A question I am asked so often is how to take great photos of your children. I’ve said it many many times. You do not have to be a professional photographer to take great photos. As a matter of fact, more great photos were taken by people who were not professional, than those who were. So take heart. You CAN take great photos of your children and keep it fun!!!
Let’s talk lighting. To make your photos look their best, try to keep the lighting as natural as possible. That rule applies for when you are inside or outside. Do everything in your power to not have to use a flash. Children of all ages complain about the flash. UGH!!
If you are inside, take your photos near a window, or any light source that you can find. I love to take pictures of my grands using the fireplace as my light source. Also around Christmas, the Christmas tree makes a great light source.
If you are taking pictures outside, try to take them when the sun isn’t beaming directly down on you and your model. Either morning or late afternoon are great times to take pictures outside. If you do have to take your photos mid day, try to find some shade or use a reflector.
Get On Their Level
Child experts have told us repeatedly, that if we get on the child’s physical level, we will have their attention. I’ve found this to be so true. I know a sweet lady who, every time she talks to a child, takes a knee and puts herself right to that child’s eye level. Kids absolutely adore her. They talk and talk with her. She has proven to me that what the child experts tell us is the truth. Children like to feel important. Well, we all do. Don’t we?!
This certainly applies to photography. A lot of children are actually afraid to have their picture taken. When you get down on their level and show them how much fun this can be, it relieves a lot of the tension in these precious little ones. This creates those happy smiles that we are all looking for.
Aperture or F-Stop
When photographing children, I, sometimes, like to set my Aperture or F-Stop at the lowest number. That blurs the background so that the child is the subject of my picture. I do this especially if I am doing a close up of the child’s face or hands. I do not want anything to distract from the child.
You will need to practice with your F-Stop to learn how your lens works. In some pictures you may want your background to be in perfect focus, then you will need to set your F-Stop at the higher numbers.
I’ve written an article that may help in understanding your Aperture or F-Stop. Here is a link if you need it.
Rule of Thirds
In photography, there is a rule of thirds. It’s not complicated, but it can be. To me, it means to not make the subject be right in the middle of the photo. Plain and simple. But to others, it means a lot more than that. I like my definition, but here is Wikipedia’s Definition, if you want it.
The reason to off center you picture, just a little bit is to add more creativity and interest to your photography. It does work. I’ve won photo contests using the rule of thirds. Give it a try. It’s not hard or scary. Professional photographers use this rule all the time.
My Favorite: PROPS
I can’t say it enough… Use Fun Props!!! Kids love them. Be creative with your props and the use of them. Let your children bring their favorite props or their sports equipment. How about some ballet slippers and a tutu, or even their favorite fishing gear. If your child plays the piano or any instrument for that matter, let it be in the photo. Amazon has a wonderful selection of photo props to choose from if you want something new and exciting.
Props are fun. Almost anything that you can think of can be a prop. Let your imaginations carry you away. Kids love props. Especially if they get to help pick them out. The extra effort is worth it. Remember, a happy kid makes happy pictures.
One of the worst moments is when that perfect moment is happening and your camera isn’t ready.
- Dead Batteries
- Camera Not Charged
- Camera Loaned Out
Oh my goodness, dear friends. Never ever ever loan out your camera. That may sound selfish to some of you, but I’ve lost too many cameras that way. I always offer to go and take the pictures myself. My camera stays with me. Always. Period!
Now, off my soapbox, and back to my article. Where were we?
Oh, yeah, keep your camera ready. That way most of those perfect moments won’t be missed. But, honestly, we are all human. So if this does happen, and it will, always keep in mind that it’s perfectly OK to recreate those great moments that you just didn’t have time to grab the camera.
In closing, I want to encourage you to be bold with your photography. You have your finger on that shutter button. You are creating a work of art when you press that button. It is your handiwork. Think outside of the box and be creative. If you can imagine it, you can take a picture of it.
Let me tell you a little about the boldness of my youngest son on the first photo shoot I took him on.
The first one was a large wedding. My youngest son had a new camera and asked me if he could go along and take some pictures. I got permission from my clients, and proudly took him along. He kept his distance from me while I was doing my job, but he was taking pictures left and right on his own. I had the list of the pictures that the bride and groom were requesting, and I personally took all of those photos plus a few extras.
To make a long story short, my son was thinking outside the box. He brought out and embraced his “Inner Photographer”. He was the cutest thing, he had his cap on backward, because he said it made his pictures turn out better. He was bold and stepped into that wedding atmosphere just like he was the professional photographer. His pictures were great. People were laughing in his pictures and he definitely caught on camera that this was a very happy occasion. He caught a bridesmaid painting the bride’s toenails. He caught the groomsmen giving the groom all kinds of fits. He caught antics and humor. He caught love and laughter. His photos were beautiful. I could not have been more proud of him, and my clients loved his photos. As a matter of fact, they bought several of them.
I said all of that to say… Be Bold!
Bring out YOUR inner photographer!
Have fun while you take your pictures and be proud of your work.
If you have any questions, comments, or stories of your own, please leave them in the comment section below. I love to hear from Y’all. It makes my day!!
All the best,