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As a parent, there’s nothing more precious to you than your children. And there’s something about children that just makes you want to capture every moment. Maybe it’s because they grow up so quickly, or maybe it’s the knowledge that these fleeting moments will never come again. Whatever the reason, capturing great photos of your kids is important – and not just for preserving memories. Photos can also be a great way to show off your little ones to family and friends or to create beautiful cards and keepsakes.
Taking those pictures can be a lot of fun, but it can also be challenging. How do you get them to smile for the camera? How do you avoid getting a blurry photo? Read further to learn 10 photography tips that will help you take fantastic photos of your kids!
Get down on their level
- Get down on their level. This is especially important when photographing toddlers and young children. By getting down on their level, you’ll be able to capture photos that are more intimate and show off their personality better. Taking photos from their perspective instead of yours will give a more realistic feel to your images – children are small, after all!
Use natural light
- Use natural light whenever possible. One of the best things about taking photos of children is that they are often very photogenic and tend to be more relaxed in natural environments. Try to find an outdoor location with plenty of natural light, and avoid using flash as much as possible. This will give your photos a warmer, more natural look compared to artificial lighting. Try to take pictures near windows or in open spaces outdoors whenever possible. The results will be worth it!
If you’re taking pictures indoors and it’s not too dark out (or there are lights on inside), leave your flash off. If you use a flash indoors with children, the photos often come out looking washed-out and unnatural.
Keep it simple
- Use a simple background. A cluttered or distracting background can take away from your subject, so try to use a simple background whenever possible. This could be a plain wall, an open field, or even just the sky. Also, make sure no other objects are competing for attention by being too close to the children within the frame, like trees, branches, or leaves poking out from behind. This will cause viewers’ eyes to lose focus while looking at the pictures which can confuse instead of encourage appreciation.
Take lots of photos
- Take lots of photos. With children, you never know when they’ll start smiling or laughing, so it’s important to take lots of photos in case you miss the moment. Use burst mode when photographing children’s activities like playing outside or running around in circles. This will increase your chances of capturing the precise moment they’re doing something cute.
Remember that children rarely cooperate when asked to stop what they’re doing and pose for the camera, but there’s always time afterward to crop out unwanted parts or adjust the lighting. Take as many shots as you can. You can always delete the ones that don’t turn out well later on.
You’ll also want some shots taken at an angle further away from your child because these tend not to be as ‘cutesy’ but can provide a more interesting perspective for your photo album or blog post.
Use only a few props
- Use props sparingly. Props can be fun for children’s photography, but only if used sparingly. Overuse of props can make a photo look too staged and unnatural. Most children are naturally happy and smiley, and can look extra adorable when given simple props like balloons or bubbles!
Don’t force it
- Don’t force children to pose for photos. The results will be stiff and unnatural, which isn’t what you want! Instead, let children do what they normally do – play outside, run around with friends at recess or explore new places on their own terms! Sometimes children’s photography is best when children are just doing their own thing!
Not looking at the camera is okay
- Have them look away from the camera for a change of pace. For example, if your child is playing with toys on the floor, have them look down at their toys instead of looking directly into the camera lens. This gives a more natural feel to children’s photography shots where they’re not posing for the camera but rather engaged in an activity (playing).
- Be patient! Children rarely cooperate when asked to stop what they’re doing and smile for the camera; you’ll get better shots if you just let them play. Children can be unpredictable and hard to work with sometimes (especially toddlers), so you must have lots of patience during camera time, as well as some good snacks handy.
- Edit your photos! This is especially important for children’s photography, as you’ll likely want to remove any red-eye or blemishes from the photos. There are many great photo editing programs out there that are free or very affordable. Some of the photo editing apps you can download are extremely good at simple edits like adjusting lighting, creating blurred backgrounds, and cropping unwanted elements.
And last but not least…
- Have fun with it! Photography should be enjoyable, so don’t stress too much about getting the perfect shot – just relax and have fun! The best photos often come when you’re not trying too hard. This is especially true when photographing your children; if they sense that you’re stressed out, they’ll start to feel anxious as well. So take your time, relax, and enjoy capturing some beautiful memories of your little ones.
With these tips in mind, go out and start capturing beautiful memories of your children! And if you need some help turning those great shots into fabulous decorations or gift items, be sure to check out Minted.com – they have some of the best ideas to turn your children’s photos into personalized gifts. You can order photo prints, photo books, cards, and even custom puzzles made from your children’s photos. So be sure to head over to Minted.com and start creating some unforgettable memories today!