Let’s face it, taking photos of your kids isn’t easy. I recently completed my first Project 365 in which I took photographs of my kids almost every day for an entire year. Through this project and years of photographing my kids prior, I have learned so much about taking photos of children.
When it comes to our kids, the phrase “They grow up fast” is an understatement. One of the main reasons I bought a DSLR was to capture the fleeting years I have with my children. I want to remember both the big and small things that happen in their lives.
There are so many variables involved when trying to get a good shot of your kids, but there are definitely some things you can do to make the process easier! Wherever you are in your photography journey, I hope these tips will help you take photos of your kids that will provide lasting memories.
8 Tips For Photographing Kids
1. Take Photos Often
Not only will your kids get used to you having the camera in their face, but taking photos often will give you more opportunities to get shots you love.
2. Get Down to Their Level
By positioning yourself at your child’s level, you can allow the photos to show things from their point of view. It also prevents you from taking awkwardly angled shots, you know, the ones where you are looking up their noses. Yikes!
3. Let Them Lead
There were many times when I had an idea of a “perfect” shot I wanted, so I would try and position my kids in a certain way. 99% of the time that ended up in disaster. I find that the best shots are natural and not forced.
Now I usually just let my kids do their thing, and I follow their lead.
This doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t strategically place some toys near a well-lit window and encourage your kids to play. You can still have some control without your kids realizing it. 🙂
4. Stop Saying “Cheese”
I have tried to eliminate using the word “cheese” when photographing children. Why? Well, because you get what you ask for–cheesy smiles! In my experience, the photos come off artificial.
In the photo below I had my son tell me a funny joke and then got him to smile naturally; which, in the end, is what we really want.
5. Find The Light
I am kinda a sucker for dramatic light. But no matter your preference, the bottom line is that you NEED LIGHT when trying a get a sharp photo.
If you are in your home, open the shades. Pull back the curtains. Find out what rooms in your home get the best light, and at what times.
6. Bump Up Your Shutter Speed
Have you ever taken action shots of your kids and the results were blurry hands and feet?
When I first started shooting in manual I had plenty of blurry shots. One solution to getting those crisp action shots is to make sure your shutter speed is no less than 160. I usually try and have mine between 160-250 when photographing kids.
7. Be Flexible, & RELAX
Sometimes we get so caught up in wanting the perfect shot, that we make the whole experience miserable for everyone. If we are trying to capture these precious moments of our children to create lasting memories, let’s make sure the photos we take don’t remind us of how we were yelling at our kids to pose a certain way. If you don’t get the perfect shots, it’s no big deal! There is always tomorrow, so RELAX! We don’t want our kids to feel fear and dread whenever we take out our cameras. Remember, photography is fun! Or at least I think it is 🙂
8. Take Photos of Their Everyday
One final tip: Take photos of those cute everyday things your kids do that you never want to forget. Whether it is playing dress up, coloring, or rolling toy cars along the stairway banister, take photographs of the normal everyday activities your kids love to do. These are the times when they are completely in their comfort zones.
These younger years with our children will soon be but a distant memory. Thankfully we have the opportunity to cherish these memories forever by capturing them with our cameras.