So you want to get better photos of your kids? I’ve heard it countless times: “well, if I had a nicer camera…” or “if my kids would hold still…” or “i just don’t know how to get good lighting”.
My theory is that anyone, with a little help, can take fantastic photos of their kids/pets/cars/food/what have you. Even if all you have is an iPhone! It just takes a keen eye and some practice.
1.Get on their level!
Obviously, kids are smaller than you. Try getting down low and take a look around, see how they see. Look them in the eye. Kids are more comfortable with you when you’re on the same level. Try to imagine how big things look to them. Perspective is everything.
2. Rediscover everyday moments.
There’s magic in the mundane, I always say. Try to look out for ordinary moments that you will someday forget. Not just the big milestones, or the staged activities. Sleeping babies, messy nap-hair, spaghetti-covered faces, they way they stand up on their tippy toes to reach for things. These are the magical moments to capture.
3. Take advantage of stillness.
We all know kids move at break-neck speed 99% of the time. Try to notice the few times they are still. Like this capture of my daughter’s ballerina bun. Good luck trying to get a photo of these details while she’s running around. But when she stops for .837 seconds to eat a clementine, voila!
4. Be subtle.
It’s common knowledge that the very moment you try to catch your child in the act, they will notice and move. SO MANY TIMES I’ve tried to snap a photo of something crazy or adorable happening, and then, like a butterfly, they sense my presence and bolt! Wait till they are at ease, casually sidle up and, all non chalant, just snap a picture before they notice. Or, if they know you’re there, try snapping while you’re asking them something like “what did you dream about last night?” or “what should we have for dinner?” Then hopefully they won’t move because they aren’t concentrating on your photo-taking.
5. Use the natural lighting.
Turn off that pesky flash! Especially if you’re using an iPhone. The drama is all in the shadows.
Look around your house at various times of day. Notice when there’s a nice stream of sunlight through a window, or when your playroom is the brightest. Try to catch your kids when they’re facing the light. Don’t be afraid of low lighting either. Try cranking up that ISO. If you’re using your camera phone, make sure you tap on the part you want to focus on to adjust the lighting.
6. Don’t ask them to “Say Cheese”!
If your kids are like mine, if you say “Say cheese!” they will immediately make either an insanely over-the-top toothy grin, or a look just like Chandler’s grimace from Friends. Instead, try telling a joke, or asking them about something they love. Like “You don’t like Star Wars, do you?!” or “Remember that time sister dropped all those eggs all over the kitchen? Wasn’t that funny?!” At the very least they’ll give you a thoughtful look instead of the cheese face.
So there you have it. Try these out and let us know if you have other ideas for taking better photos of our kids. Happy picture taking!