Are you looking for tips for taking better photos of your kids? I am here to tell you that you can significantly improve your photos by following a few simple steps. While this is not a technical post with all of the photography ins and outs, it is one that will help in changing your photography mindset and allow you to capture photos that you genuinely love.
While there is so much that goes into taking photos that you love, I want to share some of my favorite tips for taking better photos of your children, using absolutely any camera (even your phone).
Whether you have a fancy DSLR, affordable point and shoot or take photos using your cellphone, these tips can help you achieve better photos of your kids.
So let’s get started, shall we?
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10 Tips For Taking Better Photos Of Your Kids
1. Take In The Scene With Your Eyes
When taking photos of my children, the first thing I do is take in the scene and decide what it is that I am trying to capture. Instead of grabbing your camera and just snapping photos at random, take a few seconds and really take it all in with your eyes. I find that the more I do this, the more I am able to truly engage in and embrace the moment, as well as notice the little details that I hope to always remember and want to capture with my camera.
2. Find The Light
Light is one of the most essential parts of taking a good photo. Look to see where the light is coming from and where it is falling. If you are indoors, open the curtains or have your children play near an area where the light is coming in. If you are outside, locate the light and position yourself accordingly. Experiment a little. Open shade can be a great option during midday. If you are trying to get portrait shots of your child, maybe try for those 1-2 hours after sunrise or the 2-3 hours before sunset. Those are the hours when the sun is not directly overhead, and the light is simply dreamy.
3. Capture The Story
What is the story that you want your image to tell? Think about the story that is unfolding in front of you and capture what it is that you want to remember most about that story. During a time when taking pictures is as easy as pushing a button on our phones, photos are plentiful. It’s the stories that live within them that sometimes get lost if we don’t focus on capturing those stories and having them reflected through our photos.
4. Let Your Kids Be Kids
Don’t expect your kids to always sit quietly while you take their picture. You are setting yourself up for disappointment if you do. I know all too well because when I first started on my photography journey, I focused solely on trying to get portraits of my kids. I took my very young children out for photoshoots often, only to leave me in tears of frustration. Don’t expect perfection. Just let them be themselves. My favorite photos are those when my children forget I am photographing them. I stand back and let them get lost in a moment. I follow them around while they laugh and play, and I am able to capture true authentic images through the lens of my camera. Images that will forever represent this season of life that we are taking up space in right now.
5. Change Your Vantage Point
Get down to their level. Shoot from a different angle. Try overhead shots. Move around. All of these things can result in unique ways of telling your child’s story and can greatly improve the creativity in your photos as well. Some of my favorite photos of my 6-year-old are overhead shots that I took when he was small. Those images speak to me in ways that one taken from a different angle wouldn’t.
6. Capture The Scene In Its Entirety
During my early years of taking photos of my boys, I was a zoom girl. I would get in close and completely eliminate the surroundings in which the story took place. Since then, I have learned the beauty of capturing the whole scene. Be sure to pay attention to your frame. I like to place my child in the center of the frame or follow the rule of thirds. This allows the eye to focus naturally on your child, while also showcasing the scene in which you are shooting.
7. Seek Out Moments Of Connection And Emotion
Whether your children are playing together or interacting with friends or family members, be sure to capture that connection. This can be through play, a hug, conversation, or during afternoon snuggles. No matter what the connection may be, try to seek those moments out and photograph them. These are the moments that we never want to forget. Am I right? So be sure to capture them often.
8. Capture Their Personalities
What is it that makes your child unique? Focus on trying to capture bits of their personalities when photographing them. Talk to them and make them laugh. Photograph them when they are running and playing and being their unique selves. Photograph little things like them playing with their favorite toys or wearing their favorite quirky socks (speaking from experience here). Just be sure to capture images that remind you of them. Your beautiful, vivacious child in all their glory.
9. Avoid Saying “Say Cheese”
Ok, if you are trying to get that frame-worthy, portrait shot, then, by all means, say “say cheese.” But otherwise, refrain from doing so. Let things happen naturally, without the forced smiles. I often find myself telling jokes or talking about something silly while photographing my boys. This causes real genuine smiles and laughter and has resulted in numerous photos that I absolutely love.
10. Edit Your Photos
Don’t forget to edit your photos. This can be done straight from your phone using some of my favorite apps: Lightroom Mobile, Snapseed, A Color Story, and VSCO. Or if you edit from your computer, then I highly recommend Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop. There are other options, such as PicMonkey as well. Editing photos can take your photos to an entirely different level. Brighten your photo, add a little contrast, play with color, and just have fun.
Taking better photos of your kids does not have to be super hard. Following a few simple tips can instantly give you better results and help in preserving lasting memories through beautiful images.
If you want to learn manual photography or want to take your photography to a whole new level, then read about my top photography resource here.
Holly is a 42 year old wife and mom to 3 boys, from Nashville, Tennessee. She is a hot tea lover, book reader, journal keeper, Pinterest pinner, podcast listener, y’all sayer, self-taught graphic designer, hobbyist photographer, writer and dreamer of all things big and small. You can find all of her ramblings here at Blu Nest Bloom.