Let’s face it, getting descent photos of your kids can sometimes be an impossible task. They’re either uncooperative, not focusing, or down right having a breakdown. After several mistakes of my own I finally figured out how I can achieve incredible snapshots of my children.
These tips apply to both smart phone cameras and DSLR cameras.
1) TIMING: When it comes to children’s photography this might be the most crucial rule. The ideal times to photograph your kids are after a nap or after a meal. The key here is to plan around THEIR schedule and I guarantee you will be much happier with the end product.
On a side note, let’s say it’s their birthday party and you want to have at least one beautiful photo of your child. I can’t emphasize enough to get this done early or before the party starts to get it out of the way and you won’t have to stress about it later.
2) GET ON THEIR LEVEL: I can’t imagine anything more daunting than someone with a big black device hovering over you. So imagine how a child must feel when you’re standing over them with a camera. Instead try to get down on your knees or even your tummy to capture the moment from their perspective. You will LOVE the angles on these shots.
3) PREPARE TO PLAY: As silly as it looks I’m constantly performing animated acts behind the camera while shooting. Depending on the age you can see me play peek-a -boo behind with the camera or challenging them with who has a bigger smile!
4) USE PROPS: When you can try to incorporate props to have your child in a natural happy moment. During the summer I love giving my kids watermelon wedges to eat and I just start shooting away. My all time favorite summertime photos are of them with their watermelon. During the Fall I give my kids mini pumpkins to hold and all of a sudden I have a happy cheery photo!
Have you noticed your children’s halloween photos are probably their happiest? Whether they’re dressing fancier or dressed up in a silly cowboy outfit let them wear something out of their usual clothing and all of a sudden the smiles will be coming through!
5) FILL THE FRAME: Some of my favorite photos are the close ups. I love looking back on their little features and how much they’ve changed over the years. Not every photo needs to be a full body shot. Some of my favorites are the ones that were cropped but focused on their expression at that moment in time.
6) REMOVE DISTRACTIONS: Look at the background before you snap away. Is there a colorful painting or laundry basket in the backdrop that may take away focus from your children in the photo? Address it in advance and hide it! There’s nothing more disconcerting than seeing a telephone pole sticking out of your child’s head in a photo.
On the other side, also be cognizant of what your subject is visualizing from their end. Remove your child from any location that has too many visual distractions for THEM. You don’t want them to start wailing because they want to play at the playground across the field from the spot you are trying to photograph them. You don’t want their favorite movie playing on the TV in the room where you are trying to get their attention for a photograph.
7) CAPTURE THE ACTION: Never stop the action! If you pose your kids too much it’s gonna appear staged. So if your children are being giggly and wild blowing bubbles capture that moment! They shouldn’t stop that activity for a photo that won’t portray their natural joy.
8) NATURAL LIGHT: My favorite type of lighting is natural light. Either a sunlit room or a shady spot in the garden will make for the dreamiest of photos.
Child permitting the ideal time to shoot the most dreamy shots is during MAGIC HOUR. Magic hour is the term given for that hour before the sun sets. The sky is pastel appearing and everything appears to sparkle.
9) BURST PHOTOS:Whether they’re dancing or blowing bubbles, never stop taking photos. If you’re using your camera both iPhones and Androids have the burst feature (just hold the button down and shoot away). For SLR cameras make sure your shutter speed is 125 or faster so that you capture them in action without any blur!
10) PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE: Thankfully we live in the digital age where we can take a ton of photos and not feel bad because we can delete the bad ones. So take your camera and shoot away and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at your images!
I hope you are more inspired than ever to get out there and shoot away at your little ones!
Sandra aka Dainty Hostess