We all like to take pictures of our children, to capture the moment of their childhood and those special occasions. Today we share with you some of our favourite tips for getting better photographs of your children, whether you are using a DSLR, compact camera or phone by one of our favourite photographers and mother Rosalind Hobley, from Goldfinch Photography.
Here are 5 Easy Tips for Taking Better Photos of Your Children
Most parents hold their camera at eye height to photograph their children. This causes distortion and makes the children look smaller than they really are. Instead, get down to their level. Your pictures will instantly look more professional.
You can even get right down to ground level for maximum impact, like in this photograph of a young girl running on the Heath.
On the other hand, babies that can’t yet sit look great photographed from directly above. Try playing hide and seek for real smiles and engagement, or have a friend or partner make them laugh. (Always keep the camera strap around your neck for safety.)
Lots of cameras have flip out screens now so that you can get the viewpoint even higher and capture a real bird’s eye view of your family to give some variety.
Backgrounds are so important. Take the time to move any unnecessary items out of the way so they don’t distract from the person in the foreground.
Check for signposts or trees ‘growing’ out of the top of people’s heads. Move your position to get a better perspective.
Look for other background features and work with them. Careful framing of your subject within an arch or between trees can look amazing.
Use perspective to lead the eye to the person in the frame. Paths, bridges, aisles and even these subway lights can be used as ‘leading lines.’ Once you start looking you will see them everywhere.
Try zooming out to show as much of a stunning background as possible and to give a sense of scale…
Most cameras and phones have a macro or close-up setting. (On some cameras this is the flower motif on the dial.) Play around with these to get some beautiful detail shots of your baby and child.
Sometimes you don’t need to show the whole person to tell a story with details….
Some light is easier to use for portraits than others. Strong overhead sunlight is lovely and most cameras can cope with it, but it’s not always the most flattering light for portraits. Children’s eyes are often half closed against the glare, and there are heavy shadows. Instead, try photographing your children on cloudy days when the light is soft and beautiful.
Indoors, you can really use light creatively. Turn off your flash and any overhead lights, and try to work as close to a window as possible. Within 3 feet of the window gives the best light, and again, avoid direct sunlight.
Make sure that the light is falling onto half or ¾ of their face. You should be able to see a little triangle of light on the far cheek. As you get better at finding the light you will see unexpected opportunities. In this portrait the little girl was going upstairs, and as she walked past the window I asked her to sit down for a second. The directional light and the shadows show off the shape of her face beautifully.
Keep them happy and busy
You really don’t want photos that only remind everyone of the afternoon you were grumpy because the children wouldn’t pose for the photos. (The voice of experience here with my own kids.)
Instead, make sure they have something fun to do and then sit back and record it all on camera.
For examples of photogenic and fun activities try baking, arts and crafts, playing board games, bubbles, hide and seek, bouncing on a bed, running races, or playing with a pet.
Last of all, when you have taken your photos, make sure to get them in print. Too many people have lost all their memories from their children’s early years because of a hard disk failure, or loss of a usb or phone. Sometimes a sync to the cloud can go wrong and overwrite files.
You can make or buy beautiful albums that will be the most amazing keepsakes for your children – and for their children. Failing that, get a set of prints made every year, and make keepsake boxes for your children. It will be the best present they could have to look through these memories in 30 years time.
NOT TO BE MISSED….GIVEAWAY
Goldfinch Photography is offering a Mother’s Day Giveaway of a Family Portrait Shoot and a 6x6in heirloom album worth a total of £500*
Head over to https://www.goldfinchphotography.co.uk/mothers-day-competition to enter!
Article by Rosalind who runs Goldfinch Photography specialising in children’s and family portraits.