If you are like me, since giving birth, I want to capture every milestone, smile and moment in a photo. What I really want to do is freeze time and keep these memories forever and a great photo helps me to do that. But kids are moving, running, laughing, sticky targets and sometimes, it’s really difficult to get that perfect shot. Here are a few tips to help you get the perfect shot, all you need is a good camera, a lot of patience and a willing (or maybe not so willing) subject.
Get down on their level
By kneeling down (or laying flat on your belly even for the really small ones) on the child’s level to take a photo, you give them the power to look directly into the camera. It also shows them that you respect them. Chat the child up to put them at ease. Then if you want a direct eye contact shot, ask the child if they see the fairy/dinosaur in your lens. Use a long lens so you don’t have to get right in the child’s space to get that close up shots.
A child’s face is perfect and sometimes the best shot is the one that fills the entire frame with just them. Focus on the details like newborn lashes, toddler lips going in for a kiss or tiny toes settled into beach sand.
Get Far Away & Forget the posing
Photograph your children being themselves, enjoying their favorite activities and experiencing new things. Step back and let the kids play. The angle will emphasize the smallness of the child in contrast to the world around them, but highlight their confidence at being alone.
Try burst mode
Set your camera to take a series of photos over a very short period of time, and shoot your child in action. Switch your camera to high capture and fire off plenty of shots. You will be amazed what is captured.
Remember, Light Rules
Natural lighting is always best for natural photos of kids, as you’ll find. In fact, I hate shooting in any other light. Using a flash is not only terrifying and blinding to babies and toddlers, it totally washes out their features. Avoid taking photos with them looking into the sun too or you’ll get squinting. It is always best to have your kids completely in the shade or fully in the sun. If there is a mix of lighting, you will end up with crazy shadows that will have you wondering when the chupacabra came in and stood in for your gorgeous little preschooler. To avoid this affect, try fill flash. Use your flash even shooting during daylight. The light from the flash will help brighten the shadows under their eyes and nose, and give you a well-lit image.
Bring them to their favorite location
Try to choose a location for your shoot where the child has fun or they have never been. Either way you will capture joy or wonder.
Don’t forget the silly shots
Children will want to make the silliest faces they can when they are being photographed. They will want to flash you their cheesiest smile and make silly hand gestures. Let hem do this – you may not get the picture you want from such behavior, but the child is likely to enjoy this part of the experience, leading to them being more willing to have their picture taken next time.
Most importantly, make sure they’re in a good mood because no amount of lighting is going to turn that frown upside down.
Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Ted’s Cameras but all opinions are my own.