Photographing your children and documenting your days together is incredibly rewarding. You can look back and cherish the memories, milestones, and joys of their childhood. On the other hand, it can be very frustrating especially if your approach is to try to get them to pose for the perfect shot. I’ve compiled some easy tips on how to take better photos of your kids without the fuss.
1. Capture Candid Moments
Have your children engage in activities they enjoy and capture them as they are. Let the moments unfold naturally and avoid asking them to say “cheese”. This creates fake smiles and annoyed children. Genuinely show interest in what they are doing, ask questions, play a game like peekaboo, tickle or simply tell them not to smile in a silly way, that usually gets them laughing. On the other hand, if you are like me and don’t mind some images where they are not smiling, simply wait for the opportunity, find good light then focus on the eyes.
2. Find Good Light
Using light properly can take an average image to a great one. If you are taking photos outside, the best time is during golden hour, either early morning or 1-2 hours before sunset. When the sun gets too high in the sky, you run the risk of having the bright light cast harsh shadows on your child. However, if you must photograph during midday harsh sun, look for open shade or try to keep the sun behind your subjects. Move around and see where the light falls then position them where light is best.
When photographing indoors, have your child sit near a window. That light will make their eyes sparkle even on the cloudiest day. You can experiment with shadows and how they impact your image. I love a deep, shadowy photograph where the subject is lit with just a little bit of natural light. Additionally, I turn off any other light that is on in the room and focus on where the natural light is coming in.
3. Get the Details
Get down to your child’s level to capture the details, either of them or the environment that tells the story. Little feet in the sand, eyelashes, or hands playing with their favorite toy. These small in between close-ups can also help show your child’s real personality as well. Generally, I like to capture the entire scene first, then get in close, then even closer. I look for the opportunity to change angles or shoot from above to tell the story. The options are endless if you put your mind to it.
4. Have Fun
Kids have short attention spans and may not want to participate in an activity more than they want to. Keep it light and fun. If you go in with the sole purpose of being technical and getting the best angle and lighting, the energy and fun will be sucked out of you. Like I mentioned earlier, go into an activity where you’re all engaged, then when the timing is right, pull out the camera nonchalantly and begin shooting.
I hope these tips help you capture images that you love!!! Please send me what you come up with — I’d love to see!