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Carina Pfau (@MiniMomente) tells about photographing children

and shares her view on how to take
the most authentic pictures
of your kids 

We can probably agree that no one loves taking pictures more than parents. Growing so fast, we want to capture as many beautiful moments of our little ones as possible. Carina Pfau (32), owner of company MiniMomente, photographs children for a living. MiniMomente stands for little moments with your children that are really special but go by so fast so that you wish you could keep them forever. From the age of 14 Carina started to experiment a lot with photography. She would take the camera with her everywhere - especially when she was working abroad as an Au pair. There she noticed that she loved capturing spontaneous moments of children. To her, those images were even more inspiring than any fascinating landscapes in the world. 

So, if there’s anything to learn in capturing special moments of your little one(s), it’s definitely from Carina. Read on to find out more about her style of photography and tips for taking authentic photo’s.

MiniMomente Photography children

When did you start photographing professionally?
Carina: "Four years ago, I decided I want to do something for a living that I’m really passionate about. I knew I loved kids, I had babysit a lot and was always fascinated by everything that had to do with newborns and childbirth - at one point I even thought about becoming a midwife. Photography was always my hobby, but I never thought of doing it in a professional way. Towards the end of my master’s degree, I met a photographer who photographs newborns and was looking for an assistant. The first day I watched her work, I knew what I wanted to do. For me, it was the perfect way to combine the two things I love: kids and photography. And two years later MiniMomente was born." 

Carina's studio
MiniMomente

The style of your photography is so soft and natural. What influences your style?
Carina: “I love the natural style of Scandinavian design and this is also how the rest of our (me and my boyfriend’s) apartment looks. I can’t really define what it is about this style that inspires me, but this interior design and decor is just something I’ve always liked. And since I’m living in my first own apartment, I can really experiment with this style - and my boyfriend just has to let me (wink).”

Carina's home
  
 
Which project are you most proud of?
Carina: “When you go to a place you haven’t been before, you have to be spontaneous and know where to place a family, so they look their best. Next to that you have to use your surroundings to create a special picture. And then of course I want the family to have fun during the shoot and I try to engage with them to get meaningful and authentic shots. When I master all this in a session, like this photo, I’m always a little proud.”



 Do you have any tips for taking good pictures, that all moms could follow?
Carina: “First, engage a child in natural play.
 
It’s good to know that kids act natural in front of the camera and don’t care how they look. This makes it more challenging sometimes because they act how and move whenever they feel like. My approach therefore is  to not to give too many instructions like ‘say cheese’ or ‘do this or that’, but rather engage them in a conversation or play with them a little bit.
This way, the focus will be more on having fun and not letting the kids be too much aware of the camera. This way you can create the most authentic images with a relaxed and fun atmosphere.

Second, the best photos are taken at a 45degree angle to the window.
The most important thing about photography - and what makes the difference between a good and a bad picture - is light. So when you’re taking pictures of your kids, try to place them close to a window in about a 45 degree angle, so the light falls across their faces. 

MiniMomente photography

My third tip would be to do a selfie-test to check the light on yourself.
Because, not all light is good light. If the light shines directly into the window you’ll need white curtains or something that diffuses the light to make it soft. Otherwise the light will be too harsh and produce strong shadows on the face, which doesn’t look pretty. It is probably easiest to understand the effect of light on your face if you grab your cellphone and look at yourself while moving around and changing the angle toward the light."

Example: here the light comes in through the window from the left,
already a tad too strong


here it comes in through thin curtains from the right,
which makes it much softer


And my final tip
, when photographing outside, look for shade.

Open shade is important when shooting middays. It is basically anywhere that is shaded from direct sunlight but still has light around it. So not a forest where shade is everywhere but for example, a tree, wall etcetera. It helps you avoid unflattering shadows on the face, while still having soft light on your child.

Example: In this photo you can see that there's harsh light behind the family, but the bushes next to them block the direct light, so I could create soft light in their faces



What more will we see from MiniMomente in the near future?

Carina: “One thing I also liked doing when I worked as a babysitter, was telling bed time stories. One year ago, we had a little furry visitor who came in trough the balcony looking for nuts. We named him Hugo and he’s been visiting us ever since. I took a lot of pictures of him over the year and thought it could be fun to write a children’s book about Hugo, combined with the photo’s I took of him. But we’ll have to see…”

minimomente photography
 Find more about photography by Minimomente here
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