All parents want to take great photos of their kids, but you know how it is with those kiddos – they don’t stay still for more than a second (sometimes not even that long). I know, your children smile on command and stay still while you get that amazing picture – yeah right!
It can also be difficult if you have less than a professional camera. If you’re able to change settings on your camera, that helps a lot, but sometimes you have to depend on the camera to do the right thing and it doesn’t always know what you want to do. My tips here are fairly generic and may not work with everyone’s camera, but I’m sure you can use some of these tips.
- Get down to their level. Depending on their age, you can lay on your tummy, kneel, or squat. Shooting at their level helps them make eye contact, makes them curious (at least for a couple of seconds), and they look more natural.
- Sometimes you will have to photograph them when they’re playing or doing something besides paying attention to you. These can be really special moments when they’re deep in concentration and not making nasty faces at you. When they’re sleeping is the absolute best time – haha.
- If you have the ability to set the shutter speed, set it at 250 or higher. If it’s a bright day, you can set it 1000 as a starting point. Getting nice portraits outside is going to work better for most of you than indoors unless you have a great big window with soft light coming through. Then you can set them next to the window and see how long they stay put. Get the exposure right before you try to get the kids posed.
- You can also try talking and joking around with them and try to get their minds off the camera. If you have someone to help out, blowing a bubble gun makes for some really fun photos. If you have a long telephoto lens, these work great because the clutter in the background will be blurred.
- The lighting is what makes a portrait great (the word “photography” means “writing or painting with light”). When I do family portraits or children’s portraits, I do them in the evening, put the sun behind them, and then use a flash with an umbrella to light the faces. Don’t use the flash on your camera though, it would be better to face them into the sun when it’s lower on the horizon.
- Get yourself into the picture – use the self timer and a tripod.
If you need any other suggestions or help with these tips, let me know.
Durango CO Photographers
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