• Tips for Documenting your Family How You've Always Wanted to!

It’s Thursday! That means we have a BRAND NEW YOUTUBE video ready for you!!! Tell me if this sounds like you….. You’re a photographer…. You have a nice camera…. You are naturally talented… You can take beautiful images that leave people in awe……But you NEVER USE YOUR CAMERA in your everyday life. You NEVER take pictures with your family with your REAL camera. You say you want to, but it never happens!!! How frustrating!!

I hear about this issue constantly every single time I do an insta-story about creating my annual family yearbook and so I decided to share some tips!

I get it why it can be hard to make happen. It can be stressful, overwhelming and seemingly unrealistic to ever find a way to use your DSLR in everyday life….. but.


I have some tips and tricks to share with you that will allow you to start using your DSLR camera in your everyday life without STRESSING YOU out!!!

This video is a part of an on-going series that I’m creating to help photographers creatively capture their own lives with their BIG cameras and actually SAVE a visual legacy for their families to cherish forever!!

I hope you ENJOY!!!!

Ps. Leave me some comments on Youtube and share where you struggle with FAMILY DOCUMENTATION to help me create the best content possible for you in the future! **And if you haven’t subscribed  yet, DO IT! You’ll never miss a video! **

If you missed the FIRST video in this series, you can find it HERE! 

xoxo, Katelyn
33 Comments Ask Anything
  1. Gina Schneider reply

    OK I love this!!!!!!!!!! Sooooo helpful!!!!!!!

    Thank you!!!

  2. Doreen reply

    Love the tip, know when enough is enough. Sister-in-law commented , “Dad always smiles for you and yet he get mad and covers the camera when I’m trying to take pictures.” It’s because I capture a few photos then put the camera down and enjoy the event she has the camera in everyone’s face the WHOLE time. No one likes that.

  3. Adrienne reply

    Love this! I’m still learning, and I was wondering why the 35mm lens is better in an indoor low light situation. Is it because it’s a prime lens?

  4. Kari Wade reply

    Love this, my family isn’t the most photogenic, but they love helping spread the word about my business. So to have a good portrait for them to share along with what they have to say it always so nice. My niece is on the move constantly and most of the time the phone just isn’t fast enough to keep up.
    I truly love to have my camera out capturing the moment.
    I even did a mini shoot for my husband the other day as he was working outside and I love that I get to keep something of him doing something he enjoys.

  5. Jennifercooke reply

    Thank you

  6. paul han reply

    Thank you for the excellence tips . We will uses these
    tips. Most of of the time my camera and lens always in the safe box , Now I will leave it out and shoot.

  7. Jennifer Winter reply

    I loved this. I have a 3 year old and I have a shutterfly account that I put all of his seasonal JCPenney portraits into. I used my I phone for pictures but I’d love to get a DSLR. Would you happen to know of any that connect directly to the cloud. i”m terrified of losing a camera and all the memories in it. Also, I love the idea of a family year book. How do you put that all together?

  8. Emily Meyer reply

    Who do you use to print your family yearbook? Thanks for the great video!

  9. Natalie reply

    This was SUCH good info!!!!! I realize seasons of my life I did better was because of using some of those tips – like leaving camera out. I love that you added you don’t take big camera to Disney- I have found I can’t be in the moment as well (and worry about it getting stolen!!!)

    I really need to know your process for “culling” photos when you have that many for a family album. I quit a while back when life got super busy because the task was overwhelming.

    Also any recommendations for wireless memory cards? I think that would help me use my camera more too!

  10. Cindy reply

    Oh my gosh, this is so me! Love this video and went back and watched the first one too. Keep up the great work….can’t wait for the next one!

  11. Vanessa Wagner reply

    I loved your video! I love to capture the moment of my kids. I have 50mm 1.8 STM and 6D. The 50mm STM lens was so slow to capture most miss the moments. I want to look for the budget lenses that able to capture the wide better than 50mm. What do you recommend?

  12. Hope Snow reply

    Hey Katelyn, I love seeing you work and sharing your life! Thank you for doing that!
    My question is; what company do you use to create your family yearbooks!? I’ve used Indesign and Magcloud to create family vacation magazines but I love the yearbook idea! Thanks, Hope

  13. Charlotte Dix reply

    I love this series! Thank you so much- so many great tips xx

  14. Sara reply


    This is so helpful, thank you! I am currently working on a backlog of albums for my little ones and love seeing how you tackle this. I’m almost halfway done! It’s a personal goal to have an album a year for my children and I’d love to hear more about how you simplify the layout format and capturing their growth/love/laughter in words throughout the album! I never feel like I can preserve enough memories or log enough cute verbal moments! Also, our children are about the same age so what are you doing with art work? A friend told me to photograph it to preserve it all in one place. I’d love to hear what you’re doing bc you are full of great ideas! Also, how often do you tend to work on yours without feeling burnt out and without getting behind?


  15. Marnie reply

    Hi. Thanks so much for blessing us with your teaching. Can I ask what lens protector you use if that’s what they are called to protect the glass on the end of the lens. Also how to you name your files on your hard drive to know what photos are what when looking at your hard drive. Thanks so much. Marnie

  16. Katie reply

    Katelyn, this is fantastic! I love hearing another professional talk about the every day (and special occasion) documentation of their own family. Honestly, I have felt like the only one who also is dedicated to photographing and visually documenting my family’s life – for years. (It’s what got me excited about photography to begin with!)

