First off, I'm going to ease in with some "basic" camera settings. Here is that rundown of my camera settings for one of my "Mom Life" photos.
I’m going to try to keep it short and to the point. Please feel free to ask questions or add input in the comments.
ISO-100 because I prefer a low ISO number (whenever possible) to cut down on noise. I especially wanted to cut back on ambient light for this photo. The overhead light was causing a glare on the back of the stove, making it difficult to see the steam.
Shutter speed 1/250 -The fastest I can shoot with a flash, but still fast enough to freeze toddler motions.
Aperture 4.5- deep enough depth of field for all the props to be in focus, and ensure a sharp focus on my daughter and I. I usually set a large stuffed animal where I will be sitting, then set my focus on the stuffed animal before I pose.
I ended up merging 6 shots for this photo. I photographed the teapot using ambient light, so the red glow of the hot coils would show. The flash washed it out. The flash did work great to bring out detail in the egg white, spilled milk, and steam which were all shot individually. Then I photographed myself, and lastly my daughter with everything else out of harms way.
The question I have been asked most about this series is how to get a toddler to “pose”. I’ve used the fact that Mia is in a copycat stage to my advantage. Two days before I shot “Peace & Quiet”, I made up a game with Mia where we would smash are faces up against the window & make silly faces at each other. Once she started copying me, I set up my tripod & captured it.