One of my passions is photographing my children. I love getting the camera out and snapping away. One of the biggest thrills I get is going back through the shots and seeing a cracker. Getting shots of your kids can be challenging as they are fast and unpredictable. I have put together 12 tips for photographing children for you. I hope these will inspire you to get the camera out and start snapping away.
1. Be patient – When it comes to anything to do with kids, the trick is, be patient. Don’t force them to do anything they don’t want to or the whole thing will end before it begins. The best way to get natural and beautiful photos of your kids it to be patient and just be with them. The moment to capture will come.
2. Be ready & fast – Having said be patient and wait you need to be ready to go when the moment strikes. If you are not confident with total manual mode (sometimes I am not if I know I really need/want to capture something) then aperture priority mode is good to use. Having it set to f/5 or bigger will allow for some lovely background blur which is lovely in portraits. If the kids are running around and you want to capture them sharply without any motion blur then maybe switch to sports mode. If you’re unsure about aperture priority mode then don’t be afraid to use your portrait mode on the camera as well.
3. Shoot in burst mode – As kids move so quickly and at times unpredictably I always shoot in burst mode. This gives me more work in the culling process but I would prefer to have more to choose from than none at all. Shooting in burst mode means you have more chance of capturing the moment. You may not get it the first go and it would be a shame to miss it because you weren’t in burst mode.
4. Use Natural Light – I try to avoid using a flash as much as possible. I only have the on camera flash at this stage so I try to use Natural Light. If the light is too bad and I really want to capture the moment then I use the flash. In this instance however when you are purposefully having a photo session with the kids then use as much natural light as you can. If indoors, head to the room in your house that has the most natural light. Get as close to a window as possible and when capturing their face have them facing the light. When outdoors, try and avoid the harsh light of the middle of the day and go for early morning or late afternoon light. The light is more flattering, easier to work with and not as harsh.
5. Get down on their level – This is a great tip and one I use a lot. If the kids are on the beach and playing in the sand get down on their level with them. If they are sitting, you sit too and get eye to eye with them. This is less intimidating to the kids. When shooting them from above they can looks smaller. Shooting them on their level provides a more intimate feel as you’re in the moment with them as opposed to looking down from above or afar (of course if that’s what you’re trying to portray then go with it)
6. Use different perspectives – After saying get down on their level sometimes you can get a fun shot by changing your perspective and taking a shot from above them or below them. Don’t be afraid to experiment and see what you enjoy.
7. Set them up with an activity – by setting them up with an activity like drawing or playing in the playground you are occupying the kids. This gives yourself time to create moments to capture. It helps keep them captive so you have the time to capture them. You can always call their attention to get them to look up at you throughout the shoot.
8. Shoot the little details – They are little for such a short time. Be sure to capture the little details like little hands, a dirty knee, drawing pictures, eyelashes, little feet and little shoes. These little details help tell a story of a day or a moment in time.
9. Focus on their eyes – When shooting a portrait be sure to focus on the eyes. Focussing on the eyes helps create a crisper looking portrait. When you look at a portrait you are immediately drawn to the eyes. They say the eyes are the window to the soul.
10. Neutral background – If you can, have your background as neutral as possible as this will create less competition for the eye when viewing the subject. Larger apertures also help to create background blur so if your background might be a little distracting use this to your advantage.
11. Include other people – If your partner is willing, get them in on the action too. Some of my favourite photos of the kids are them interacting with their Dad or Grandparents. They are precious moments and memories and it’s wonderful to have them.
12. Have fun – Above all, have fun! let the kids have fun. Run, jump, play, draw, sing and dance. When you’re all having fun together I guarantee that’s when the best photos will be captured. Some of my favourite photos ever are taken in the moment and capture a moment of pure joy.
Children are little for such a short time. I hope you’ll get out and about and snap away. If you don’t have kids but still have lots of little people in your life, I don’t know a single parent that wouldn’t love a wonderful portrait or moment captured in time of their little ones.
What’s your favourite activity to do with your kids? Do you love photographing your kids, nieces or nephews? Feeling inspired to get the camera out?
ALL IMAGES COPYRIGHT JESS FLETT OF A LITTLE PART OF THE WORLD
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