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Sara Bliss

About Sara Bliss - Albuquerque, NM Photographer

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Archive: ‘Tips’

5 Ways To Get Your Kiddo To Look At The Camera

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

This is the expression I got from my young son this morning as I tried to capture a moment.


He’s young.  Small.  His own person.

Incredibly vulnerable and yet fiercely independent.

And he is busy.  He has a whole world of things to see and explore and touch.  It’s all new and fascinating.  Ever so much more fascinating than that camera pointing at him.

I know that I’m not the only mother who has experienced this.

So for the moments where you really want that look, I’ve put together a couple of my tips and tricks for you to try.


1. Make a Sudden, Fascinating Sound – Especially useful with the younger kids, this is a great way to get them to look my direction.  Once they turn to investigate, I give them a big smile and they will often return it.  I just have to make sure that I have my camera ready to go because it can be fleeting.  (This method can often only be used once or twice, so I tend to use it carefully.)


2. Patience – For whatever reason, if I have to leave to grab my camera it causes a disturbance in the room.  My kiddos will either try to follow me, or it will naturally cause them to shift gears to something else.  But I have often found that if I return quickly, quietly, and just sit and wait patiently, trying not to bring attention to myself, the mood will settle and I can capture the image I initially intended.

3. Make It A Game – Staring contest.  Simon says.  I have them make a funny face or a crazy sound.  I make it fun and even give a prize for the winner (ppsssstt…it’s always them).  This makes it so that in the future they’re more willing to “play” along when the camera comes out.


4. Engage in Some Help -Is there somebody else there with me?  Somebody who can jump in and make it fun?  Sing songs, clap hands, and just be all-around silly. I know that my kids get tired of mom, but dad can always make them smile.  Just make sure they’re standing directly behind you or right next to you so that the subject is at least looking toward the camera.


5. Reverse Psychology - This is one of my favorites for kids who are old enough to understand it.  It’s easy.  I tell them, “Whatever you do, don’t look at my camera.”  Curiosity will instantly compel them to turn and look.  That’s when I take is a step further and jokingly say, “I told you not to look.  No, no, don’t do it!”  I keep it light and fun and will often evoke a genuine smile as they revel in their cleverness.


I hope these tips can help you the next time you pull out that camera and get a stink eye from your kiddo.  Just be forewarned that children are smart little buggers and will learn your tricks and possibly become immune, so use them wisely.

Dress Me for Fall [Albuquerque Portrait Photographer]

Tuesday, November 8th, 2011

One of the perks of choosing a custom photographer is that we are typically willing to help you with the details.  Not sure which pictures to print?  I can help you decide.  Not sure where to hang them?  I’ll come over and brain-storm with you.  Need some clothing ideas?  I’m here for you!

I recently had the chance to go and visit with a friend and past client from Montana.  (I love reconnecting!) We were talking about doing a family shoot and were discussing different clothing options.  I came home and put together these style boards for some fall photo shoot inspiration.

I pulled the products and images from Old Navy with a couple of accessories thrown in from Newegg and Zappos.


Blue and grey with pops of yellow.  The yellow would look beautiful with the fall colors and the blue would stand out.



Red and brown.  Nice neutral colors with a warm red to contrast.  I’m digging the boots, warm jackets, and the little knitted cap with all the ruffles.


Green and grey with a purple accent.  I think this one is my favorite.  I like purpley things and the little hint of purple here just thrills me!

How I Took It – Twin Falls LDS Temple [Albuquerque Photographer]

Saturday, November 5th, 2011

While visiting Twin Falls, Idaho this summer, my sweet mother-in-law asked if I could get her an image of the Twin Falls LDS temple all lit up at night.  She wanted to have one to put in her home.

I am going to share with you the settings I used to take the following image.

(Pssst….I also have a surprise for you at the end of this post, so stick with me.)


Camera settings:
F-stop: f-22
Focal Length: 50 mm
Exposure:  30 second

I used the higher aperture because it was dark and I wanted to make sure that the whole temple was in focus.  Notice how slow my shutter speed was as well.  This was to compensate for both the darkness and the high aperture setting.  In order to avoid movement blur on such a long exposure, I used a tripod and a remote control to activate the camera.

And now are you ready for your surprise??

I have made this image available on my Sara Bliss Facebook page as a thank you gift for all of my amazing fans!!  Just click HERE to go to my Facebook page.  If you haven’t already, click the LIKE button at the top of the page.  Then click on the “Blissful Downloads” option in the left sidebar, this will bring up a new page where you can click to download the image.

I hope that you enjoy it!!

(Click the Facebook button under this post to share it with your friends so that they can enjoy it too!)

Now I Know…

Monday, August 1st, 2011

It’s a trick I often use with little kids.

“Look right here in my camera.  Do you see Spongebob?”

“Yeah, right there!”

“What about balloons?  Do you see balloons?”

Now typically, this is a great trick for kids.  It gets them interested in the camera and they’ll look right at the lens.

But I didn’t think about the fact that I typically use this trick in a short-term manner for kids I don’t see that often.

Now that I have tried it out on my kiddo….


…I’ll have to figure out a way to get him to stop pointing at all the things he “sees” in the lens.

And once I figure that out, I can move on to conquering the “cheeser” smile.

Another trick…that is much easier accomplished with those whose pictures I don’t take every day.

Perspective [Albuquerque Photographer]

Friday, March 18th, 2011

I love to read blogs.

Seriously, who doesn’t?

As I read them, I love having the feeling that I know these people, even if I have never met them…or even chatted with them online.

I will often describe stories that I read online to The Hubster and I find myself saying things like, “One of my online friends said…”

Okay, reality check.  They don’t even know that I exist.

But that’s okay, they’re still my friend anyway.  Because I like them and take the time to read what they have to say.

And I will further admit…I have many friends.

In my online perusing and readings, I recently came across an article about perspective and how changing it can add a whole new element to a photo.  I tried to find it again to share with you today, but I just cannot remember where it was that I originally saw it.

So sorry, friend!

At any rate, the article started me thinking about my own perspective and how I could change it up a bit.  It was a great reminder for me and I have found myself taking the time to think more about how I see things.

I’m going to share a couple of examples with you.


My flower bed.  I wanted to show how pretty all the green looked, sprouting from the ground.  And even though this is how it looks when I look down on it, I realized that the image was a little flat. Expected. Typical. Boring.

And so I positioned myself lower.

Much lower.

Better!  Now I can see the green really coming out and reaching for the sky.  I’m up close and personal, getting to know my flowers on a more intimate level.  And I like it.

Then there’s this image:

Oh yes, this image.  I have taken a picture similar to this at least every week (if not more) the last couple of months because my toddler demands it.  He loves getting pictures of him and his “baby” together on our bed.  Such precious memories and moments.

But since I have a several of these images already, it was time to change it up a bit.

Wow.  Can I just say LOVE? Don’t they look so cozy there on that pillow?  From this angle you can see how they sink into one another.  I love that their focus is not on the camera, but on Little Man’s foot.  And it looks as though he is explaining something important to Lil’ Miss, and she is hanging on his every word.

Look at how changing your perspective can take an ordinary, everyday snapshot and make it something truly special.

It was an excellent tip from a now anonymous friend.  I highly recommend giving it a try.


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