Have you ever wished you had more photos of your kids?
You know, the ones where they look like they are enjoying life.
The ones that capture their personalities, and smiles, and make you feel warm and fuzzy when you look at them.
Kids can be tricky to photograph, especially toddlers and preschoolers! They run fast, play hard, and rarely look at a camera long enough to get a shot that isn't blurry... RIGHT?! And if they are two, they will probably do the OPPOSITE of what you ask! However, they are probably the most fun people to photograph, because they are so full of life!
Here are a few tips that I hope will help you to get some great photos of you children before they are all grown up.
1. MAKE IT FUN!
This is essential! Probably the biggest mistake you can make when trying to photograph kids, is being uptight about getting good photos!
If kids sense that you are getting frustrated by their lack of co-operation they will shut down!
So, make it fun!
Say silly things!
Make funny noises!
Talk to them while you take pictures.
Kids don't hate being photographed, they just don't like being told to "sit still" or "stop doing that" or "give me a real smile". Let them run, and jump, and play, and be silly! That's what kids love. Then be ready when the smiles happen. Think of creative ways to get them doing what you'd like. And remember that the child doesn't have to be looking at the camera to make a great photo!
Oh, and one more thing!
Stop telling them to say "cheese!"
It almost never creates a genuine smile. Try something silly instead!
2. NEW ANGLES
Its easy to get stuck in a rut with this one. Just standing and snapping pictures without thinking through other options! With little kids, getting down on their level is great. Lie in the grass, or on the floor and try seeing things from their perspective! Another great angle to try is getting up high, and shooting down. It will change the feeling of your photo, and your toddler might be more likely to look at you if you are standing on the table, right?! The beauty of digital photography is that you can do lots of experimenting! Try something new!
It works. And yes, I know bribery isn't necessarily a good parenting tactic, but I'm telling you that in this case bribery is your friend! A smartie here and a skittle there for cooperation can make the task much simpler! Reward generously and suddenly a photo session might seem like a really fun idea!
4. PHOTOGRAPH EVERYDAY MOMENTS
Try taking some photos of the ordinary. Baking cookies. Story-time. Nap-time. Think outside the box! Some of my favourite photos of my kids are from times I have picked up my camera to capture our ordinary!
These were taken one day when I had to wake my son up from a good long nap, and as usual, his little sister was so excited to go see him! I just love them, because they help me remember these normal parts of life that are so precious!
5. TAKE YOUR CAMERA (OR PHONE) WITH YOU!
This is probably the most important thing. If you don't have it with you, you'll miss the moments. Sometimes the greatest photos come so unexpectedly in the every day things we do with our kids!
Snap. Snap. Snap
In 10 years from now you won't care so much that your photos aren't perfect, you'll be glad you have them! So take that camera or phone out, and use it!
Your children are absolutely worth photographing!
It doesn't have to be daily, but make a point to get pictures of them. For you, and for them. You WON'T regret it! These are precious years, and hours, and moments.
6. BLACK & WHITE
Let's be real. Sometimes the pictures we take just don't quite turn out the way we'd envisioned! Indoor photos can be especially tricky. Bad lighting, lots of distractions, clashing colours, can make us lose our enthusiasm about a moment we just captured. Before you delete that photo and move on with your life, here's an easy thing you can do to help turn an "okay" photo into a great one!
It's amazing how much less distracting a B&W photo can be.
Cropping your photo can also help to remove some unwanted distractions. This really can be a personal preference, but I do find it helpful sometimes to turn around a photo I wasn't sure about in the beginning.
So, when you are finished reading this, I hope you'll pick up your camera and start capturing your life! Don't let this be the year that you look back on and say,
"I should have taken more pictures of them".