As a parent I know how hard it can be to get that perfect shot of your child. That is why I decided to look at my pictures and see what worked and what didn’t work. I discovered that there are a few things you can do to get the best shot of your kids. Here are ten tips for you to use when taking pictures of children.
1. Think about your background when you are taking the picture. Backgrounds that are uncluttered are best if you want your child to stand out. And sometimes you may not realize how the background affects your shots. For example, I took a picture of my daughter only to discover later that it looked like a tree was growing out of her head. Make sure that the background won’t ruin your picture like the tree did mine. Sometime you will want to leave the background in the picture. A picture at the zoo will look a lot better if some of the animals are included versus all head shots.
2. Take more than one shot! The more pictures you take the more likely you’ll be to get the shot you want. It is amazing the difference just one second can make. Blinking eyes, an open mouth, and bad hair moments can disappear just that fast.
3. Don’t pose all of your pictures. When you catch your child in action you will get really great pictures versus posing them most times. Kids are more natural when they don’t know a camera is pointed at them. You’ll see their personality and interests a lot better with a natural shot.
4. Get down on the kid’s level. This may mean that you have to get on your knees or belly. Trust me it is worth it. You will get a much more natural look. If you take the picture while standing the child’s head could look huge in proportion to his or her body.
5. Be ready for the unexpected. This means to have your camera close by. You never know when a picture moment will present itself so it is best to be prepared. I keep my camera in my purse when we go out as well. A lot of interesting things can happen outside of the home and you’ll want to capture those moments on film.
6. Try to avoid those fake smalls. Sometimes when kids “say cheese” or when they are posed and told to smile you’ll get a face full of teeth and it looks completely unnatural. To avoid these smiles get your child to laugh and then snap the picture. Or you could catch them off guard instead of posing them.
7. Know how your camera works. I don’t know how many times I’ve missed out on a good picture moment because I didn’t have the flash set correctly or I couldn’t remember how to zoom in. Familiarize yourself with your camera before you need to use it.
8. Time your pictures right. Think about your child’s schedule and how he or she feels throughout the day. Don’t take pictures when your child needs a nap or when they’re hungry. And don’t make your child stop playing to come have their picture taken. You want to take pictures when your child is in a good mood. If they really don’t want to have their picture taken then you’ll probably want to wait for another day or time. Also, think about the time of day if you are taking pictures outside. Remember that lighting is a big part of what can make or break a picture. Make sure light sources are coming from the side and not the front (avoid squinting) or back (too many shadows).
9. Try zooming in on your kids or get the shot from a different angle. Shooting your child the same way, with them looking straight into the camera and completely centered gets a bit boring. When you use the zoom feature on your camera you’ll be able to get some really unique shots. Capture just your child’s face, something I learned from a professional photographer who got a great close up of my daughter’s face. Tight shots are often times much better than a full head-to-toe shot. You might also try zooming in on hands or feet. These types of pictures are great mementos.
10. Use props when you take pictures of your children. If your child has a favorite toy you can include it in the photo or use it to get a laugh for a great shot. Props can hold your child’s attention and evoke a natural smile.