Learn | Family Photography with @saraandcatherinestales

For many, Instagram is a place to snap quick pictures and share them with friends and family. When you have small children, the aesthetics of the shot are usually out of your hands. Kids won't sit still, and in the background there's remnants of last night's dinner and piles of brightly coloured plastic toys. But when I discovered Sara Quaglia's feed @saraandcatherinestales, I was inspired by her ability to get perfect shots of her small children (no sticky jam sandwiches or Lego bricks in sight). I caught up with her to find out how she does it.

"I always loved photography and, therefore, I’m a huge fan of Instagram: it's my absolute favorite social. My relationship with the app has changed dramatically over the years: at first I would just catch a moment and post it right away, not paying much attention to the quality of the shot. However, I got more and more passionate about creating a style for my feed that reflects my favourite colour palettes combined with my preferred subjects; my kids, flowers and interiors."

"Creating a visually aesthetic shoot, when kids are known for being messy and favouring bright (ugly!) colours, definitely has its challenges."

Tip #1 "For the kids clothes, I try to shoot when the children are wearing pretty outfits; luckily my daughter is a fan of floral and pink shades which makes everything easier. I also have embraced the fact that kids will make themselves dirty so I don’t get upset if a white t-shirt immediately gets stained by chocolate ice cream. I don’t spend a fortune on their clothes so I don’t have to stress about clothes getting ruined and they can enjoy themselves rolling in the grass if they like to."

Tip 2 "In regards to catching the perfect moment, Harvey is still a baby so he is a super easy model to shoot, but Catherine is at the age where she might or might not to fancy to be photographed and I respect that. I try to capture moments of her while she is playing, eating an ice cream or running in a field so she mostly doesn’t even realise I’m taking pictures of her. That does mean that I need to take approximately 100 photos to have a couple of good ones: it is a long process but for me it's worth it as I prefer natural poses over ‘forced' ones."

Tip #3 "And for creating a pretty environment to shoot in, I’m a huge fun of everything floral related and pretty props, so that really helps in making the pictures' backgrounds more captivating. When decorating my home I opt for pastel tones instead of bright ones so that they blend harmoniously with the rest of the interior."

Thanks so much, Sara!