Photo tip: Get a remote

This might be one of my favorite attempts at a family picture. I laugh every time I see it. It’s the best worst picture! Ever!

And as long as Aron’s arms are, I don’t even know how we’d fit Skyler in a selfie. So there’s a simple little trick we’ve been using lately to get some good family shots: a remote!

All of the photos below were taken by setting our camera up on a flat surface, tripod or, as is often required, in the crook of a tree. I loved them, and really loved taking them, too. In fact, it’s a pretty fun way to take photos, because you can just snap away without having to coax children into awkward poses and you’re still likely to end up with something good. And you don’t risk accidentally moving the camera by hitting the shutter, the way you do with the timed-exposure button.

The easiest solution is simply to buy a wireless remote

. They’re cheap and basic. Your camera just has to have an infrared sensor and you can click the shutter remotely. (Most point-and-shoots and SLRs do.) These photos of us with 4-month-old Hudson in Central Park were all taken using a basic remote. You can see it in Aron’s hand in the last one. If possible, find one that gives you the dual option of a two-second delay in case you want to be sure to never see the remote.




Even better option: see if you can use your smartphone as a remote. I have a Canon 6D (which has WiFi) so I can use the free EOS remote app; it gives me a live image from the camera on my iPhone so that I can remotely set the focus, adjust values, and release the shutter. But even if you can’t use that app, there are lots of others. Here’s an article from LifeHacker on the topic.

We set up the camera while reading a book with Hudson on the bed when Skyler was four days old. Even though Aron and I were always aware it was there, I really liked was not having to tell Hudson to look at the camera until the very last shot.

It’s a great option for group photos, or for the lone traveler who wants to be in his or her images now and then without stopping strangers. (I actually took a few photos of myself playing with Skyler, when I was gathering some options for our home tour.)

And, for mother’s day: partners, be sure to get a family photo with mom in it this year!

P.S. There’s a real gem of a family photo in this post from my first mother’s day… taken using a remote.

[Top photo from our trip to Paris, last spring.]

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