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Taking pictures of your kid’s little moments is something priceless--childhood pictures will be kept and cherished for a lifetime, more so if you have managed to take great quality pictures that tell their own story.
But, since most of us are not experts in taking great pictures and kids can be challenging to photograph, here are the top 8 expert tips to take the best pics of your kids:
No.1: Get them acquainted with the camera.
For most kids, a camera is a strange square object that they are not familiar with and so you need to dedicate some time to get them camera-ready. Explain to them the role of the camera (if they are 4+ years), show them some great pictures of other kids and teach them how to strike a pose or try their own poses. Once they get familiar with the whole picture-taking thing, they’ll be much easier to photograph.
No.2: Use natural light.
A common mistake that many parents make when shooting their kids, according to professional photographers, is using domestic artificial light. However, in-home settings where artificial studio lighting is not possible, using natural light that is not too bright or dark is your safest bet to taking great quality pictures of your kids and not having to adjust the lighting afterwards.
No.3: Focus on their eyes.
When taking portraits of your kids, focus in the upper part of their face instead of the lower part e.g., their smile as many times their small eyes get lost in the picture and they’ll appear emotionless when they are actually not. Don’t be afraid to zoom in their eyes if necessary, especially if you are shooting them at 3+feet distance away from the camera.
No.4: Use the camera’s shutter speed mode.
Since kids are always moving around and can’t stay still for more than a few seconds, especially younger ones, use your digital camera’s shutter speed mode to take multiple shots at a high-speed rate as they are moving. We bet that half if not most will look bad, however, taking multiple shots on high-speed mode will likely produce some good shots too.
No.5: Get down to their level.
Don’t try to elicit responses from them in an unnatural adult way, just to get them to pose or smile for you. Saying “smile” or “cheese” is not exactly the smartest and most natural ways to make them respond to the camera. If necessary, get down on their level and show them how fun picture taking can be--get their favourite toy and wave it above the camera or sing their favourite song and cheer them up, so they get in the mood too.
No.6: Avoid using large objects in the background.
Another common mistake when taking amateur kid’s pictures is having extra-large objects in the background e.g., high fences, large chairs, big trees, trash cans, etc. However, in kids of smaller ages, these will look disproportionately huge compared to the small size of your kid and you’ll end up taking away the focus from your kid itself. The background doesn’t need to be filled with smaller objects but make sure at least nothing is too big compared to their actual body size.
No.7: Use contrasting colours.
If you don’t want your kid to appear as nearly invisible against the background, don’t try to match its clothing with the colours of the background but create some colour contrast instead. For instance, if the background is a natural green, dress them in contrasting yet supplemental colour patterns such as yellow pants, a t-shirt with black and white stripes or a red or dark pink dress if you are shooting a girl. By creating this colour contrast against the background, your kid will be the protagonist, as they should be.
No.8: Don’t be afraid to take random pictures from a distance.
Your kids don’t always have to look and focus on the camera lens--actually, this is next to impossible. Instead of trying to force them to look at the camera, play it a bit sneaky and shoot them randomly when they are busy doing their own thing. You may use the high-speed mode we have talked earlier too if they are moving around. The result may be serious or hilarious or plain weird but natural and interesting, nonetheless.
So now you know how to take great pictures of your kids, you won’t have to deal any more with countless failed shots and keep hitting the delete button again and again!