Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash
I follow some incredibly powerful parent photographers who continually inspire me everyday, but following great photographers and taking the time to actually commit to becoming a great photographer for yourself and your family are two very different things.
This is why we decided to dedicate our time to an article about how to take better photos of your kids. But unlike some articles in the same vein, this one is four easy steps you can take on your next photoshoot.
The Number One Tip on How to Take Better Photos of Your Kids: Get Moving!
Photo by Jude Beck on Unsplash
Get moving. Children naturally have approximately twenty times the energy of an adult, so if a kid is being forced to sit still for a portrait for even five minutes it might literally kill them. Well, it might not kill them but it will kill the mood of the portrait and it will definitely kill their mood as well.
Chasing kids around while they play tag or harass the family dog is not only a good workout for you, but it ensures that your pictures will be full of life. Nobody wants to remember their toddlers in any other way.
Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash
A favorite mommy photographer of mine also suggests allowing older children to be the creative director of a shoot, encouraging them to set up the shot. I haven’t tried this trick yet, but apparently the results are pretty hilarious.
Earn Real Smiles
Photo by Robert Collins on Unsplash
If you’re trying to get your kid to pose like a model and smile on command, there’s no way in a million years that smile will look genuine.
Photo by Himanshu Singh Gurjar on Unsplash
You need to earn your smiles through games, tickling, peekaboo and generally throwing your dignity out the window.
Photo by Ato Aikins on Unsplash
Encourage your kid or kids to create new games. While they’re inventing a new world you can capture them having a blast in this one.
And randomly throwing your whole self on the floor seems to do the trick if you can’t think of anything else.
Stop Using Your Flash, Please
Photo by Colin on Unsplash
The number one mistake I see most parents committing in their photography foray is using a flash all of the time instead of using natural light.
The catch light in this adorable toddler’s eyes would never have been possible through the use of a harsh flash.
Photo by Julie Johnson on Unsplash
Plus, you can take photos with incredible natural light no matter the environment you live in. Place your baby or child next to a window. Even on the worst of stormy days, the natural light from the window will produce better photos.
You should also turn all of the artificial lights in your house off for this exercise. You’ll be incredibly thrilled with the result.
Don’t Hide Behind Your Camera
Photo by Alfonso Reyes on Unsplash
If this picture is the only thing your baby sees during your whole photoshoot then you’ve done something incorrectly.
The answer of how to get your child to look at the camera is simple, don’t make them look at the camera.
There are a few ways to get yourself out of this nasty habit. The first is to set up your shot and quickly bounce your face to the side of the camera at the exact moment you’re taking it.
The second is to get in the picture yourself. Set up your shot and buy a wireless remote for your camera (they’re like $10!), then jump in the photos with your children.
The third, and possibly my favorite of the child photography tips, is to tell the kids you hid something in the camera.
Ask them if they can see it; ask what it is. Their priceless inquisitive faces will be worth the hassle.
Bonus: Complete the Process With a Gorgeous Print
Photo by Alessio Lin on Unsplash
Okay, I know I said I was only writing about four child photography ideas, but I have one more really good one!
No matter how many “child photography poses” and “child photography tips” you put your children through, it will all be in vain if you let the pictures sit on your laptop, unedited, forever. Or until your children are old enough to stumble on them themselves.
I’ve committed the horrific felony of committing time to a photoshoot with my children, then putting them on a laptop that I didn’t back up. One time my child threw the laptop onto the floor during a tantrum. Another time, I broke my phone so horrifically the technician turned me away immediately.
I’ve since decided to backup my photos the moment I’m done shooting (which has saved a lot of heartbreak) and to get the best ones printed within the week. Any longer than that and I forget about them.
I always use CanvasHQ to print my photos because they almost always have a sale going on, and they’ve been named the best canvas print business by us here at PhotographyTalk, PetaPixel, and Top Consumer Reviews so I know their customer service is top notch.
I got a little overwhelmed while I was looking for a canvas company the first time around, but CanvasHQ walked me through the whole process and now I know the difference between an iridescent canvas and a vintage one. Plus, I also know the difference between a print that has been handcrafted with love and one that’s been spit out as fast as possible without much regard for quality.
The photos I’ve had printed of my kids now sit proudly above my couch and my bed and remind me why I go through all the hassle of photographing them in the first place!
You should do the same - get started with your canvas print now!