How to take lovely photographs of your children
Don't say cheese!
Cheese is only for crackers! Saying cheese just results in unnatural, forced smiles. Be silly instead and make having their photograph taken a fun time. Or even just simply talking to your child whilst snapping away can coax a natural smile out of your child.
When photographing your children, let them be involved, let them have their favourite toy in shot, have running races or encourage them to throw leaves up in the air. The latter was a favourite with my children and resulted in lots of natural expressions and smiles and hence great pictures. If they are having fun you are much more likely to get natural expressions from your child. You will all enjoy photography whilst the kids are having fun, but don't force your child to carry on when they have had enough.
Find the light
People often think that sunny days are the best for photographer, but they can cast harsh, unflattering shadows on a childs face. So on sunny days either find a patch of open shade or wait until a more overcast day which will give a softer more flattering light. If you have your own camera then you can get great backlit photos on sunny days, but for this you need to have a camera whose settings you can control.
When photographing indoors window light can give a lovely soft light. Get you child to face the window and as the photographer shoot with the window light behind you. Once you get used to seeing the light you can get your subject to have the window light coming in from the side.
Choose your background carefully
If you want the image to be about your child then choose a simple background. If you photograph your child close to a cluttered background and your child is in focus it is likely that the background will also be in focus.
Getting some distance between your background and your subject is generally easiest outdoors and this allows the focus of the photograph to be your child.
Capture the everyday
Those small everyday moments can mean that your child is absorbed in an activity and becomes less aware of you being there and hence you can get some lovely natural shots. Remember that your child doesn't need to be looking into the camera on every photograph you take. It will also be a great reminder in future years of what he or she loved doing at that time in their childhood.
Let them be themselves
Some of my favourite images are where one of my children (usually one in particular!) didn't want to be in a posed family photograph but were happy for me to snap away with them running round the rest of the family or pulling funny faces behinds Dad's head. Although at time this was very frustrating, I now love these images as it shows his character and zest for life.
Get down to their level
Being down at your child's eye level will result in images with greater connection.
Take lots of photographs (and I mean LOTS!)
Children move about super fast, they are very inquisitive, they are onto the next thing just as you have set up the photograph. They laugh, they cry, they are happy again, all in the space of one minute! Just keep photographing, some images will work and some won't, many will be out of focus or not be quite what you imagined in your head, but once in a while you will hit the jackpot and get that image that to you encapsulates your child.
Don't forget to print out those photographs
My house is full of photographs, they make me happy. Don't leave your photographs on a computer never to be seen again, show them off in frames and share the story of your family.
Or get a professional to do it for you!
It does take patience, time and skill to get great photographs of your own children but sometimes you don't have that time or the equipment or quite simply you want to be in the photograph with your children. If this is the case then please just give me a call or drop me an email and I would be delighted to photograph your family! Just click here to contact me.