Kids grow up so fast. Naturally, you want to capture every moment. And in this age of digital photography there’s really no excuse not to.
But even with ever improving technology at our fingertips, it can be quite a challenge to get a really decent snap where kids are concerned. Here’s a few tips to inspire you to take a deep breath, grab that camera and have a go :
Image courtesy of MaszaS
Explore the great outdoors
Achieving good light inside can be a problem, even for professionals. Makes things easier on yourself and get outside. It doesn’t have to be a gloriously sunny day – kids splashing about in wellies or kicking through fallen leaves on a crisp Autumn day can be magical. Woods, parks and beaches are obvious choices, but actually a simple garden setting works just as well. Just remember to have the sun behind you, ensure the flash is off, and you stand a good chance of getting a really well lit photograph.
If you really have to be inside, then still make sure you turn off the flash. Flashes create red eye and unnatural skin tones.
Set yourself up for success
It might sound obvious, but you are going to struggle to get a wide toothy grin from an overtired toddler or a hungry baby. Also, kids gets bored easily, so keep it short and have plenty of snacks and toys on hand to keep them entertained. Their favourite toy might also make them feel more comfortable in the shot.
Enlist a brave and enthusiastic helper and you’ll instantly double your chances of creating a relaxed and fun environment. Simply making sure you have your camera (fully charged and with memory space) to hand might be all you need to capture those unexpected gems. Smart phone cameras are now excellent, so there’s really no need to invest in an expensive or bulky camera if you are unlikely to have it with you when it counts.
However, if you do have access to a DSLR, you might be surprised how much better the photos are simply because of their faster shutter speeds and great control. The more you know about your camera, the more you’ll get out of it so take the time to dig out the manual and get experimenting. This great website also offers some great advise how to get the best of your camera.
Finally, think about what the kids are wearing. Without doubt, solid, bold colours work best. They are also going to be more relaxed and natural in a nice bright T-Shirt or top rather than press ganged into a formal dress or shirt.
Let kids be kids
Image courtesy of SerrNovik
Have a think what might surprise and delight them. Instead of ‘cheese’ or ‘look at mummy’ pleas which will undoubtedly be ignored, surprise them with a question they need to ponder for a bit or use a phrase they haven’t heard before to get them to look at you; cue ‘ Is there a frog on my head?!!!
Kids of all ages love to run and play. So there’s nothing nicer than encouraging them to do what comes naturally, so you can capture them at their most relaxed and happiest. It’s also got the added bonus of releasing some energy!
My favourite shots are usually when they are not even looking at the camera. Engaging them in a simple activity is the easiest way to capture their personality. Introduce a new toy, get them to count the daises, follow a ladybug or build a tower, and then simply get ready to capture their priceless delight and fierce concentration.
Don’t forget to get down on their level and try to take several shots from lots of different angles to give you the best chance of capturing exactly what you want. Keep on clicking…..a gem will be in there somewhere!
Don’t be afraid to use the zoom to get in really close. This helps you capture expressions and details you’d otherwise miss.
Finally, don’t delete the photos straight away. You might be surprised how good some of them are once uploaded to your computer’s bigger screen and with a bit of simple editing.
Most of all – have fun!
Remember this is supposed to be fun for everyone! If either you or them are starting to feel a bit frazzled, take a break and go back to it later. Also try being just plain silly! Animal noises and silly faces are guaranteed to raise a giggle. A game of musical statues is also a great game for kids who just can’t sit still!
Have a look here for some more great tips from some specialist children’s photographers. And remember, it might take a bit of effort and planning, but the rewards will be treasured forever. You’ll even be able to use the fruits of your labour as present ideas for adoring relatives!
So grab that camera and get snapping. We wish you lots of luck!
Image courtesy of MaszaS
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