5 Tips for Taking Great Photos of Your Kids

Let’s be honest, getting good photos of our kids can be tough.  They roll their eyes or they don’t want to smile for the camera.  My 13-year-old son has given even the best photographers a run for their money.  So what do you do?  Christmas time is here and you want great pictures to share with family and friends and you have nothing.  Here are some helpful tips for getting great photos of your kids, no matter what type of camera you may have.

Tip #1- Think on their level:

Do you have expectations on exactly how your pictures need to look?  The outfit?  The backdrop?  My advice is to give up your expectations and think on their level.  What do they love to do?  What games do they like to play?  What makes them laugh and giggle?  When you give up control and start to enjoy them on their level, you will be amazed at the pictures you can get. Make play part of the photo shoot or tell some goofy jokes. In no time everyone will be laughing and having a good time and YOU will be able to get great pictures.

Tip #2- Try different Angles:

When taking pictures of your kids, try moving around a bit and looking at different angles. Not every photo needs to be smiling and facing the camera. Kids are full of personality and you can capture that much more if you take pictures from different angles. Have them lie on the floor and shoot straight down, or have them jumping while you are laying on the ground. Pictures are the best when they show emotion and character, so shoot from different angles and you’ll love what comes out of your camera.

Tip#3- Observe the quiet moments:

Even though they are few and far between, quiet moments with your kiddos can present some great photo opportunities.  Reading a book at the end of the day, doing their homework, playing with a family pet or watching a movie- these all present great opportunities for us to sneak in, observe and grab a few images.  Great pictures don’t always need to be posed and formal.  Observation shots tell a story, they tie into an emotion and make the eye think.  Everyday activities that you do with your kids can become great photos, ones you will look back on and remember that time, that age, and what you shared together as a family.

Tip #4- Look for good lighting: 

So this may be a little technical, but good lighting is the foundation of a good image.  Ever look at a picture where someones face is in harsh sunlight and heavy shadows?  Not too pretty, huh? You don’t have to be a professional photographer to know how to look for good light.  In a era where everyone carries around an IPhone and digital cameras, if you want to take good pictures, try moving your photo shoot outside.  If it is an overcast day, then perfect, feel free to take pictures just about anywhere, but if it is a sunny day, look for open shade that will cast even light on your kid’s face- not harsh shadows.  Ever get frustrated that your images are blurry?  Well, without getting too “geeky”, in darker light your camera automatically will slow down its shutter speed.  A slower shutter speed will show any blur or movement that is in front of the camera.  And of course we all know our kiddos move- a lot.  Taking them outside on a nicely lit day will help your camera automatically take pictures at a higher shutter speed giving you a better chance of getting a clear image.  It can take some practice, but good light will change your world, promise.

Tip #5- Keep practicing: 

If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, again.  The only way anyone ever got good at anything was by practicing.  Try different lighting situations, try taking pictures of friends, your husband, anything that will hold still so you can practice and see what works.  As photographers we are always learning- we have to be technical, creative, and trendy all at the same time for people to like our work.  Be patient with yourself and your kids.  Watch, observe, look for the stories in your day and most of all, enjoy the time with them.

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