How to take better photos of your kids – photo tips (part 2)
Last week I wrote first part of How to take better photos of your kids. I focused more on kids behavior and how to engage them in the photo shoot, and here is the full post if you are interested to read it. Today, the focus is on photo tips and how to take a better picture of your child.
1. Get on their level – There is a reason why I listed this is number one tip. You are much taller than your child and by kneeling down to their eye level you allow them to look straight into camera. Chat with them for a while and engaged them before taking a photo. You are not only going to get a better photo, you will also gain their interest and trust. This way they feel acknowledged and respected and it would make them more receptive to what you are trying to tell them. When the moment is right, take a photo. I am sure you’ll see the difference right away!
2. Focus on eyes – There is one thing that good photographs of people have in common. Their eyes are in focus. If they are not in focus, the image won’t be as strong. When photographing a portrait, I usually focus on a nose bridge in between the eyes with a really wide aperture. The focus is sometimes hard to achieve when your kids are running around the playground. If that’s the case I just make sure my aperture is not too wide, making sure if I focus on any part of their body their eyes would be in focus too.
3. Use long lens – If you have a longer lens, use it. Try to distance yourself from your kids, so you are not right in their face.
4. Zoom in – If you don’t have long lens, zoom in. By zooming in you can back up a bit and gain distance between you and your child. You are also able to cut off the unwanted background and make it blurry at the same time. By zooming in or using long lens you will separate you child from background and they will stand out more in the picture.
5. Keep the aperture wide – you can either blur your foreground or the background with wide aperture. That will help you to isolate your subject even more.
6. Let them be – Take photos without them knowing. When they are playing, chasing each other, distance yourself if you can by either zooming in or by using a long lens and keep snapping. It takes some patience, but it’s rewarding when they burst into laugh and you get a picture of it!
7. Get low – And I mean really low. Lie down. You would be amazed how different pictures can be when you change your angle.
8. Bird’s eye – Again, change your angle. Climb up above the kids and shoot directly down with wider lens as they sleep, play or having a bath.
9. Watch your background – Before taking the picture, make sure your background is not ruining your shots. You don’t want garbage bins in the background or pole sticking out from the head of your subject. Sometimes it only takes a small step to avoid the big disappointment later.
10. Avoid the harsh lighting This tip might take some of you by surprise. When taking photos of kids on a sunny day, take them into shade. They won’t be squinting and the pictures will end up looking much better. If there is no shade, make sure the kids are facing away from the sun. This is called backlighting. It is important to note that you have to expose for your child’s face which will result in overexposed background. Otherwise you will end up with silhouetted subject. It might take a few practice shots, but once you figure it out you will love this technique.