HOW YOU CAN TAKE BETTER PHOTOS TODAY OF YOUR KIDS! DOCUMENT YOUR EVERYDAY MEMORIES TO HAVE FOREVER.
One of the things that I get asked often, is “how do you get kids to cooperate so well?!” Luckily I have a whole bunch of tricks up my sleeve that are tried and true with not only my own two kids, but countless client’s kids with all different personalities and ages.
It really doesn’t matter what camera you have in your hand. You can try one or all of these tricks today with your own family from the comfort of your home. So dust off that DSLR, or pull out your iPhone and give some of these a try!
TIP 1: KEEP IT MOVING
The number one trick to getting natural looking candid images is to Keep. It. Moving! Have you ever sat for a photo, ever had to just sit there and smile? Like those cheesy school pictures every year… SO LAME, awkward and uncomfortable. No kid or adult finds that enjoyable or natural. The solution? Interaction! Get the kids laughing, spinning, jumping, moving, engaged in an activity, anything! Chat with them from behind your camera. Make funny faces, talk about burping, farting, poop, boogers, use your imagination! Nothing gets a kid giggly madly than inappropriate jokes.
More than one kid? Are mom or dad in the frame too? Get them interacting together. Have them make up a secret handshake, give SQUEEZE hugs, eskimo kisses, toss them in the air, and piggy back rides.
TIP 2: GET ON THEIR LEVEL
If you want to get your kids in action, get down to their level. Lay on the ground or the floor with them. Crouch down and get involved in their activity. Ask them questions and make silly jokes. Or, just sit back and be a fly on the wall. Park yourself next to them, be ready to take the photo, and just watch for the image to happen.
TIP 3: SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT!
Digital is FREE you guys! We aren’t shooting film anymore ( unless you’re a film photographer, but that’s a whole different subject) You can take a million pictures and just pick the best. in any given session I shoot well into the 500-1000 with around 100 getting delivered to my clients. Even when photographing my kids for just a few minutes it’s not uncommon for me to take 50 and pick 5. Shoot until your feel like you got the shot, or until your kid is over it.
TIP 4: SIT BACK AND WATCH
Sometimes the best photos are taken without anyone even looking or noticing. I love to just watch my kids play or do something they love and snap a few photos. When they’re outside playing on the swings, at the playground, taking a walk or riding bikes. Or when we’re inside hanging out, taking naps, playing with their toys, the family pets, playing games, and baking. All of these things make for great candid photo opportunities. Keep your camera handy so you can grab it quickly and snap a few frames when you see something cute. Which brings me to the next tip…
TIP 5: KEEP YOUR CAMERA HANDY
I keep my camera with a charged battery and memory card on a shelf in my living room. This way I can grab it at a moment’s notice and not have to worry about anything else. It’s always ready for me when I see some pretty light coming through a window, or when my kids are doing something that I’d like to capture for our family memories. and it doesn’t take much for me to want to grab it! I usually will take at least a photo a day.
TIP 6 : BE AWARE OF LIGHT
Look for natural light. Get used to looking for light and using available natural light to your advantage. Have kids turn their faces towards window light. Or just place your back to a window and shoot that way for an immediate improvement in your photos.
When outdoors, place your kid with their backs to the sun to get rid of squinting. If the sun is too strong, put your kid in front of something that will block some of the light from coming into your camera lens. Or look for some shade to place them in, while facing outward towards the light.
TIP 7: HAVE FUN WITH IT!
Laugh and play with them as the first rule, photos are second. Put the camera down and play or get into their activity then pick it up again and repeat. Your kids don’t want to remember mom with that big black box in front of her face. Make the memories first, then document them.
If your kids are NOT into it one day, try again another day. Don’t ever force them into it, or you’ll never get the photos. Make sure your kids are having a good day ( or just document the tantrum! ) have had a nap, have a full tummy, and are game for your nonsense. The bonus to learning how to take your own photos in a beautiful way? You LIVE with your subjects. There is always time to try again tomorrow.
Ashley is a Family and newborn lifestyle photographer based in Sussex County New Jersey and serving the NJ NY PA Try state area. Specializing in natural, candid and real life photography for growing families who want their real memories captured beautifully.
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