Guest Post: Photographing the Unwilling (by Jodie King)

Hi Scrapbook Creations friends. It’s Jodie here, and I’d like to thank Ellen and Scrapbook Creations for having me back for another Project Life guest post today.

So you love documenting your family’s everyday, but have you found that your children have suddenly grown from being cute three and six year olds posing in front of the camera on request for you, to suddenly being teenagers that can’t think of anything worse than their mother in front of them with a camera… again… Mum, really?

Although I use a lot of these tips to get photos of my teens, try some of them on camera-shy younger children, or as ideas to add in more details of your everyday to your Project Life spreads.

This is my spread for Week 4, 2014.
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The left side.
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And the right.
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Now, how to document your everyday when you have those unwilling photo subject moments? 

1.  We all like to be the one behind the camera, but teenagers will often be more at ease and likely to pose, and even smile, if one of their friends is the photographer.  If you’re lucky enough to be included in your teen’s social media circles, keep an eye out for photos of themselves that they post.  If a teen is posting a photo on Facebook or Instagram, you can be pretty sure that they’re happy with it, and they’ll be more likely to let you use it in your scrapbooking.  Ask them to email you a high resolution copy, but if all else fails, you can take a screen shot and print that.  My daughter and her friend had a photo shoot before a recent music festival, and because Kayci loved this photo, she was happy to email me a copy of it.

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2. Remember that not every photo needs to be a front on head shot to tell a story.  I took this sneaky photo of my son while he was signing documents for the purchase of his first car.   The main focus of the photo is him signing the documents, and you can barely see his face, but the photo still tells a story.  I really love this shot because at that moment, I was just radiating pride at him signing off on all that documentation at the age of 16 – and that in itself is a great memory (tip – try turning your smart phone to silent so you don’t draw attention to the fact that you’re taking a photo).

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3.  If someone really doesn’t want their photo taken, try a compromise.  Sometimes teens are feeling sensitive if they’ve had a skin breakout, girls don’t have makeup on, or they’re just plain having a bad hair day.  Brent really did not want a photo shoot with his new car, but I offered a compromise in that I promised I wouldn’t take a shot with his face in it.  I was totally surprised when he even agreed to pose by holding his keys out in front of him!

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4.  If all else fails, fake it.  I wanted a photo of our little celebration lunch after picking up the said new car, but again, my teen didn’t want any part of that photo.  You can see it looks like a three-way cheers going on here, but in reality hubby’s just holding onto his glass, and my teen is nowhere in sight.  I’m the only one lifting a glass, but it still captures our celebration lunch.

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5.  There’s no doubt that our children are a major part of our lives and therefore a major part of what we document, but think about other things that happen in your everyday.  Are you going out for a nice meal, have you cooked an amazing meal, or baked some sweet treats?  Are you having a weather event, extreme heat or cold, are the seasons changing?  All of these things are part of your life and can be documented.  I’ve included both a dinner out and some extremely hot weather in my spread this week.

6.  Sometimes we want to tell a story but we don’t have a photo to accompany that story, or our kids might say something hilarious.  I so love some of the witty comments that my teens make.   Not every memory needs to have a photo with it, sometimes it’s just about telling the story.  Like this one about Brent almost getting bitten by a snake, and his philosophical take on it.

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These are all ideas that I’ve picked up just from my own experience, and I know that a lot of you will have developed your own special ways of getting photos of your teens.  We’d love for you to share your ideas on capturing teen moments with us – just make a comment at the end of this blog post.

Also a quick note on the products I’ve used for this week’s spread.  I’m normally one for grabbing a collection and going with it, but this week my product picks got very eclectic very quickly. If you’d like to know about any of the products I’ve used please leave me comment below or email me at (kings.castle94 [at] so that I can get back to you.  In one of the pockets I’ve used a gorgeous Imaginarium Designs chipboard feather that I have embossed in white and then given it a gold embossed tip.  I’ve also scrolled through my Project Life Pinterest Board and used this printable freebie from Studio Calico for a couple of tags.

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Thanks so much for dropping by the Scrapbook Creations blog today! I hope I’ve given you some ideas to document the everyday with the teenagers in your life. If you’d like to see more of my work or connect via social media, drop by my blog, Facebook, or Instagram and say hi.

— Jodie

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