoot could ever evoke.

I spent a lot of time taking photos this year. Nothing serious, just roaming around with my little Canon point & shoot ($129 on Amazon) and then some editing in Flickr.

I’m certainly no purist. I mean, I like taking a photo so great it doesn’t need a tweak. But I also really enjoy editing photos. I like to improve upon images, if I can, and I also like using basic editing software to impart some further feeling into the photos. Nothing major, but if the day felt happy and sunny I might tweak the warmth on the photo to relay that a bit more. If it was cold, I may dial up the blue tint.

Several years ago Serge purchased me a Nikon D100, when that was the camera to have. Any blogger who claimed to be a photographer (and there are a bajillion) had a fancy Nikon or Canon. I was impressed but also felt like it wasn’t worth my trouble when I can accomplish what I want to accomplish with my cheap, tiny Canon point and shoot.

So what am I hoping to accomplish?

Basically I’m hoping to take quality photos of my family, friends, and our neighborhood and the characters that live within, so that my kids can look back in twenty years and remember what it was like to grow up in our farmhouse in the country.

I’ve compiled a bunch of my favorite photos from the year here in an effort to prove to you that not only do you not need to pay a photographer a bunch of money to snap your photos you don’t even need an expensive camera to get quality photos.

So, what do you think? If I told you I shot these with a top of the line camera from 2012 would you have known otherwise by looking at the photos? Or am I right that you don’t need a fancy camera to take great photos?

  • SkullFace 1 of 32
    This cow lived down the street from us this summer and became our little buddy. He also inspired my conversion to pescatarianism six months ago. This was a warm, misty summer morning so I amped the warmth a bit so you could really feel that when you look at the photo.
  • The Clawfoot Tub 2 of 32
    The Clawfoot Tub
    It may look cool but this tub was a total pain in the ass to deal with. I like the perspective here because it shows how truly enormous this tub really is. And also, how cute is that little guy?
  • Henry 3 of 32
    Riding his trike in the backyard. The back of the old farmhouse makes for a good backdrop against the bright red. Always on the lookout for epic childhood photo moments.
  • Easter 4 of 32
    These are some of my favorite photos from this year.
  • Easter Feet 5 of 32
    Easter Feet
    I sat the kids up against the horse stable in our backyard and snapped away.
  • Sister & Brother 6 of 32
    Sister & Brother
    Everything went well except for a second after this photo was taken Henry slammed his forehead on the cement.
  • Porch Swing 7 of 32
    Porch Swing
    So many elements of country life lend to excellent photo shoots. The porch swing has inspired many an impromptu photo shoot.
  • Amish 8 of 32
    Horses and buggies ride past our house several times a day.
  • Morning 9 of 32
    This farm is a few houses down the street from us.
  • They Like Apples 10 of 32
    They Like Apples
    These cows also live just down the street. Most every day of the summer we'd walk down there and feed them apples.
  • Mama Bear 11 of 32
    Mama Bear
    A rare shot of me with my kids as I'm usually behind the lens.
  • Hooligans 12 of 32
    I don't know what it is about this photo, but it just warms my heart. Maybe because this one really seems to capture their true personalities on a daily basis... Just hanging around the backyard.
  • Silhouettes 13 of 32
    Watching the buggies drive by.
  • Self-Timer 14 of 32
    When Babble asked for a photo of the two of us for this blog we obliged by utilizing the self -timer on our little point and shoot, hence the fact that we aren't quite centered. But, in the end, that didn't matter because they cropped it.
  • Chasing Fireflies 15 of 32
    Chasing Fireflies
    You can even see the shadow of the firefly!
  • Beach Babe 16 of 32
    Beach Babe
    Okay, I have to admit, Serge snapped this one and I touched it up by warming it up a little bit and sharpening the edges. It's a top favorite from this year.
  • Watering The Violet 17 of 32
    Watering The Violet
    Every evening in the summer dad and Violet would head onto the porch to water the flowers. This photo brings it right back to me. I can almost feel the mist droplets from the hose as I sit on the porch swing.
  • Lake 18 of 32
    Lots of time spent at the lake this year as sister and bro learned to play nice.
  • To Build a Fort 19 of 32
    To Build a Fort
    Before we got our dining room table I figured it was as good a time as any to show my kids the joy of building a fort.
  • Good Lighting 20 of 32
    Good Lighting
    I'm always on the lookout for good lighting. My bedroom, with four windows and billowy white curtains, is always a good spot.
  • Dad & Daughter 21 of 32
    Dad & Daughter
    I punched up the contrast on this one a little because the silhouettes are so awesome.
  • Take 2 22 of 32
    Take 2
    I amped up the color on this one to highlight the moment.
  • 4th of July 23 of 32
    4th of July
    Of all the photos I took in 2012, this is my favorite, I think. The action, the joy, the warmth... I love it.
  • Pure Joy 24 of 32
    Pure Joy
    I couldn't resist throwing this one in the mix.
  • Hide & Seek 25 of 32
    Hide & Seek
    Another impromptu shoot on our front porch as Violet was playing hide & seek.
  • Chicken Little 26 of 32
    Chicken Little
    I warmed up the colors here just a bit to highlight that it was sunset.
  • Halloween Hooligans 27 of 32
    Halloween Hooligans
    I sharpened the edges on this photo and punched up the color to highlight their costumes and all the fun colors.
  • The Hood 28 of 32
    The Hood
    Looking down our street at sunset on a snowy day. The "gloaming" is a favorite time of mine to snap pics as the colors are always so epic.
  • Snowy Day 29 of 32
    Snowy Day
    I really tweaked the colors on this photo and, in retrospect, I think I went too far. I was warming it up and although I like how Henry looks, I think the snow looks too pink. Oh well. I still have the original.
  • Snowfall 30 of 32
    This is the actual color of the snow before I got a bit heavy-handed with editing.
  • Merry Christmas! 31 of 32
    Merry Christmas!
    Gotta love the self-timer.
  • Christmas Take 2 32 of 32
    Christmas Take 2
    Popped 'em on my bed, strung up some lights and boom. Christmas photos complete.

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