five tips for taking great photos of your children
It’s officially spring time! The weather is growing warmer, everything is blooming, and we’re in the midst of a global pandemic. There are state mandates that have shut all non-essential businesses down to minimize the spread of Covid-19. And this mandate includes photography. So if you were looking to have some photos done of your children, or maybe even your sweet newborn, where does this leave you?
What if I told you that you could do your child(rens) photos yourself? I’m going share five tips for taking great photos of your children during the times of ‘Rona.
Tip 1 – The Best Camera Is The One That You Have
When Zaan was first born, I thought that I was going to use my DSLR for most of my images of him. I soon discovered that the idea, while novel, was FALSE! Those magical moments that children like to give us happen quickly. So if I walk to my home office to grab my camera, I have now missed the moment. But my PHONE! My phone is always somewhere close! So my phone has become my main camera when photographing spontaneous moments of my children. If I am planning a formal shoot for them, that is when I will pull out my DSLR.
Tip 2 – Get On Their Level
There’s something about being able to observe the world from the perspective of a child. When my goal is to show their perspective — which in most cases it is — I like to get down to the eye level of the child. When you get down on their level, it makes it easier for the child to connect with you.
Think about it…imagine that you are having a photoshoot with a giant. Maybe you have met them before, maybe you haven’t. They are looming over you with this contraption in front of their face. You have no idea what it is. You would probably be intimidated, right? But if they kneeled down to your level and maybe made you smile, you would feel more at ease, right? That’s how it is when you’re working with children. So please keep that in mind. This leads me right to my next point.
Tip 3 – It’s Okay If They Don’t Smile Or Look At The Camera
I will say it again. It’s. Okay. If. They. Don’t. Look. At. The. Camera. And it’s certainly okay if they don’t want to smile. Some of the images that I love the most are of children who are just allowed to feel how they feel. Children are very complex beings with super short attention spans. So you need to meet them where they are. If they want to play for a bit, take pictures of them playing and then show them the pictures that you took of them. They love to see pictures of themselves! My 11 month old, Ness, cracks up every time he sees his image on my phone. And oftentimes, Ness will let me indulge a bit and take more images of him.
They best way to create an adult who hates taking pictures is to force a child to stand still and smile. They will rebel! So ease your child into taking pictures. You’ll reap the benefit in the future.
Tip 4 – Let Their Personality Shine
Their personality is what you’re going for in your images anyway. So, is there an activity that they love doing? Photograph them participating in the activity, but from their level and perspective. Do they like to dress up in your clothes? Pull out your camera, get on their level and snap away. Maybe they like to run, jump and climb like my oldest son, Zaan. Well, head outside and bring your camera. Some of the most fun images that I have of him are of him in his element, just being a toddler boy.
Tip 5 – Look For Great Lighting
This is my last tip, but it probably should have been my first. The best images all have great lighting in common. Please don’t mistake this to mean that all of your photos should be brightly lit. It just means that the light that is available will emphasize the features of your subject that you want emphasized.
If you are indoors, look at where the light is. Maybe there’s a room that gets great lighting all day. Maybe theres a room that allows a sliver of light to hit one spot for 20 minutes a day. Consider the areas of your home where you admire the lighting. These are the areas that you want to place your child(ren). Once they are where you want them to be, let the magic happen.
Don’t let what you feel are limited resources stop you from documenting this time in your families life. Hopefully these five tips for taking great photos of your children will help you produce images of your children that you will love forever! To get some inspiration check out the babies section of my website!