Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Photographing Your Kids

With advancements in photography technology over the last decade it has become possible to capture frame-worthy memories on consumer level cameras. Today every smartphone on the market boasts a pixel rating that far exceeds most of the cameras from the early part of the 2000’s. With this rise in quality, parents can now take quality pictures of their children with most basic cameras…that is if you could just get all of them to smile naturally and at the same time. So how do you get a frame-worthy picture of all your kids?

Photo by thejbird

1)  Location.  The backgrounds should be interesting enough to entertain your children, but not so much so that it is distracting in the photos.  Because of the differences in lighting, outside is usually best.

2) Candid shots.  You have to accept that photographing children is very different than photographing adults. Children struggle to sit still much less strike a pose on cue for your picture. The easiest way to get quality pictures of your children is to just let them be children and snap away furiously. When kids are forced to pose the results you are looking for are often hard to obtain. Let them be themselves and they’ll forget you are trying to photograph them.

3)  Change levels.  Unless you have some serious photography skills - and can get some abstract, artsy shots- photographs of a child will come out better if you get down to their level.   It will certainly be easier to capture the moment down there with them, then shooting from above.

4) Focus on the different objects.  Great photos of children often come from focusing on their faces, specifically the eyes.  But you want to remember all of your children's awesome little features, right?  Get some shots of their hands, feet, eyelashes... it's often those little details that we parents cherish in photos in the years to come.

5) Try black and white.  Even if you take your photos in color, changing the photographs to black and white lends a different feel to the photo.  It's calming, serene.  Certainly if you are planning on hanging a wall collage, black and white can unify all your photos for a more pleasing display.

In summary, allowing your kids to just play while you snap away furiously, down on their level, focusing on different features, will allow you to capture spontaneous photos that you will cherish. You may have to take a hundred shots to get three or four that you love but with digital photography the amount of photos you take is not a concern.

Although photographing children can be tricky, if you just let them be kids they will entertain themselves and give you ample opportunity to snap a beautiful memory that will hang on your wall for a lifetime.

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