    Couple of questions or maybe things to address in future videos:
    1-What solutions do you have for making sure you are part of the documentation as well?
    2-Do you take photographs of things other than people? (ie landscape, street, macro/super artsy photos) and what are your processes, organization and goals for those images?
    3-Editing! your bonus tip is something I’ve been working on for a while anyway – knowing when enough is enough and accepting it and moving on. That alone would limit what there is to catalog and edit. But can you talk about your editing workflow for family/personal photos? Do you edit them? Not? Should I hire that out? Do you share with other family members through an online source/gallery?
    4-Can you talk a bit more about your hard drive organization on that separate hard drive? I am always interested in hearing how others organize and handle the personal stuff since it can tend to be a bit more fluid. Thank you for this series!

  17. Samantha reply

    I loved this episode! I saw your Blurb book on an Instagram story a couple years ago and we now have a 2018 and 2019 yearbook and I absolutely love them!
    I think I struggle the most with keeping my 2.5 year old in focus when he’s playing and when I need my aperture wide open when shooting in my living room. I have a Nikon D7500 and I’ve noticed a lot of noise with higher ISO levels and it’s been hard for me to fix in Lightroom. Any recommendations? Thank you so much for sharing all of your knowledge!

  18. Tessa reply

    Goodness, I love this so much! I have three daughters and my older two are definitely not big fans of my camera. And I think it’s exactly because of what you said about not knowing when enough is enough and wanting to capture that perfect image every single time. I’m definitely going to give your tips a try and pull that camera back out and just do very small short burst of photos. Also, my personal Instagram account has not been updated in nearly a year. It gives me a lot of anxiety thinking about the thousands of phone photos I have of memories of my girls that I haven’t touched because it’s a little too overwhelming to think about. I find myself always on my business account and not spending any time updating my personal one. Thank you so much for the advice!

  19. Wanda Ricketson reply

    Thanks for this – I am just an amateur photographer who does a lot of shooting for fun and free (ladies association photographer, neighborhood magazine photographer, headshots for friends, real estate shots and a couple of family/friends weddings). I’m also a new grandma now, so lots of shots of my grandson – they are scattered everywhere and there are TONS of them at once, I just shoot and believe I will go through them later and cull and edit (doesn’t usually happen). So great advice on how to help with that! Love the family yearbook idea also. My niece does that for each of her kids in January using mainly iPhone pics!

  20. Susan reply

    Thank you so much for this video, I have a food and craft blog, and take semi professional pictures of my food and wanted to learn how to use my camera to start taking pictures of our first grandchild a granddaughter. Your video was perfect exactly the kind of information I needed to know, and I am so looking forward to learning more in this series . Thank you so much for sharing your technique and information with those of us that are not professional wedding photographer.

  21. Cecilia Moreno Ramirez reply

    This is amazing advice! And I love your “yearbook”!
    I always want to take my camera out but it IS a hassle, it’s in the closet, in the bag, I have to put the lens on ! ‍♀️
    Just keep it out on the desk! Simple!

    Thank you!

  22. Karina reply

    Loving these videos. I’ve spent the past week sorting my hard drives (yup it was a mess). I’d love to hear how you organise your families photos. Thanks for the tips ✨

  23. Dani Bonin reply

    Thank you for so much inspire!! From Brasil

  24. Kim reply

    So I’m assuming you only shoot in JPEG for family shots so there is no editing involved? Also, where do you get those books made?

  25. Lindsey Ruisi reply

    I’m wanting to get back into photography. It was a huge passion of mine in high school and had a 35 mm film camera. But I’m not sure where to start! I feel like I’m kinda out of the loop a bit. Also if i were to start on this journey what would set me apart from other photographers? I think this is probably what holds me back the most. Do you have any advice?

  26. Jess reply

    Hey Katelyn! Thank you so much for your inspiration on this! I’ve been struggling with this for years and just having you break it down the way you did helped so much. I also love your yearbook idea! I usually use ZNO for my albums for my clients but I don’t think I would like the stiff, thick pages for something like a family yearbook so I was wondering where you get yours made :)
    God bless!
    Jess B

  27. Kelly Goree reply

    Hi Katelyn! Before my life as a photographer, I was a professional scrapbooker when my children were the ages of yours. My best gift each year to my mother was a family album/scrapbook much like yours simply of photos of my boys through that year. She absolutely cherishes them. As they have grown, however, I find that I don’t take photos in the same way and if I do, they are mostly sports oriented which doesn’t make for an album with much variety! :D I would love to still do something similar, but I struggle now that they aren’t as “cute” or are so busy. Any thoughts on how to still document my growing/grown children/family?

  28. Becky reply

    I love your tips! I 100% agree with your tip about keeping your camera nearby. I definitely take more photos with my DSLR when it’s kept in my main living area vs. in our office.

    One fun thing I’ve done with our family yearbooks…I print off enough for every child pictured in them to have a copy as well. So, with four kids in the yearbook, I’ll print five copies…one for me and one for each of the kids. That way, someday, they will have their own family memories ready for them to enjoy. And I don’t have to spend extra time creating a special book for each child (because now I have four kids, and definitely don’t have time for that! Haha!).

  29. Kimberly Weece reply

    I would also like to find out where you get your family albums? I’m at a loss…my current co. is such poor quality.

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