When it comes to taking good pictures, children are a favorite subject matter. Yet, because it is so hard to get some kids to just sit still, often the photos are just a little bit disappointing. Here are 5 basic tips to help you get on the road to taking great pictures of your kids.
If there's one thing that's true of kids, it's that they're incredibly sneaky. If you have ever suddenly found your house to be perfectly quiet, you probably figured that you had better find out what your kids were up to - perhaps hatching a plan to snatch the cookie jar. Perhaps it is time to turn the tables and sneak up on them for once. Some of the best photos ever are those where the people being photographed had no idea that the candid shots were being taken. Candid photos capture the real essence of a subject's personality and can make for beautiful moments, so don't feel bad about being sneaky yourself and getting a few photos when your kids aren't looking.
Trim it Down
If you're planning on getting photos of your kids out and about, you'd better pack light. Special moments are gone in an instant, so you don't want to miss a single one because your hands were full carrying equipment. If you know that you will be moving around much, such as on a field trip or at a birthday party, pack light and don't forget the extra film and batteries. Just remember that if you can be quick and learn to adapt to a new situation you will get better photos.
Taking posed pictures of your children can be a bit challenging. Children don't always want to be part of a photo shoot, but you can make them willing participants by making it a fun experience. Add some props to the mix, make a game out of the shoot, or pack a water gun - do whatever you can to keep the kids interested and get real emotions out of them. A genuine response is always a delight to capture on film, so instead of the traditional "Say cheese", come up with something else surprising and fun!"
Remember the Basics
When taking pictures, there are lots of things that can go wrong. The best photographs come from incorporating the basic elements of framing, composition, contrast, and depth of field, so get into the habit of using these in your pictures. Don't get caught up in the cuteness of the moment and forget all about the basics - always try to take the best possible photograph of the best moments. Always remember the fundamentals of photography, because nothing can ruin a great picture faster than a distracting face in the background or poor framing.
Mix it Up
Get down on the floor for a new angle. Find a ladder and get taller. Perhaps you can zoom in and focus on your children's eyes. It can be boring or uninteresting to look at a series of family photos and see not much difference between them but the age of the subjects. You can avoid this by striving to create beautiful and interesting photographs every time you shoot. You can also use black and white or color to tell a different story in your image. Another approach is to let your kids take their own self portraits. If you make every photo session one of a kind then you will have captured some wonderful memories to fill your albums.
Children can always be a challenge to photograph. There are times when you don't always do it right. As with all things, practice as often as you can and shoot until you're out of film or memory. There will always be a few keepers, and if you keep the experience fun everyone will enjoy the process no matter how things turn out. One thing you don't want to forget is to take some pictures of yourself with your child, as there is nothing more fun than seeing pictures of your parents when you were a baby!